It is not uncommon, especially in older homes, to hear about low water pressure problems. If you are taking a shower and someone else in the house turns on a faucet or flushes the toilet, suddenly your shower’s water pressure becomes weak, it’s time to check your home’s water supply system pressure. Chances are it’s not going to be high enough.
Water pressure that is too low can be a nuisance for showering, but it can also cause your water-using appliances to not function properly. Unfortunately, water pressure that is too HIGH may also damage your home’s equipment.
Like a human’s body with high blood pressure, it needs to be regulated or fixed or it could become a serious problem.
If you suspect you have water pressure problems in your home, the first step is to find out if it is affecting only your house or your nearby neighbors. If they also have low or highwater pressure, there may not be much you can do besides contacting your water utility provider and request they investigate the problem.
If your house is the only one with LOW pressure, or if only parts of it have problems, your home’s pipes or valves are likely restricting the flow. If you only have high pressure in certain areas of your home, it’s best you contact your plumber to check it out soon.
Low Water Pressure
The most common reason for low water pressure in a 20+ year old home is usually that the older steel pipes have become clogged with lime deposits, restricting the flow of water. Your plumber can identify and give you an estimate to resolve the issue.
Issues with High Water Pressure
How can you tell if your home’s water pressure is too high? If you experience any of these six common signs of high water pressure in your house, give us a call to investigate the system for issues.
- Pipes are Leaking Water
High water pressure puts additional strain on the whole plumbing system throughout your house. This may lead to pinhole leaks or loosened joints in the pipes. If not repaired, leaking pipes may cause mold growth, damaged items nearby, and other serious water problems to your home. Unfortunately, these small leaks are often found behind walls or in ceilings and floors. These out-of-sight places means damage can happen and go unnoticed until it gets so bad things can be very expensive to rebuild.
- Water Hammer
If you have a “water hammer” (technically, hydraulic shock) you may hear a loud banging noise when you suddenly switch off a faucet. When the water flow suddenly stops or changes direction, high water pressure makes plumbing pipes bang into one another or nearby framing. While annoying to hear, this problem can loosen plumbing connections or even break the pipes.
- Appliance Damage
High water pressure can put pressure on your dishwasher, water heater, washing machine, and other appliances. Few people realize that an appliance’s warranty may be voided if these they are damaged by high water pressure. Inspect appliances leaks and listen for unusual noises coming from your water-using appliances. Noises may indicate that the appliance seals or mechanical parts are at risk of extreme wear and tear.
- Water Bills Increasing
If your water utility bill suddenly increases without reason it could be you have developed a high water pressure issue. Simply put, you’re using more water because it’s being forced out of the faucet with more volume. (The average amount of water used by running a faucet for 10 minutes is about 30 gallons at 50-PSI pressure, compared to 36 gallons at 60 PSI.) You’re wasting precious water and, ultimately, money on those high bills.
- Faucets Leaking
One sign of high water pressure is one or multiple faucets constantly dripping, or spraying/spitting when you turn the water on.
- Toilet Won’t Stop Running
If a toilet in your home never stops running (or possibly even randomly flushing on its own), it could be it has a faulty fill valve. A home with high water pressure may make the toilet fill valve wear out more quickly. Get it looked at if you’re confident the valve is new or in good working condition.
How To Fix High Water Pressure Problems in Your Home
Fortunately, resolving a high water pressure problem is usually fairly simple. Call our team at A & A Plumbing & Drain Services at (402) 932-3899 and let us know what you’re experiencing. We’ll schedule an appointment with one of our experienced plumbers to come out and check things out. If you do, in fact, have high pressure, we can install a device called a “water pressure regulator” (or “pressure reduction valve”).
Homes built after 2002 should have a regulator already installed, as per the Omaha Plumbing Code. But, these regulators may only have a lifespan of 7 to 12 years before needing replacement.