Pressure Regulator Test

He said…

So I’ve heard from a variety of sources on the Internet – so it must be true – that the pressure regulators with the gauges are better.  Since I don’t believe anything I’ve read unless I’ve looked into it myself, I decided to test a couple different types just to see for myself.

Having just gone through the plumbing problems I’ve had we knew we needed a pressure regulator to protect the plumbing in our RV.  It turns out our RV’s plumbing is PEX Tubing which is rated to 100 psi and the place where you hook up the potable water connection to the RV even says 100 psi max.

Having gone through what I’ve gone through now, I’d not care to put more than 50psi into the RV.  I don’t trust the manufacturers to actually do things right anymore. So… it’s just smart to have one of these regulators.

Weaving by Mariel: Cat Proof Surface Cover
Anyway… on to the test.

I recently bought into the hype (okay – I guess I do believe what I read) and purchased the Renator regulator on the left and my dad has the Camco regulator on the right. These are the two that I tested. I wanted to see if the volumetric flow rate (gpm) was different between the two (all that I’ve read says the Renator would have a higher flow). I also wanted to see what the pressure would be during flow and with no flow.

This test wasn’t accomplished with the RV plumbing… I just used a garden hose about 100 feet long.  The city pressure during these tests was 80psi.

Pressure Tests

I hooked up the regulator at the upstream side of the hose along with a separate pressure gauge and, after filling the hose with water, hooked up a second pressure gauge at the outlet of the hose.  Both regulators performed the same:

  • When there was no flow, the pressure at each end was 40psi (which is what you’d expect).
  • When there was flow, the pressure lowered to about 20psi.

No real difference in the pressures held – either regulator would protect the plumbing of the RV.

Flow Test

I then used a 3.5 gallon bucket and timed how long it took to fill up the bucket with each of the regulators. I performed this twice with each regulator.

  • Renator regulator filled the bucket in 36 seconds – about 5.83gpm.
  • Camco regulator filled the bucket in 38 seconds – about 5.53 gpm.

As you can see the Renator does have a higher flow which would equate into RV living as a more comfortable shower… but really only by a third of a gallon per minute.


So what are the advantages of the Renator (or equivalent) type of regulator?  As mentioned, you get a slightly higher flow rate (in my experiment anyway). More importantly, they are adjustable.  If you want a higher or lower pressure, you just turn a screw and the pressure changes appropriately. And you can see that the regulator is functioning… no hoping or guess work.

What advantage is there to the Camco (or equivalent) type of regulator? It is cheaper.  The Renator type costs between $40-50.  The Camco type is between $10-15.

There you have it… spend the money to see or change the pressure… or save a little and get basically the same results with a less expensive regulator.  No matter what you may think, however, get one… It will save you some plumbing headaches!

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