How to Repair a Zurn Wilkins 1-600XL Water Pressure Regulator

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Introduction: How to Repair a Zurn Wilkins 1-600XL Water Pressure Regulator

A water pressure regulator (pressure-reducing valve or PRV) is a control valve to reduce the water pressure to a safe level inside the home. If the pressure regulator valve doesn’t work well, too much water pressure can cause bath room, sink faucets or washing machine hose joints leak, because they are designed to work at a pressure of about 50psi.

A failed water pressure regulator valve should be replaced as soon as possible or that is what I want to say – Fix It as soon as possible.

Model: Zurn Wilkins 1-600XL

Problem: home water pressure creeps up to city’s street pressure when there is no water flow

This is one of the major brand and major model on the market. On hardware store’s website, check the reviews of this Model, there are several reviews report its leak pressure after 2 years or 3 years, that is just same as my problem. When there is no water flow, the home water pressure creeps up and eventually rises to city’s water pressure. It's not the first time I have uncounted this problem. I had this problem with my previous regulator. I replaced the second one with the same model because the same dimension was easier to install. But now, the same problem occurred with the second one. I don’t want to replace it third time. I decided to try and fix it. I thought if I can fix it myself, the thing will be under control, otherwise, I may need to replace a new regulator every couple of years.

In the next steps, I want to share how I fixed my water pressure regulator valve last week. Hope it can help someone who has the same valve problem.

This Regulator valve cost is $156.00. Fix it cost is only $2.57.

Step 1: Learning How a Regulator Works

A water pressure regulator controls water through a spring and diaphragm, which resistance and lowers the pressure to the safe level.

My regulator problem occurred in no flow. I want to learn how it works in no flow. I found a picture on the brand website finally.

As the picture shown, when there is no water flow, the home water pressure rises, counter-balancing the spring force, and the valve closes.

From this picture, It can be easily estimated - If the valve does not close properly, the home pressure will be equal city’s pressure. This is just my regulator problem.

Step 2: Open the Valve

Open the valve to check the interior.

There is no need to remove the valve from the water line. Since it was difficult to make photos of the valve which is in a corner, I took pictures with the old valve to show how to disassemble it.

Shut off water before starting disassembly and turn on a faucet to release line pressure.

Loosen main cap and remove counterclockwise.

Unscrew bell housing counterclockwise and remove spring, spring disc and friction ring.

Loosen plunger and remove counterclockwise.

Remove stem assembly from regulator.

I didn’t touch adjust bolt since it has nothing to do with the valve properly to close. The strainer has no relation with this too. Don’t need to do anything with the diaphragm keeping it on the stem.

Step 3: Inspect Rubber Parts

There are two rubber parts are important for closing the valve. One is the O-ring on the stem and anther one is seal ring on the plunger.

Remove and inspect the stem. Obviously the o-ring was worn out. Thinking about such a small o-ring has moved thousands of times over the bore wall in the past couple years, there is no surprising for it was worn out. The water pressure was leaked from the worn o-ring. It has to be replaced. The other rubber part - seal ring looks still ok and it can be used by turning over.

Step 4: Looking for Replacement Parts

To find a replacement o-ring is the key to repairing the regulator.

I have to say there is a repair kit online, but the cost almost as much as a new regulator. I don’t like it.

Checking on internet, I found this regulator parts list online. The o-ring part number is 113N. Checking on internet again, the o-ring 113 dimensions are 3/4” x 9/16” x 3/32”. About that “N”, I guess is “Neoprene”. Anyhow, with this information, I found a o-ring in hardware store, which is #11 o-ring 3/4” O.D. x 9/16” I.D. x 3/32” and it is same as the worn o-ring. The cost is $2.57 for 10-pack.

I can not find the seal ring either online or in store. But it is not worn too much and it can be used with back side by turning over.

Step 5: Reassemble the Regulator

Assemble stem unit using new o-ring

Turning over seal ring and screw plunger into stem unit, don’t forget the washer. A tip is screw little tightly since the water pressure can loosen the plunger. Also don’t over tighten plunger to avoid breaking the threaded end of the plunger.

Screw main cap, checking the gasket, if the gasket is broken, using plumber tape.

Put spring, spring disc and friction ring, then screw bell housing.

So far, this repair had typically completed. But for me it has not finished yet.

Step 6: My Special Problem

After replaced rubber parts, the regulator looks fine. But two hours later, I found that the pressure crept up again to the city’s pressure. It is a bit slower than before. But this means there is still leaking in somewhere.

I disassembled and reassembled the valve many times to check the rubber parts.

But in the end, I found that the problem was at the brass stem, not the rubber parts. There was a crack in brass of the stem which surface is contact with the o-ring. It likes a small hole between the stem and o-ring, leaking pressure to home side.

Step 7: Complete the Repair

Fortunately, this crack is not too deep. I filed off this crack with a needle file till the surface is smooth.

I reassembled the regulator. It works very well this time. The pressure is keeping on about 50 psi now.

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    5 Comments

    0
    oscarcar
    oscarcar

    2 months ago

    I have the exact same problem. I've done several complete replacements and rebuilds over the years and I've kept the parts. Looking at all the old stems I have, including my current one that has the leak problem, ALL have a groove similar to yours at the stem. I'm guessing a small pebble gets in and digs a groove into that soft brass/copper or whatever it is.

    0
    seamster
    seamster

    1 year ago

    Very nice. It's impressive and inspiring to see money-saving fixes like this.

    I had to replace our PRV last year, and didn't even consider trying to fix it first. This is a good reminder to just inspect and apply some common sense, and you'll likely save some cash!

    0
    amjohnny
    amjohnny

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you for your comment. I'm happy this repair was successful and I'm enjoy the repair in which I learned many. Use two or three dollars to solve a problem instead of one hundred dollars, why not?

    Mine is 30 years old and seems to be still regulating the water pressure. We have very soft water here and things like water heaters and valves tend to last a very long time. It looks like you have a lot of scale on the spring which is indicative of hard water. It would be interesting to see statistics of the failure rate of these water regulators depending on the hardness of the water in the location where they are used. Very useful instructable, I will be checking my water pressure again just to be sure.

    0
    amjohnny
    amjohnny

    Reply 1 year ago

    Yes, you are right. Our city has hard water. The water system parts may have shorter life in hard water. I never thought about this before, but I totally agree.