Did you know water pressure affects our comfort and can cause daily annoyance if it is not set within a good range? Check out these tips to test and make sure the water pressure in your home is comfortable for you!
Most often people are frustrated by water pressure that is too low to give an invigorating shower or to fill receptacles quickly. Conversely, water pressure that is set too high can damage household utilities and appliances. You can test the pressure delivered to your overall house with a water pressure gauge. A pressure test tells you if the problem affects the entire household or if it’s isolated to one appliance or part of the home. If the gauge measures good pressure but the faucet still trickles and the toilet still fills too slowly, it could be the faucet’s aerator and the toilet’s fill valve causing the problem.
Whether you have a public or private water supply, its pressure is regulated to enter the house and go-to appliances. For example, if a person has city water, it flows through the main pipe at a pressure so high it would literally blow out our sink, washing machine, toilet, and other utilities. Usually, you’d have a person inside or near the house to test the pressure as tiny, incremental adjustments are made to the regulator. Private wells usually have a pump that can be adjusted to increase the household pressure. A pressure regulator is a dome-shaped brass fitting that generally is found just past the main shutoff valve where the main water line enters the house. It usually has an adjustment screw on top. Inside, a water pressure regulator has a variable spring-loaded diaphragm that automatically widens and narrows depending on the amount of pressure the water has entering the valve. A water pressure regulator (sometimes called a pressure-reducing valve, or PRV) is a specialized plumbing valve that reduces the pressure of the water coming into the home through the main water line. This valve brings down the pressure to a safe level before the water reaches any plumbing fixtures inside the home. If a pressure regulator is set incorrectly or defective (broken) you could have a problem with the pressure of your water within your home.
To determine if you need a water pressure regulator, test the water pressure of the main water supply to your house. You can buy a simple, effective pressure gauge at local hardware or a home improvement store. Screw the pressure gauge onto any hose bib or washing machine faucet and turn on the cold water tap to measure the water pressure. If the pressure is between 40 and 60 psi usually, then you should be fine, but water pressure that is frequently above 80 psi is probably causing excessive stress on pipes, fittings, and fixtures. City water pressure can fluctuate considerably, often increasing at night when the overall load goes down, so make sure to test at various times of the day. And during the test, make sure that water isn’t being used anywhere else in the house, such as at garden spigots or appliances. If you need help fixing the pressure of your water you can reach out, or use our virtual consults feature!