Water pressure is normally referred to when there is a lack of it. You don’t often hear people complaining about their home having too much water pressure, but they should be. Your home’s water pressure is similar to blood pressure in the body. There is a range that is acceptable to keep all other systems running smoothly. When levels drop too low, there is a noticeable change. When levels climb too high, it can be detrimental to every part in the system.
When water pressure levels are too high in your home, it can cause irreversible damage to pipes and appliances, and make your water bill outrageously expensive. High water pressure stresses pipes, leading to tiny pinhole leaks that leak intermittently, meaning they are hard to detect. It can also be damaging to appliances such as your water heater and dishwasher. The damage may not be noticeable at first, but it will significantly decrease the life your appliances.
Now that you know how damaging high water pressure can be, you’re probably wondering how to tell when it’s too high. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to tell by the pressure coming out of your water fixtures. Does the water seem to come out more forcefully in your home than your friends’ homes? Do overnight guests comment how great the water pressure in your shower is? Then you may have high water pressure.
Another tell-tale sign is when you can hear a banging in your pipes. This noise is referred to as a ‘water hammer’ by most plumbers and is caused by high water pressure. Toilets running intermittently when they aren’t in use is another sign of high water pressure.
Still not sure? You can visit your local hardware store and purchase a water pressure gauge. Follow the instructions included and if your water pressure is higher than 80 psi, then you have high water pressure and need to be on the lookout for the signs of wear mentioned above.
Now you may be wondering, why does your home have high water pressure? The most likely culprit is your local water company. Sometimes they have to keep the pressure higher in certain areas to accommodate increased demand, such as fire hydrants and taller buildings. Another likely reason could be because your home is located at the bottom of a hill. Water naturally runs downward, meaning the water picks up momentum coming down the hill from the main water line.
If you purchase a water pressure regulator, you can temporarily ensure the pressure in your home is at a safe level. However, you may want to look into having your local plumber come out for a consultation as they will likely have a better idea for a long-term fix. As always, we’re just a phone call or comment away for any questions you may have!