Water Pressure That is Just Right
Water pressure can be a little like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Too little pressure and showers go from a pleasure to a pain, and washing the dishes is something to be dreaded.
Too high and now you run the risk of damaging your pipes and fixtures, as well as use more water than you intended and rack up that water bill. Your water pressure at home can be difficult to get right.
Water pressure problems might also affect your water meter, which will definitely shower up in your water bills.
Your pressure needs to sit just right between the inconvenient low pressure and potentially dangerous high pressure. Adequate water flow is what everyone wants, but what is correct water pressure for your home, and what are the problems of not meeting this?
Problems with Low Water Pressure
Thankfully, low water pressure doesn’t pose a risk to your home. Your sanity, on the other hand, may be a concern.
No one wants to spend more time on chores than they already do, but that’s exactly what low water pressure will do. Low pressure presents itself as a measly trickle of water from your taps and shower heads.
This means you’ll be waiting longer for your sink to fill up to do the dishes, and your washing machine will take longer to complete its cycles.
Not to mention the incessant complaints from family members about how awful their showers are. Low pressure can definitely be a nuisance.
Low water pressure might only be an inconvenience, but it could also be troublesome enough to remind you to have your plumbing regularly serviced to prevent this nightmare from happening again.
Problems with High Water Pressure
While you might be enjoying that high pressure shower, think twice about letting that extra pressure become a permanent addition to your home.
High pressure puts strain on your pipes and fixtures which can wear them down faster. You’ll be needing to replace these more regularly than you would otherwise.
If damage is done by pressure above the manufacturer’s recommendations, warranty on these pipes and plumbing fixtures likely won’t apply anymore. You’ll be left to cover the costs of the damage.
With more water flowing from your taps and shower heads thanks to the high pressure, you’ll be using more water than is typical as well. You might find an unexpected jump in your next water bill which you haven’t budgeted for.
Your water pressure regulator should control incoming water pressure, but if this malfunctions your plumbing system could be in danger.
You might also experience water hammer when your pressure is too high. This causes loud banging noises caused by the shockwave of fast moving water suddenly stopping. Water hammer can also lead to leaks and burst pipes if severe enough and will put a strain on your plumbing fixtures.
How Much Water Pressure Should My Home Have?
New homes and extensions require pressure limiting valves (aka pressure regulator) be installed to ensure pressure does not exceed 500 kPa (kilopascals).
While this does not apply to older homes, this standard was introduced to prevent burst pipes and it could be wise for owners of older homes to consider this too. As previously stated, your water pressure regulator reduces incoming water pressure, but it can go wrong.
There is no standard for minimum pressures required by law, however many plumbers exercise a minimum pressure of around 140 kPa or a flow rate of 20 litres per minute.
For your information, water pressure can also be measured in pounds per square inch (psi).
How Can I Test My Water Pressure?
If you are concerned about your home’s water pressure, you can measure your pressure at home. An easy and accurate method involves using a water pressure gauge, which you can easily find at your local hardware store:
- Turn off water inside and outside of your home, including all taps, shower heads, washing machines, sprinklers, etc. If there is any moving water in your system, you may get a false low pressure reading.
- Attach the water pressure gauge to a tap outside.
- Tighten the gauge by hand and fully open the faucet. If any water leaks out, you will need turn the tap off and tighten the gauge with a pair of pliers.
- Measure the pressure on the gauge.
If the pressure gauge reads somewhere between 140 to 500 kPa, the pressure in your home is in the safe zone.
Save yourself the inconvenience of low water pressure or the dangers of high pressure. Contact Mr Emergency to solve your water pressure problems.
Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See our Terms & Conditions here.