What Is Your Home’s Water Pressure?

Having water pressure issues can be a real pain in the neck. Whether your shower has become a mere drizzle or your garden hose lacks its usual intensity, understanding and managing your home’s water pressure is required for getting things flowing again. Fortunately, evaluating your water pressure is a straightforward task that doesn’t require 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 fix any irregularities you find.

Why Test Your Water Pressure?

Understanding your home’s water pressure ensures a satisfying shower, but more importantly, it protects your plumbing system from harm. Just like you routinely check the oil in your car, getting a read on your water pressure a few times a year can prevent bigger problems down the road.

After all, low water pressure is irritating, but high water pressure can really 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 making corrective actions after looking at the results can help avoid 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 often available at hardware or home improvement shops. 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 means to measure up to 300 pounds per square inch (psi).

An Easy Guide to Testing Water Pressure

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

1. Preparation: First, ensure that all water outlets in your residence are switched off. This includes faucets, showerheads, dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerator ice makers and sprinkler systems. Any water usage throughout testing may affect your readings and give a false impression of low pressure.

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

3. Determine 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. An ideal reading ranges from 45 to 55 psi. If your reading is lower than 40 psi or higher than 80 psi, it’s time to do something.

Fixing Water Pressure Abnormalities

Here are the steps you should take depending on your pressure gauge reading:

  • High pressure: Set up 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 wise to test the pressure routinely, as equipment can fail without you knowing.
  • Low pressure: First, examine any pre-existing pressure regulators, which should be set to roughly 50 psi. Adjusting the screw on top generally helps to increase flow. If a pressure regulator isn’t the culprit, the problem may possibly be with the municipal water supply. In this case, using a water pressure booster may help.
  • Normal pressure: If your pressure is within the ideal range, no further action is necessary. Just don’t forget to test your water pressure periodically to ensure it remains 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 yourself, or if you’ve found an issue that needs professional attention, don’t hesitate to contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Our skilled plumbers can help you test your water pressure, diagnose what’s wrong and make sure no fixtures have been damaged by high pressure. We can also give you a hand in installing a pressure regulator or booster if needed. Thanks to our 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can count 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 for you!