Tips to Help Test Your Home’s Water Pressure
Having water pressure issues can be a real pain in the neck. Regardless if your shower has become a mere drizzle or your garden hose lacks its usual gusto, understanding and dealing with your home’s water pressure is necessary for getting things flowing again. Fortunately, testing your water pressure is a simple task that doesn’t demand 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 address any irregularities you find.
Why Is It a Good Idea to Check Your Home’s Water Pressure?
Understanding your home’s water pressure ensures a satisfying shower, but more importantly, it protects your plumbing system from deterioration. 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 in the future.
After all, low water pressure is irritating, but high water pressure can significantly 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 leading to leaks and extensive water damage. Checking your water pressure and making corrective actions after looking at 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 inexpensive tool called a pressure gauge. These are readily available at hardware or home improvement stores. When selecting 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 your fingertips, you’re set to assess your home’s water pressure. Just follow these steps:
1. Preparation: First, make sure that all water outlets in your home are turned off. Make sure you check the following: faucets, showerheads, dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerator ice makers and sprinkler systems. Any water use while you are testing may affect your readings and give a false perception of low pressure.
2. Hook up the pressure gauge: Attach the gauge to an exterior faucet or hose bib. If your water is derived from a municipal source, connect it to the faucet that is as close as possible to the water meter to get the most accurate reading. For homes connected to a well system, affix it to a hose bib close to the well’s pressure tank.
3. Measure the pressure: Tighten the gauge by hand and open the faucet to the max. Now, check the readout to find the pressure. A recommended reading ranges from 45 to 55 psi. If your reading is lower than 40 psi or greater than 80 psi, it’s time to seek assistance.
Addressing Water Pressure Abnormalities
Here are things you can do to fix high or low water pressure:
- High pressure: Set up a water pressure regulator on your water main. This hardware ensures a maximum flow of 75 psi. Even if you already have a regulator, it’s smart to test the pressure on a regular basis, as equipment can fail without you knowing.
- Low pressure: First, inspect any current pressure regulators, which should be set to around 50 psi. Adjusting the screw on top should strengthen the flow. If a pressure regulator isn’t the issue, the problem could be with the municipal water provider. In this situation, setting up a water pressure booster may increase the flow.
- Normal pressure: If your pressure has a reading that falls within the ideal range, no further action is necessary. Just keep in mind to test your water pressure occasionally to ensure it stays within this range.
When to Seek Professional Help for Water Pressure Problems in the U.S.
If you’re unsure about testing the water pressure on your own, or if you’ve discovered an issue that needs professional evaluation, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Our skilled plumbers can help you test your water pressure, diagnose problems and check to be sure that no fixtures have been damaged by high pressure. We can also help with putting in a pressure regulator or booster if that’s what your home needs. Thanks to our 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can trust us to make the proper adjustments the first time around. The next time you have water pressure problems or other plumbing challenges in the U.S., call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to schedule an appointment. We’re here when you need us!
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