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A Step By Step Guide on Water Pressure and How to Test it at Your Home

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Oct 15, 2021

In plumbing, one of the best ways to assure a smooth supply of water in all fixtures is to get regular checks for pressure, leaks and blockages in your pipes. While leaks and blocks show obvious signs and warnings, identifying problems with water pressure can get a tad tricky. Dribbling showers, slow supply of water when multiple fixtures are turned on are a few of the obvious aftermaths of faulty pressures. Sometimes the reason for pressure issues could be because of faulty installation of valves, poor pipe sizing, defective plumbing design etc. An expert and experienced plumber can address these quickly and efficiently.

Read on to know everything about water pressure and also a list of things you can check and have on your property to help you take care of your home and your plumbing system better.

What is the Ideal Water Pressure for Homes?

Any reading below 40 pounds of pressure per square inch (PSI) is considered low water pressure, and above 80 PSI is too much. In most cases of low water pressure, it might seem adequately pressurized when only one water outlet is being used. But the moment, more outlets are opened; there is a serious drop in the water flow and speed. On the other hand, high water pressure increases the threat of a burst pipe and damage to your mixers and plumbing connections. For most properties, the ideal water pressure is anywhere between 40 and 60 PSI, with 50 PSI being the most recommended.

Testing Water Pressure at Your Home

It is, in fact, simple and inexpensive to test water pressure at your home. All you need is a pressure gauge that is available in all hardware or home improvement stores. You need to look for those with female hose threads for effortless setup, a rubber gasket to form a tight seal, and a capacity to measure up to 300 pounds PSI. Once you have the right pressure gauge, you can proceed to check the water pressure.

1. Preparation

The first step is to ensure that all water outlets and fixtures are turned off. The most accurate reading is captured when there is no water moving within your plumbing system, or else it may result in a faulty or low-pressure reading.

2. Set up

Fix the gauge to a water outlet or hose outside your property. For water connections from a municipal source, choose the ones nearest to the water meter and if it is a private/ public well, go for the hose bib closest to the well’s pressure tank.

3. Measure

Once you tighten the gauge and completely release the faucet all the way, measure the value shown in the gauge and determine the pressure.If the reading shows values anywhere between 45 and 55 PSI, you have nothing to worry about. However, if the values are lower than 40 PSI or higher than 80, you should call your plumber immediately to take necessary actions.

Examine the Water Flow Rate

The flow rate is calculated on the gallons of water per minute (GPM) that is released from the pipes over a period of time. On average, a household consumes 100 to 120 gallons of water per person per day, therefore the ideal flow rate of water is considered to be around 6 to 12 GPM.

Adjusting the Pressure Using Valves

To counter the issues with unprecedented high pressure in the pipes, many households install pressure-reducing valves. This is a quick and effective remedy to adjust water pressure and is placed on the main water supply pipe. The threaded bolt is adjusted to raise and reduce the pressure to the required rate. Do not forget to monitor the pressure gauge to determine the proper water pressure, which again, is around 50 PSI.

Install a Pressure Booster

Truth be told, there is no competition on which water pressure issue causes more troubles, both are equally troublesome and bothersome. One of the most relied-on methods to increase water pressure when all other methods have failed is to install a water pressure booster pump. These devices are compact in design but powerful in performance. They cut into the water-supply line and turbo-charge the incoming pressure and raise it to the required level. Please note that this equipment is easily available in the market and an experienced plumber can install one that is best for your property.