How To Reduce Your Water Pressure
Most people prefer their water pressure to be higher rather than lower. After all, having a nice flow of water in the shower or coming from your sink's faucet can make you feel like you're really getting clean!
But the problem is that if your water pressure is TOO high, it can cause some problems.
- Your water bill may end up being twice as much compared to if your water pressure was reduced a bit.
- High water pressure can put excessive wear and tear on your water pipes.
- The lifespan of your appliances such as dishwasher, washing machine and water heater could be decreased.
So, you'll end up paying more not only for your water bill, but for eventually repairing pipes that have been worn down and for new appliances to replace the ones that weren't able to last as long simply because your water pressure was set too high.
In case you aren't sure what "too high" is - your water pressure should not be higher than 80 psi.
Recommended water pressure in a home is 55 PSI; the Georgia Plumbing Code lists the maximum safe allowable pressure at 80 PSI in any building. Most faucet, toilet and water heater manufacturers void their warranties when water pressure exceeds 80 PSI, and if you have a home warranty, some warranty companies void your coverage if your home has excessive pressure.
To Reduce Your Water Pressure
In most cases, all you will need to reduce your home's water pressure is a Water Pressure Regulator. Now, these are considered a safety feature and are currently required by code here in Georgia so it's likely that you already have one installed.
If so, then you will need to have it tested to make sure that it's still working. If it's not, you can simply replace it. There are several different types of water pressure regulators and we would recommend that you consult with a professional plumber on which one to use and install.
The life expectancy of a water pressure regulator is most commonly in the range of 10 to 15 years. However, you will see a regulator malfunction at 3 years and you will see a regulator still working at 20 years old. Most manufacturers recommend swapping the valve every 5 years and most plumbing contractors would suggest you change the valve every 10 years.
Further down in this article we tell you the 3 most common causes of high water pressure and it may be that the water pressure regulator may not solve your problem. This is when you will need a plumber to come in and assess the situation and help you to come up with a solution.
What Causes High Water Pressure?
The cause could be a problem with your water pressure regulator or your thermal expansion relief device. It could also be the location of your home - if it's at the bottom of a hill.
Here are the most common causes of high water pressure...
- If you are on city water, call a neighbor or two and see if the same thing has happened to them. If so, it may be that your water company (for whatever reason) increased their distribution pressure.
- If the high water pressure only lasts a few seconds, then it may be that you are having a problem with your expansion tank (if you have one installed).
- If the water pressure remains high the entire time your water is running, then the problem may be with your water pressure regulator.
How To Test Your Home's Water Pressure
Testing your water pressure is really a very simple and inexpensive task. In fact, it's one of the easiest home maintenance tasks you can do yourself.
Here are the steps.
- Purchase a pressure gauge at your local hardware store or online. Here's one at Amazon.
- Go to an outside faucet and attach the pressure gauge to the faucet.
- Make sure the needle of the pressure gauge is at 0.
- Turn on the faucet and see where the needle goes up to. It should be no lower than 45 psi (pounds per square inch) and no higher than 80 psi.
- Repeat this process with several (or all) the faucets in your home.
If you find out that your water pressure is above 80 psi - then it's time to take some steps to reduce that number. We repeat that the recommended water pressure in a home here in Georgia is 55 PSI.
We hope that the information in this article has been helpful for you.
If you have any questions about water pressure or are having some problems with it, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-443-8229. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.