What Is Your Home’s Water Pressure?

Going through water pressure issues can be a real hassle. No matter if your shower has become a mere drizzle or your garden hose lacks its usual power, understanding and dealing with your home’s water pressure is crucial for getting things flowing again. Thankfully, evaluating your water pressure is a simple task that doesn’t require special training. Find out about the simple process of testing your water pressure at home, how to interpret the results and what a professional can do to address any irregularities you find.

Why Test Your Water Pressure?

Understanding your home’s water pressure is a way to make sure you’ll get a satisfying shower, but more importantly, it helps defend your plumbing system from damage. Similar to how you routinely check the oil in your car, assessing your water pressure a couple of times a year can prevent bigger problems in the future.

After all, low water pressure is aggravating, 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, is greater with high water pressure, potentially resulting in leaks and extensive water damage. Checking your water pressure and acting on the results can prevent these issues.

Tools You’ll Need to Test Water Pressure at Home

To start out, you need a common and affordable tool called a pressure gauge. These are easily available at hardware or home improvement shops. 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 potential to measure as high as 300 pounds per square inch (psi).

An Easy Guide to Testing Water Pressure

With a pressure gauge at the ready, you’re set to determine your home’s water pressure. Just follow these steps:

1. Preparation: First, ensure that all water outlets in your home are shut off. This includes faucets, showerheads, dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerator ice makers and sprinkler systems. Any water consumption while you are testing may alter your readings and give a false perception of low pressure.

2. Get out the pressure gauge: Attach the gauge to an outside faucet or hose bib. If your water is from a municipal source, connect it to the faucet that is as close as possible to the water meter for the most accurate reading. For homes that use a well system, affix it to a hose bib close to the well’s pressure tank.

3. Calculate the pressure: Tighten the gauge by hand and open the faucet all the way. Now, look at the readout to see the pressure. A recommended reading ranges from 45 to 55 psi. If your reading is below 40 psi or above 80 psi, it’s time to seek assistance.

Fixing Water Pressure Issues

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

  • High pressure: Install a water pressure regulator on your water main. This hardware keeps the pressure at a maximum flow of 75 psi. Even if you already have a regulator, it’s a good idea to test the pressure routinely, as regulators can fail without showing any signs.
  • Low pressure: To start off with, examine any existing pressure regulators, which should be set to roughly 50 psi. Adjusting the screw on top usually will increase flow. If a pressure regulator isn’t the culprit, the problem could be with the municipal water provider. In this case, using a water pressure booster may help.
  • Normal pressure: If your pressure has a reading that falls within the appropriate range, no additional action is necessary. Just remember to test your water pressure occasionally to ensure it stays within this range.

When to Reach Out to a Pro for Water Pressure Problems in the U.S.

If you’re unsure about testing the water pressure in your own home, or if you’ve found an issue that calls for professional attention, don’t hesitate to call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Our experienced plumbers can help you test your water pressure, diagnose problems and make sure no fixtures have been damaged by high pressure. We can also assist with installing a pressure regulator or booster if needed. 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 challenges in the U.S., call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to schedule an appointment. We’re here when you need us!