Homeowners must walk a fine line when it comes to water pressure. You need sufficient pounds per square inch (psi) of water coming out of your faucets to take comfortable showers and fill your cooking pots in a reasonable amount of time. On the other hand, if the pressure in your household plumbing is too high, it can impose stress on your pipes and fixtures. There are various measures you can take to adjust your water pressure, but first you have to measure your current pressure. Read on to learn more about testing the pressure in your household plumbing and how to set it to the proper amount of force.
Pressure Pushing Down on Me
If you suspect your water pressure is either too high or too low, there is a simple way to test it. The most accurate method is to buy a pressure gauge from your local hardware store and hook it up to a hose faucet. Check the pressure when all other faucets and water-using appliances are turned off to get a baseline reading. In general, you want the household plumbing to provide between 30 and 80 psi.
There's an even simpler way to check for low water pressure if, for example, you're considering purchasing a home but didn't bring a pressure gauge along for the tour. Simply turn on the shower and sink faucets in a bathroom, then flush the toilet. Watch the water flow in the shower – if it appears to drop significantly when the toilet is filling, you should investigate further before agreeing to buy the home.
I Say a Pressure Drop
If it turns out you have low water pressure, there are a few different potential causes. One is a leak somewhere in your household plumbing, which allows water to escape before it reaches your faucet. You could also have buildup in your pipes that is blocking the flow of water. For both problems, you can have a plumber repair or replace parts of your plumbing system to alleviate the issue. There could also be a problem with your municipal water supply, which could indicate a water main break somewhere. If you suffer from a chronically low pressure due to municipal issues, you can install a pressure tank and pump in your home.
Your municipal water supply is also the most likely cause of high water pressure, especially if you live at the bottom of a hill. To combat the phenomenon and save wear and tear on your household plumbing, install a pressure regulator on the main water line coming into your home. This should also help you save some money on your water bill.
You'll Have to Deal with Pressure
If you need help testing or adjusting your water pressure, or have any other problems in your household plumbing, contact an expert plumber today.