Maintaining proper water pressure in the home is a lot more important than many homeowners realise. If your water pressure is too high or too low then this can result in several issues.
In this guide, I’ll talk you through how to recognise if there’s a problem with your water pressure and what to do about it.
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How To Tell If Your Water Pressure Is Too High
When you live in a property, there are some things that become the norm such as the house making noises. But did you know that this could be a sign that there’s something wrong with your water pressure?
It’s important to keep an eye on everything in your home so looking out for the following signs might tell you everything you need to know and whether your water pressure is too high.
- Recurring leaks from your fixtures or your appliances
- Knocking or banging sounds from the plumbing system
- Appliances constantly breaking down
- Damage to lines or hoses such as hole, leaks and cracks
- Dishwashers, water heaters and washers being short lived
- Issues with your toilet
- A spitting sound coming from the tap when it is turned on
What Problems Can High Water Pressure Cause?
While the signs above can point to high water pressure, they’re not always immediately obvious so a lot of people carry on blissfully unaware. But if high water pressure isn’t detected and dealt with then it can cause some major problems to your plumbing which could be expensive to repair.
Things like appliances not lasting as long as they should, leaks, noisy pipes and other things are all a result of the force of the water pressure which can easily cause damage.
How To Tell If Your Water Pressure Is Too Low
Conversely, you may have issues with low water pressure but again, you won’t know that this is the case if you aren’t able to identify the issue. Here is what you’ll need to look out for.
- Pipes leaking
- Rusting or corrosion of the pipe
- A build up of minerals
- The shut off valve or regulator malfunctions
- Water distribution is poor
- Pipes become clogged or blocked
What Problems Can Low Water Pressure Cause?
If your water pressure is low then it can disrupt your everyday life. For example, your washing machine may take longer to fill up or your shower’s flow won’t be as good so scrubbing up in the morning can take longer. You may also notice that the performance of appliances like your dishwasher isn’t up to expectation.
In houses where the water pressure is low, it’s also not uncommon for the taps to drain properly. This is what causes that mineral build up and problems with rust and corrosion.
What Is The Correct Water Pressure For My Home?
You usually find that homeowners don’t worry too much if they have high water pressure as this doesn’t cause as much disruption to their day to day lives as low pressure does. However, high pressure can often be much more damaging to the plumbing system in the long run so it’s really important to make sure that your water pressure is at the right level.
Generally speaking, 60 psi is considered to be normal water pressure for a domestic property. However, it may be up to 80 psi and still be safe. Any higher than this and that’s when you start having problems with your toilets, heaters and appliances because the force of the water puts your plumbing system under a lot of stress.
What Can Cause Incorrect Water Pressure In The Home?
There are a few things that could cause the water pressure in your home to be knocked off kilter. For example, if you have leaking taps or pipes or a running toilet, this can affect the water pressure.
Where there are severe issues with water pressure in the home, this may be because the plumbing pipes are too old. When pipes age, things like corrosion can cause issues which is why they should be periodically replaced. When choosing new pipes, it’s much better to opt for plastic over the old copper pipes as corrosion won’t be an issue with this material.
If your water pressure is too high then this could be a result of thermal expansion from your water heater. I’d recommend hiring a professional plumber to assess the situation and advise on how to move forward.
How Do I Test The Water Pressure In My House?
It’s easy to see why monitoring and maintaining good water pressure is a must in the home but how do you test it?
The good news is that it’s pretty simple and requires nothing more than a test gauge which you can pick up online or from a DIY store.
What To Do If The Water Pressure Is Not Right?
If the water pressure in your home is not right, don’t be tempted to try and rectify the problem yourself. This is a technical issue that should be dealt with by a professional plumber and in some cases, you may even need to get your water supply company involved.
However, if you do notice that there is a problem with the water pressure then you may be able to take a look at the pressure regulator and adjust this yourself. Not all homes have a regulator but if yours does then you’ll find it close to the shut off valve and you may also notice a gauge that shows the water pressure. In this situation, it’s merely a case of adjusting the pressure using the regulator.
However, if this isn’t the case then you will need to call in the pros who can safely assess and repair any problems. For example, if you have high water pressure then your plumber may be able to fit a pressure reducing valve which will automatically adjust the water pressure; a good fix in homes where the pressure often goes up and down.
Proper water pressure is really important and this cannot be understated. If it’s too high or too low then this can cause long term damage to your plumbing system which is expensive to repair.
There are signs that there is an issue with your water pressure and these will differ depending on whether the pressure is high or low. If you do notice any problems, it’ll likely be the case that you need to employ the skills of a professional to safely and effectively deal with the issue.