By Marlena Turner
On average, the water pressure in your home should be under 80 psi. Poor water pressure can affect a number of components when it comes to your household. Taking a shower with low water pressure can become a nuisance and cause irregular temperatures. Conversely, if your water pressure is too high, it can cause damage to your pipes. Monitoring your water pressure regularly is also important to avoid any major problems with your water heater, which is a costly fixture for any home owner. Here are a few things to look for and help aid to prevent you from having to pay hundreds to thousands of dollars.
Dealing with Low Water Pressure
Low pressure can affect everything in your household, but luckily it’s easy to spot. A few indicators of low water pressure include slow toilet tank refill after every flush, dull dishes that come out of your dishwasher, and loss of power in your shower stream.
In a low-pressure water system, water restrictors within fixtures can reduce both pressure and water volume to inadequate levels. Sometimes, a pressure problem can be an easy fix. For example, low pressure in a faucet is often the result of a clogged screen at the tip of the spout. Spouts can be easily cleaned or replaced with purchase of parts at your local home appliance store.
Some water-saver showerheads can also cause low water pressure problems. According to Finehomebuilding.com, restrictors in the showerhead conserves water by forcing the flow inside the showerhead through a tiny hole, which kills all the pressure. Removing restrictors will provide better water flow.
Hard water also causes low water pressure in your home. Hard water contains minerals that can build up and disrupt water pressure from faucets and showerheads. If you remove all faucets and showerheads and soak them in vinegar for a couple of hours, this will dissolve the minerals. Or you can simply replace your faucets and showerheads with the purchase of new parts at your local home appliance store.
A low water pressure issue could also be the result of your local provider. Before calling your local provider, you can test the city water pressure yourself using a test gauge. If your reading is below 45 psi, you have low water pressure and should follow suggested steps to determine the cause of the issue or call a local expert.
Dealing with High Water Pressure
Some might think the idea of high water pressure is great, like a steaming hot shower, but it can be costly and detrimental to your household. If your water pressure is too high, you are at risk for some severe damage such as burst pipes, leaks or higher water bills. There are several indicators that you have high water pressure; the most common include leaky faucets, leaky water heater, loud banging pipes, loss of hot water, noisy appliances, or frequent breakdown of appliances that require water for functioning.
According to experts, installing a water pressure regulator or water pressure valve, will help solve this problem. This adjustable valve allows you to set the water pressure as low as you prefer. The regulator will slow down the flow entering your home and keep the pressure at reasonable levels. This will prevent costly damage to your system, saving you money in future repairs.
What Can You Do?
Plumbing experts stress the importance of knowing your water pressure and the causes of both low and high-water pressure. For low pressure, make sure your water pressure is above 45 psi; for high pressure, make sure your water pressure is below 80 psi. There are several tools you can also use to check your water pressure frequently. Experts suggest a water pressure regulator or valve. Maintain your readings, and if anything looks off, go through your checklist of possible issues.
Keep these key points in mind
Always know where your main water source is located and how to shut it off in case of an emergency. When trying to determine the cause of low or high-water pressure, check for frozen pipes if it’s winter, check all faucets and pipes for leaks and regularly check your water heater relief valves for leaks as well. Ensure it is in good working condition without leaks. You can also ask neighbors to see if they are experiencing any water pressure issues to make sure you eliminate all causes before you call an expert. Most of the time, you can pinpoint the problem to save extra maintenance costs.