What Is Your Home’s Water Pressure?

Experiencing water pressure issues can be a real nuisance. Whether your shower has become a mere drizzle or your garden hose lacks its usual intensity, understanding and maintaining your home’s water pressure is necessary for getting things flowing again. Thankfully, testing your water pressure is a straightforward task that doesn’t demand 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 fix any problems you find.

Why Test Your Water Pressure?

Getting educated about your home’s water pressure ensures a satisfying shower, but more importantly, it helps defend your plumbing system from damage. Similar to how you consistently check the oil in your car, examining your water pressure a few times a year can prevent bigger problems in the future.

After all, low water pressure is annoying, but high water pressure can significantly 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 causing leaks and extensive water damage. Evaluating your water pressure and taking appropriate steps based on the results can reduce the chance of your system experiencing these issues.

Tools You’ll Need to Test Water Pressure at Home

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 retailers. 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 ability to measure up to 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 check your home’s water pressure. Just follow these steps:

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

2. Hook up the pressure gauge: Attach the gauge to an outside faucet or hose bib. If your water comes from a municipal source, connect it to the faucet nearest to the water meter to get the most accurate reading. For homes connected to 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 as far as it will go. Now, check the readout to determine the pressure. A preferred reading ranges from 45 to 55 psi. If your reading is less than 40 psi or higher than 80 psi, it’s time to take action.

Fixing Water Pressure Problems

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

  • High pressure: Put 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 a good idea to review the pressure routinely, as these devices can fail without obvious symptoms.
  • Low pressure: To start off with, look over any pre-existing pressure regulators, which should be set to about 50 psi. Adjusting the screw on top generally helps to improve flow. If a pressure regulator isn’t the culprit, the problem could be with the municipal water supply. In this case, using a water pressure booster may increase the flow.
  • Normal pressure: If your pressure has a reading that falls within the recommended range, no further action is necessary. Just don’t forget to test your water pressure periodically 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 not sure about testing the water pressure yourself, or if you’ve found an issue that needs professional repair, don’t hesitate to call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Our experienced plumbers can help you test your water pressure, diagnose issues and ensure no fixtures have been damaged by high pressure. We can also help with installing a pressure regulator or booster if that’s what your home needs. Thanks to our 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can count on us to fix the problem 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 to help!

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