What Is Your Home’s Water Pressure?

Going through water pressure problems can be a real nuisance. Whether your shower has become a mere drizzle or your garden hose lacks its usual gusto, understanding and managing your home’s water pressure is necessary for getting things flowing again. The good thing is, testing your water pressure is a simple task that doesn’t demand special training. Find out about the simple process of testing your water pressure at home, how to understand the results and what a professional can do to fix any problems you find.

Why Is It a Good Idea to Check Your Home’s Water Pressure?

Getting educated about your home’s water pressure ensures a satisfying shower, but more importantly, it shields your plumbing system from deterioration. Just like you consistently check the oil in your car, assessing your water pressure a couple of times a year can prevent bigger problems down the road.

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. Testing your water pressure and taking appropriate steps based on the results can prevent these issues.

Necessary Equipment for an At-Home Water Pressure Test

To start off this project, you need a simple and affordable tool called a pressure gauge. These are often available at hardware or home improvement stores. When selecting 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 assess your home’s water pressure. Just use these steps:

1. Preparation: First, ensure that all water outlets in your household are turned off. This includes faucets, showerheads, dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerator ice makers and sprinkler systems. Any water use during testing may affect your readings and give a false indication of low pressure.

2. Connect the pressure gauge: Attach the gauge to an external faucet or hose bib. If your water comes from a municipal source, connect it to the faucet nearest to the water meter to ensure the most accurate reading. For homes that use a well system, connect it to a hose bib near the well’s pressure tank.

3. Calculate the pressure: Tighten the gauge by hand and open the faucet to the max. Now, check the readout to see the pressure. A suitable reading varies from 45 to 55 psi. If your reading is lower than 40 psi or greater than 80 psi, it’s time to take action.

Resolving Water Pressure Abnormalities

Here are remedies to solve water pressure problems:

  • High pressure: Set up a water pressure regulator on your water main. This tool restricts your water pressure to a maximum flow of 75 psi. Even if you already have a regulator, it’s wise to test the pressure regularly, as equipment can fail without you knowing.
  • Low pressure: To start off with, inspect any existing pressure regulators, which should be set to around 50 psi. Adjusting the screw on top generally helps to strengthen the flow. If a pressure regulator isn’t the culprit, the problem could be with the municipal water supply. In this case, installing a water pressure booster may help.
  • Normal pressure: If your pressure is within the appropriate range, no additional action is required. Just keep in mind to test your water pressure regularly to ensure it continues to be within this range.

When to Call an Expert for Water Pressure Problems in the U.S.

If you’re unsure about testing the water pressure in your own home, or if you’ve identified an issue that calls for professional evaluation, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Our skilled plumbers can help you test your water pressure, diagnose problems and ensure no fixtures have been harmed by high pressure. We can also help with outfitting your home with a pressure regulator or booster if that’s what your home needs. Thanks to our 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can rely on us to fix the problem the first time around. The next time you have 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 when you need us!