Water pressure helps facilitate the function of a surplus of everyday tasks like taking a shower, watering the grass, using the restroom and drinking a glass of water. However, like most things, water pressure requires the right balance because if it is too high or low it can cause some issues. Most appliances and fixtures require the water pressure to be approximately 80 Pounds Per Square Inch, or PSI. This measurement also equates to around 5.5 bars. Ensuring the proper water pressure helps to maintain the right amount of force moving through your pipes.
High water pressure can present itself in different ways. If you have a dripping faucet that won’t seem to let up, you may have high water pressure. A dripping faucet has any easy remedy called a Pressure Reducing Valve, PRV. If you are a homeowner you can install this yourself, or you can call in a professional plumber. Once installed, it will allow whoever is operating the faucet to regulate the water pressure and return it to a safe and functional equilibrium.
If you have high water pressure, there are many different catalysts that could be responsible. Water pressure weighs approximately 5 pounds for every 10 feet of elevation, or 0.414 pounds for every foot of water settled in a column. Anything that works to increase this can cause high water pressure. For example, if your water tower is located at the top of a hill and your home resides in the bottom of a valley, because of the way the water flows you naturally will have higher water pressure.
Some homes require a water pump if you are not located close to the city or town. The water companies, or purveyors, will set up water pumps in surrounding areas to help these homes get the water they need. While living far from the city has benefits like peace and quiet, the caveat is having higher water pressure.
An interesting thing about water pressure is it varies depending on the time of day. If you check your pressure in the morning instead of at night the readings will most likely be different. The time of day with the peak water usage for your household has a lower water pressure reading. For example, if you are cooking dinner, showering, or doing laundry, more water is being put to work so there is less pressure in the system. During times of little water use, like when everyone is sleeping, the water pressure typically will be higher.
So what can you do, and how will it affect you?
If you notice your water pressure is high, installing a PRV is the best way to circumvent the issue. Specifically, you want to install the valve at your water meter, the primary access point where water will enter your home. This will reduce the wear and tear on your appliances and piping. Installing this valve is the most practical way to prevent high-pressure water from entering your house. Lowering the water pressure traveling through your pipes, appliances and water heater will help them last longer and run more efficiently. Finding that water pressure equilibrium will ensure you have a steady stream of water without damaging anything.
Next time your garden hose feels more like a fire hose, it may be time to call a plumber and have your water pressure inspected.
Low water pressure
Low water pressure can be just as frustrating as high water pressure. Knowing the common causes of low water pressure can help you better identify your issue and know what you need to fix it.
One of the most common reasons for a home to have low water pressure is when there is a buildup of debris and mineral in the piping or appliances. Water traveling through the pipes in your home typically will leave behind mineral deposits that build up over time. Even the smallest of build ups can result in lower water pressure.
Another reason for low water pressure is the corrosion build up in the piping. Steel pipes typically last up to a decade but will start to corrode naturally over time with repeated use. This corrosion can cause low water pressure because of back flow. The best way to resolve this water pipe dilemma is to hire a plumber to repipe your home when you notice your water pressure is starting to lower.
High and low water pressure can be extremely inconvenient, especially when you are trying to accomplish everyday tasks. If you notice any sudden shift in your water pressure that you can’t fix, contact a plumber. At Ben Franklin Plumbing our professionally trained plumbers will work with you to solve all of your repiping and water pressure needs. Call us at (334) 787-0035 for more information.