If your sinks and shower have irregular water pressure, or the pressure seems very strong at all times, it may mean that the water pressure coming into your house is too high. While this might make for a great shower, it isn't as good for your water bill. What's more, high water pressure can put extra stress on your pipes and can even lead to leaks. Fortunately, you can address the problem with a pressure regulator.
How Do I Know if My Pressure Is too High?
The easiest way to identify high pressure is simple observation -- if it seems like water is coming out of your sink at excessive pressure, it's worth checking into. Another potential indicator is if you hear banging somewhere in your pipes (also known as a water hammer). To find out for sure, buy a pressure gauge and screw it onto outlet hose outlet or faucet near your water meter. Most home plumbing systems are not equipped to handle pressure above 80 psi, so if yours exceeds the limit you should seek to remedy the problem. Pressure can fluctuate throughout the day, so take readings at various times to give yourself a more complete set of data.
What Are the Consequences of High Pressure?
The most common effect of high pressure is leaks in your plumbing system. They may be tiny pinhole leaks, and may only come at intermittent times. Even a small leak can lead to much bigger problems if it occurs in a spot where it can damage your walls or floor. Inconsistent or high water pressure can also put stress on your appliances like your washing machine and your hot water heater, shortening their lifespan.
What Causes the Problem?
Do you live at the bottom of a hill? That's a common cause of high water pressure because water naturally runs downhill. Your local water company might also keep the pressure high in your area to meet the needs of tall buildings or fire hydrants. High pressure can additionally be caused by thermal expansion inside your home as the water volume changes due to heating by your water heater.
What Can I Do?
Even if your water pressure only occasionally shoots over the 80 psi mark, it's a good idea to install a pressure regulator on your main water line. The regulator will slow down the flow entering your home and keep the pressure at reasonable levels. That way you can avoid paying for excess water you don't need, as well as saving wear and tear on your plumbing and faucets.
Call a qualified plumber to help diagnose your pressure problem and provide the solution. The experts at local Benjamin Franklin are always available to help. If you think your home’s water pressure is too high, give us a call at 800-259-7705. We will make a thorough examination and install a regulator if necessary.