Most of the time, we homeowners don’t really pay attention to the PSI (pounds per square inch) of our home’s water pressure. At least not until there’s a problem.
The thing about water pressure in your home is that there is a normal, or average range. Normal PSI for a house should be anywhere between 30 and 80 psi. While you don’t want a pressure that is lower than the lower end of this range, having a pressure higher than the upper limit can lead to problems, not to mention violating local and national codes.
Stay with us as we review what the normal PSI for a house should be and how you can keep an eye on it. We’ll also discuss what to do if it falls outside the range.
What Is the Normal PSI for House Water?
According to the International Code Council, the static water pressure for a home should not be greater than 80 psi. This is also the pressure limit set by most municipal water suppliers. If the static water pressure in your home exceeds 80 psi, an approved pressure-reducing valve conforming to ASSE 1003 or CSA B356 must be installed in order for your system to comply with the local plumbing code.
But don’t worry, we will try to help you out on how you can fix this if your pressure is too high in the later section.
What Happens if House Water Pressure Is Too High?
Now let’s talk about what can happen if your house water pressure is too high. Just like any plumbing system, the higher the pressure means the higher the strain on the system.
First, you might experience leaking pipes. That’s because the extra pressure caused by higher-than-normal PSI can cause older pipes to deteriorate faster and wear out more quickly. Even for some who just get their pipes installed, higher water pressure can lead to leaks if the pipes aren’t properly secured and supported.
High water pressure can also cause the seals in pipes to break. This can lead to problems like uncontrolled water flow and even flooding in extreme cases.
Appliances that use water such as dishwashers, washing machines, and even toilets can also be affected by higher-than-normal water pressure. That’s because high water pressure can make the valves in these appliances wear out faster, leading to leaks and other water damage.
Hoses and other internal components can also be affected by higher PSI, leading to costly repairs or even having to replace the appliances altogether.
High Water Bills
Lastly, high water pressure can lead to higher water bills. This is a pretty straightforward consequence, as higher water pressure means more water will be flowing through the pipes and out of your faucets.
What Happens if Water Pressure Is Too Low?
But what about low water pressure? Well, just like too much pressure can cause problems, so can not enough.
Unsatisfactory Water Flow
Imagine having a shower with almost no water pressure. You would have to stay in there for a long time while barely any water is coming out! Low water pressure can also make it hard to do basic tasks like washing dishes or clothes.
Since the flow of the water in your pipes barely moves, it can lead to the accumulation of sediment and dirt, which can clog your pipes. This is especially for those who have hard water in their homes.
Low water pressure can also lead to mold growth in pipes and appliances. This is because the low flow of water cannot remove moisture from these places, leading to damp and humid areas in which mold can form.
How Can You Fix High or Low Water Pressure?
While having a pressure-reducing valve is the smartest way to deal with high water pressure, there are some ways you can fix high water pressure in your home.
If you have a pressure-reducing valve installed in your home, you can adjust the water pressure by simply turning the adjustment knob. You can increase or decrease the water pressure depending on what works best for your household’s needs.
Check and Clean Pipes
Low water pressure could be caused by clogged, dirty pipes. To fix this, you could try to clean out your pipes by flushing them with pressurized air or even a power washer.
Check and Replace Fixtures
Lastly, check the fixtures in your home such as showerheads and faucets. Sometimes faulty or clogged fixtures can lead to low water pressure. Replacing these fixtures can help increase the PSI of the water in your home.
How to Properly Check Your Home Water Pressure
In most cases, you can notice if there’s something wrong with your water pressure simply by turning on a faucet or showerhead. But for more accurate readings, it would be best to use a pressure gauge. This device can measure the exact PSI of your water and tell you if it falls within the normal range.
Step 1: Turn Off All Water Appliances
Before taking a reading, make sure all water appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, and faucets are off. This will ensure that the pressure is not affected by any other appliance currently in use.
Step 2: Attach the Pressure Gauge to an Outdoor Faucet
Next, attach the pressure gauge to an outdoor faucet. This is because outdoor faucets usually have the highest pressure in a home. After attaching, turn on the faucet until you feel steady, constant pressure.
Step 3: Take a Reading
Once everything is secure and ready, take a reading by noting down the PSI number that appears on the gauge’s display. Depending on your local regulations, the number should be between 40 and 80 psi. Also, make sure to check for any fluctuations when you take a reading.
Step 4: Turn Off the Faucet
Once you have taken your reading, turn off the faucet and remove the pressure gauge from the outdoor tap.
Ensuring that your home water pressure is in the right range is essential for a healthy and functional plumbing system. If your home water pressure exceeds 80 psi, you must install an approved pressure-reducing valve in order to be compliant with the local plumbing code. And if your water pressure is too low, make sure to check and clean your pipes or replace any faulty fixtures.
In any case, it would always be best to get professional help in order to diagnose the issue and determine the best solution for your home. If you are in Mesa, AZ, and other nearby areas, we at P&L Plumbing can help you with all of your plumbing needs.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment!