Does your home have high water pressure? Low water pressure is a common plumbing problem. Even though the opposite issue may sound like a shower-time solution, excessively high pressure can cause serious issues. Take a look at the things homeowners need to know about high water pressure, the red flags to watch out for, and the simple solutions.
What Is Normal Water Pressure?
A gentle trickle coming from your shower or a barely there drop from your sink’s faucet point to a low flow problem. While you can easily spot these issues, you may have more difficulty diagnosing high water pressure.
To understand the differences between high and low water pressure, you need to understand what normal values are. Water pressure is the force necessary to move water from one place to another. Most residential plumbing systems have a pressure between 40 and 80 pounds per square inch (or psi). Psi numbers at the upper end or above this range result in high water pressure.
What Are the Symptoms of High Water Pressure?
Is your shower powerfully uncomfortable? High water pressure is likely at fault. If you don’t have a new showerhead and the flow suddenly feels more like sharp shards than a flow of raindrops, it may have an excessive psi.
Along with the feel of your shower or sink flow, high water pressure can also cause other symptoms. These include leaky faucets, water that comes out in irregular spurts, quick loss of hot water, loud plumbing sounds, premature failure of appliances that use water (such as your clothes washer or a dishwasher), or pipe leaks.
Why Is High Water Pressure a Problem?
Discomfort is one of the primary problems high water creates. A high psi can make it difficult (if not impossible) to shower comfortably, wash your hands, or handwash your dishes. Even though high water pressure can make showering and washing painful, it can also cause problems for your home’s plumbing system.
If you fail to correct a high water pressure issue, the force could strain the plumbing system. Without the proper pressure, your pipes and water-using appliances could wear out quickly. This can result in leaks, burst pipes, or excessive wear and tear. High psi numbers can also cost you money in unnecessary water bills.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the static service pressure shouldn’t exceed 60 psi. This can help to reduce your home’s overall water use and prevent leaks. Low-flow fixtures such as showerheads, faucets, and toilets and those designated as water-efficient should fall under the 60 psi number.
How Can You Evaluate Your Home’s Water Pressure?
Again, you can often feel or see high water pressure. While you can easily feel the force of an excessive psi, you can’t judge the exact number. To better understand how high your home’s water pressure is, talk to a plumbing professional. A plumber can inspect your home’s system and determine the general pressure range.
What Can You Do About High Water Pressure?
Has the plumber verified your home has a high water pressure issue? A water pressure regulator valve can help to reduce the overall psi number in your home. The plumber can look for this valve. If the plumber can’t find the valve (meaning your home doesn’t have one) or the valve doesn’t work properly, they can install or replace it.
Valve installation or replacement isn’t a do-it-yourself job. While this service may seem easy, it requires a high level of knowledge and experience. The plumber will need to inspect the main water valve, the water-service support, distribution pipes, and other parts of your home’s plumbing system.
Do you need help with your home’s high water pressure issue? Contact Quality Plumbing for more information.