Do you hear a knocking sound or other strange noises when you flush the toilet or turn on the shower? Does your toilet make noises long after it has been flushed? Have you seen your water bill spike recently? Your home may have high water pressure. Low water pressure can be annoying and a sign of a plumbing issue but high water pressure can also be a problem and cause extensive damage to your home’s plumbing system. The good news is that there is a simple and effective way to fix this common plumbing problem.
A normal water pressure for a single-family home using city utilities is estimated to be between 50-70 pounds psi (per square inch). If water pressure exceeds 80 psi, damage to your home’s plumbing may occur. You can test your own water pressure by purchasing a low-cost water pressure gauge at your local hardware store and attaching it to an outdoor faucet.
If you determine your home’s water pressure is excessive, you should call a plumber to assess the state of your pipes. High water pressure can lead to leaks, damage toilet valves and even lead to pipes bursting. If your plumbing is noisy and you suspect water hammer is occurring in your home, find out if your plumbing system has air chambers installed. It is also wise to check with your city’s water provider to see if there are any regulations or restrictions you should be aware of before allowing a plumber to do work on your home.
Controlling Your Home’s Water Pressure
Expansion tank: An expansion tank attaches to your hot water heater. In many states, expansion tanks are required by local building ordinances. An expansion tank helps relieve excessive water pressure and keeps your home’s water pressure balanced. The tank contains equal parts of air and water and uses the pressure of the water to relieve stress on your hot water heating system. This will mean less wear and tear on your pipes and plumbing fixtures.
Water pressure reducing valve: A water pressure reducing valve is another important tool in managing your home’s water pressure. The most popular type of valve is the direct acting valve. These valves work by relieving the water pressure coming from the water main. Your plumber should be able to recommend which valve will work best for your home’s system, and it is very important that you have the correct one installed. Malfunctioning or incorrectly installed valves can lead to leaks and other plumbing issues.
Those with private wells can also suffer from high water pressure. Water pressure tanks and water bladder tanks can help regulate the flow of water entering your home and prevent your well pump from excessive wear-and- tear, extending the life of your well system. Your plumber can let you know which system would work best for your well and your home’s plumbing needs.
Benefits of Proper Water Pressure
- Reduces the risk of leaks.
- Reduces wear and tear on pipes and plumbing appliances.
- Can help lower your water bill by reducing wastewater.
- Your heating bill may also be lower if there’s less excess water to heat.
Kevin Smyth is a professional blogger that enjoys providing consumers with home improvement advice. He writes for National Tank Outlet, a leading source of water tanks.