As a homeowner, there are a few routine tasks you should do to keep your household in tip-top shape. That includes putting new batteries of your smoke detectors twice a year and replacing the air filter in your furnace or air conditioner every few months. Here’s another one to add to your list – testing your water pressure.
Having the proper water pressure is important for your personal comfort and the health of your plumbing. Even if you don’t think you have a water pressure problem, it’s a good idea to test it periodically to make sure. It’s inexpensive, quick, and easy. In this article, we’ll show you how.
Why water pressure is important
In our experience, customers typically know when the water pressure is too low. It’s pretty easy to notice when it takes longer to shower or wash dishes because of weak water flow.
On the other end of the spectrum, water pressure can also be too high, which puts extra wear and tear on your plumbing and appliances. This could cost you money for unplanned repairs or water damage to your home if a pipe bursts.
So how can you make sure you have the right amount of pressure? It’s actually very easy to check. All you’ll need is a water pressure gauge. This product should be less than $15 and can be found at most plumbing supply or home improvement stores. Once you have a gauge, follow these simple steps.
Steps for testing your water pressure
- Make sure that the water isn’t running inside or outside of your home. That includes turning off all faucets and showerheads, as well as appliances like the washing machine, dishwasher, and sprinkler system.
- Find the outdoor faucet (also known as a hose bibb) that is closest to your water meter (for municipal water) or pressure tank (for a well system).
- Attach the water pressure gauge to the hose bibb. It will screw on like you are installing a hose. Make sure the gauge is on tight enough to create a good seal.
- Turn on the faucet. If water leaks out, turn off the faucet and retighten the gauge with your hands or pliers.
- Once you have a tight seal and the water is running, look at the gauge and make a note of the reading.
The recommended water pressure for a home is between 45 and 55 pounds per square inch (PSI). If your reading is outside of that range, you should address the issue.
What to do if your water pressure is too low?
If the pressure gauge shows a reading under 40, your water pressure is too low. If your home already has a pressure regulator, you can adjust it to increase the PSI. Another solution is to have a water pressure booster installed where the main water line enters the home.
What to do if your water pressure is too high?
To reduce the excess stress on your plumbing, you can have a water pressure regulator installed in your home. This device allows you to set a maximum PSI for water that enters your pipes. If you already have a regulator, check to make sure that it is set properly and hasn’t malfunctioned – it may need to be replaced.
It’s a good idea to check the water pressure in your home a few times a year, or if you notice any changes or issues that could be explained by incorrect pressure.
If you have any questions about your water pressure or related plumbing issues, don’t hesitate to call Reichelt Plumbing Inc. at (219) 322-4906. We have a team of licensed plumbers ready to help any way we can.