What Is Your Home’s Water Pressure?

Experiencing water pressure issues can be a real hassle. Whether your shower has become a mere drizzle or your garden hose lacks its usual force, understanding and dealing with your home’s water pressure is crucial for getting things flowing again. Thankfully, testing your water pressure is a straightforward task that doesn’t call for special training. Learn the simple process of testing your water pressure at home, how to interpret the results and what a professional can do to correct 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 helps defend your plumbing system from harm. Much like the way you regularly check the oil in your car, examining your water pressure a couple of times a year can prevent bigger problems down the road.

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 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. Checking your water pressure and making corrective actions after looking at the results can reduce the chance of your system experiencing these issues.

Necessary Equipment for an At-Home Water Pressure Test

To start out, you need a common and affordable tool called a pressure gauge. These are readily 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 means to measure up to 300 pounds per square inch (psi).

Detailed Guide to Testing Water Pressure

With a pressure gauge at your fingertips, you’re set to determine your home’s water pressure. Just follow these steps:

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

2. Hook up the pressure gauge: Attach the gauge to an outside faucet or hose bib. If your water is derived from a municipal source, connect it to the faucet that is as close as possible to the water meter to ensure the most accurate reading. For homes with a well system, affix it to a hose bib close to the well’s pressure tank.

3. Determine the pressure: Tighten the gauge by hand and open the faucet all the way. Now, examine the readout to determine the pressure. A preferred reading varies from 45 to 55 psi. If your reading is less than 40 psi or above 80 psi, it’s time to do something.

Addressing Water Pressure Abnormalities

Here are things you can do to fix high or low water pressure:

  • High pressure: Put a water pressure regulator on your water main. This device keeps the pressure at a maximum flow of 75 psi. Even if you already have a regulator, it’s a good idea to test the pressure on a regular basis, as these devices can fail without you knowing.
  • Low pressure: To begin with, inspect any current pressure regulators, which should be set to approximately 50 psi. Adjusting the screw on top should strengthen the flow. If a pressure regulator isn’t the culprit, the problem may possibly be with the municipal water supply. In this case, setting up a water pressure booster may help.
  • Normal pressure: If your pressure is within the recommended range, no more action is needed. Just don’t forget to test your water pressure regularly to ensure it continues to be within this range.

When to Reach Out to a Pro for Water Pressure Problems in the U.S.

If you’re uncertain 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 contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Our experienced plumbers can help you test your water pressure, diagnose what’s wrong and check to be sure that no fixtures have been negatively affected by high pressure. We can also help with putting in a pressure regulator or booster if that’s what your home needs. 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 challenges in the U.S., call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to schedule an appointment. We’re here when you need us!