High water pressure is an issue you might not know you have until it’s too late. Excess water in your pipes can cause issues in your home like pinhole leaks in your plumbing, and can drastically shorten the life of your washing machine, water heater, dishwasher and boiler system, and increase your water bills.
Causes of High Water Pressure in Your Home
Your City Officials Control the Water Pressure in Your Neighborhood
You do not have control over the water pressure in your home. The city adjusts water main pressure depending on your surrounding neighborhood and community—our communities are ever-changing and growing, and as an increasing number of individuals move into your area, more people need access to these piping systems.
Rather than re-plumbing entire neighborhoods or regions, your city will more than likely turn up the area water pressure at the main—recommended pressure is between 40-80 psi, and some will be turned up to 100 or more to maintain regular pressure for everyone in the set area. Everyone receives ample water pressure, but, depending on how close you are to the main—or a fire hydrant—you may experience increased pressure when something like this happens. So, maybe you enjoy a high-pressure shower in the mornings, but too high might be, or become, a problem for all of the water systems in your home
A Faulty Water Pressure Regulator
You may also have a faulty water pressure regulator. Your water pressure regulator is the first line of defense for your plumbing system, as it reduces water pressure from the main to make the pressure compatible with your household appliances. These protect your home from sudden surges, so you may not know you have a problem until it is too late.
Recognizing High Water Pressure in Your Home
Having a pressure gauge is the best way to actually know what’s going on with your water pressure. If you don’t have a pressure gauge, however, your house can let you know if and when it’s time to get an accurate reading.
Listen to Your Pipes
Your pipes constantly banging to the point of keeping you up at night is a telltale sign of water hammer, which is a clear sign to get your pipes checked immediately.
How to test for water hammer: turn your faucets on high, and abruptly turn them off. Listen for banging in your pipes.
Watch Your Faucets
Do your faucets leak when you use your washing machine? Does your faucet spray in different directions when you turn it all the way up, rather than run in a single, steady stream? These can be signs of high water pressure.
Check On All of Your Appliances
If your appliances are wearing out much quicker than they should or if your appliances leak, it is worth having one of our experts at Armstrong Plumbing take a look at them and your pipes for you.
Effects of High Pressure on Plumbing and Fixtures
If you’ve experienced a recent drastic increase in your water bill, this can be a sign of high pressure. Having high water pressure affects every aspect of your water usage. You are using more water every time you turn on a faucet—think about not just your and your family’s daily showers, but also how many times you wash your hands, rinse out your coffee mug to reuse it, wash a piece of fruit to eat for a snack—the list goes on.
Your toilets, showerheads, washing machine, each faucet in your house, hot water heaters, etc. are built to withstand standard amounts of pressure, and constant, excess water pressure can cause your appliances to wear out well before they should.
Some appliance warranties are even deemed void if high water pressure is the cause of damage, so you may have to pay completely out of pocket for replacements.
Reducing High Water Pressure in Your Home
Despite the headaches your high water pressure has caused, high-pressure issues are actually fairly easy to fix. If you are aware of any pressure issues in your home or neighborhood, call on our experts to install or repair your water pressure regulator to maintain a standard level of incoming pressure, regardless of the output at your water main.
Even if you are not currently experiencing issues, it is important to always be in the know on your systems so you are better aware when you do have an issue.
If you haven’t checked your Pressure Reducing Valve recently—or ever—it may be time. Armstrong Plumbing is running a special through the month of May to replace or install a new Pressure Reducing Valve for just $20! Feel free to give us a call or fill out the form on the contact page for more information!