What Is Your Home’s Water Pressure?

Dealing with water pressure issues can be a real hassle. 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 required for getting things flowing again. Thankfully, checking your water pressure is an easy task that doesn’t require 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 Test Your Water Pressure?

Knowing your home’s water pressure is a way to make sure you’ll get a satisfying shower, but more importantly, it helps defend your plumbing system from damage. Much like the way you regularly check the oil in your car, getting a read on your water pressure once or twice a year can prevent bigger problems later on.

After all, low water pressure is aggravating, but high water pressure can actually damage your plumbing system, including pipe connections, water heaters and appliances. The possibility of blowouts in flexible lines, like those connecting to your washing machine and dishwasher, increases with high water pressure, potentially leading to leaks and extensive water damage. Testing your water pressure and acting on the results can prevent these issues.

Necessary Equipment for an At-Home Water Pressure Test

To start out, you need a basic and affordable tool called a pressure gauge. These are easily available at hardware or home improvement retailers. When picking out 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 many as 300 pounds per square inch (psi).

Detailed Guide to Testing Water Pressure

With a pressure gauge at your fingertips, you’re set to assess the water pressure. Just take these steps:

1. Preparation: First, ensure 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 throughout testing may alter your readings and give a false indication of low pressure.

2. Connect the pressure gauge: Attach the gauge to an exterior faucet or hose bib. If your water is 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, attach it to a hose bib near the well’s pressure tank.

3. Measure the pressure: Tighten the gauge by hand and open the faucet to the max. Now, examine the readout to determine the pressure. An ideal reading runs from 45 to 55 psi. If your reading is below 40 psi or above 80 psi, it’s time to take action.

Resolving Water Pressure Problems

Here are remedies to solve water pressure problems:

  • High pressure: Set up 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 smart to test the pressure routinely, as these devices can fail without showing any signs.
  • Low pressure: First, look over any pre-existing pressure regulators, which should be set to roughly 50 psi. Adjusting the screw on top generally helps to improve flow. If a pressure regulator isn’t the culprit, the problem might be with the municipal water provider. In this situation, installing a water pressure booster may aid in raising the pressure.
  • Normal pressure: If your pressure falls in the appropriate range, no further action is necessary. Just remember 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 not feeling very confident about testing the water pressure on your own, or if you’ve identified an issue that needs professional evaluation, don’t hesitate to call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Our talented plumbers can help you test your water pressure, diagnose what’s wrong and ensure no fixtures have been damaged by high pressure. We can also give you a hand in installing a pressure regulator or booster if that’s what your home needs. Thanks to our 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can rely on us to make the correct fix 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 when you need us!