What Is Your Home’s Water Pressure?
Dealing with water pressure problems can be a real pain in the neck. Whether your shower has become a mere drizzle or your garden hose lacks its usual power, understanding and managing your home’s water pressure is crucial for getting things flowing again. Thankfully, evaluating your water pressure is an easy task that doesn’t call for special training. Find out about the simple process of testing your water pressure at home, how to decipher the results and what a professional can do to correct any irregularities you find.
Why Should You Test the Water Pressure?
Getting educated about your home’s water pressure ensures a satisfying shower, but more importantly, it shields your plumbing system from harm. Just like you consistently check the oil in your car, getting a read on your water pressure a couple of times a year can prevent bigger problems in the future.
After all, low water pressure is irritating, but high water pressure can significantly damage your plumbing system, including pipe connections, water heaters and appliances. The chances of blowouts in flexible lines, like those connecting to your washing machine and dishwasher, increases with high water pressure, potentially resulting in leaks and extensive water damage. Evaluating your water pressure and acting on the results can help avoid these issues.
Necessary Equipment for an At-Home Water Pressure Test
To get started, you need a basic and affordable tool called a pressure gauge. These are readily available at hardware or home improvement stores. When choosing a gauge, look for one with female hose threads (to easily attach to an outdoor faucet or hose bib), a rubber gasket for a tight seal and the ability to measure as high as 300 pounds per square inch (psi).
Step-by-Step Guide to Testing Water Pressure
With a pressure gauge at the ready, you’re set to determine your home’s water pressure. Just take these steps:
1. Preparation: First, make sure that all water outlets in your residence are turned off. This includes faucets, showerheads, dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerator ice makers and sprinkler systems. Any water usage while you are testing may affect your readings and give a false impression of low pressure.
2. Connect the pressure gauge: Attach the gauge to an exterior faucet or hose bib. If your water comes from a municipal source, connect it to the faucet that is as close as possible to the water meter for the most accurate reading. For homes that use a well system, affix it to a hose bib close to the well’s pressure tank.
3. Calculate the pressure: Tighten the gauge by hand and open the faucet as far as it will go. Now, examine the readout to see the pressure. A preferred reading varies from 45 to 55 psi. If your reading is less than 40 psi or higher than 80 psi, it’s time to seek assistance.
Addressing Water Pressure Abnormalities
Here are the steps you should take depending on your pressure gauge reading:
- High pressure: Install a water pressure regulator on your water main. This tool ensures a maximum flow of 75 psi. Even if you already have a regulator, it’s wise to check the pressure regularly, as regulators can fail without obvious symptoms.
- Low pressure: To start off with, look over any current pressure regulators, which should be set to roughly 50 psi. Adjusting the screw on top generally helps to strengthen the flow. If a pressure regulator isn’t the issue, the problem may possibly be with the municipal water provider. In this case, installing a water pressure booster may increase the flow.
- Normal pressure: If your pressure is within the recommended range, no additional action is needed. Just keep in mind to test your water pressure periodically to ensure it stays within this range.
When to Call an Expert for Water Pressure Problems in the U.S.
If you’re uncertain about testing the water pressure on your own, or if you’ve found an issue that calls for professional attention, don’t hesitate to call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Our experienced plumbers can help you test your water pressure, diagnose issues and check to be sure that no fixtures have been negatively affected by high pressure. We can also help with outfitting your home with a pressure regulator or booster if needed. Thanks to our 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can trust us to fix the problem the first time around. The next time you face water pressure problems or other plumbing concerns in the U.S., call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to schedule an appointment. We’re here for you!
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