No one likes weak water pressure at the faucet, but if you’re enjoying showers with pressure as strong as a waterfall, you might want to dial it down. High water pressure can actually be a bigger nuisance for you and your home than a slow flow. If you’ve been noticing a drip in your faucet or have a toilet that runs, your home might be taking a beating with high pressured water.
Problems with Water Pressure
High water pressure increases your water bill and messes with the efficiency and lifespan of your home’s water-using appliances. Water softeners, washing machines, and hot water heaters all rely on proper flow rate. Water pressure that measures too high (above 80 psi) can wreak havoc on your pipes, too.
When high-pressured water rushes into your home, it puts your entire plumbing system at risk. Every time you turn a faucet on or off, the water in your pipes surges like a wave. And if the surge is strong enough, you might hear a banging noise in your walls from the pipes shifting. This problem is called “water hammer.” When left untreated, it can cause your pipes to break or burst.
Home Water Pressure Tests
As a general rule, water pressure for a residential home should measure 80 psi. If you’re not sure what your home’s water pressure is, you can check it with a pressure gauge. (About any hardware or home improvement store will carry them.) Using a pressure gauge is a quick way to know whether the pressure is low or too high, but keep in mind that flow rates can fluctuate.
It’s important to take multiple readings for an accurate measurement. Even if daytime pressure readings looks good, your water pressure might be spiking at night, when less water is being used in your area. Testing at different times will help tell you if you home needs a water pressure regulator. It’s a surefire way to keep your water pressure in check.
A pressure regulator can be easily installed by a plumber. The device fits onto your home’s main water supply and does just what its name says—it regulates the flow of water coming into your home. It stops huge water spikes and keeps the pressure within a safe range for your pipes and appliances.
Installing a water pressure regulator is a quick fix for a potentially major problem. When your water is flowing at the right rate, you get the best of both worlds. You can enjoy a well-pressured shower and still keep your pipes, fixtures, and water-using machines safe and sound.
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