Tips to Help Test Your Home’s Water Pressure

Having water pressure issues can be a real nuisance. Whether your shower has become a mere drizzle or your garden hose lacks its usual gusto, understanding and maintaining your home’s water pressure is crucial for getting things flowing again. Thankfully, testing your water pressure is an easy task that doesn’t demand special training. Find out about the simple process of testing your water pressure at home, how to decipher the results and what a professional can do to fix any irregularities you find.

Why Should You Test the Water Pressure?

Getting educated about your home’s water pressure is a way to make sure you’ll get a satisfying shower, but more importantly, it shields your plumbing system from damage. Much like the way you regularly check the oil in your car, assessing your water pressure a few times a year can prevent bigger problems in the future.

After all, low water pressure is aggravating, but high water pressure can really damage your plumbing system, including pipe connections, water heaters and appliances. The possibility of blowouts in flexible lines, like those connecting to your washing machine and dishwasher, goes up with high water pressure, potentially leading to leaks and extensive water damage. Testing your water pressure and acting on the results can reduce the chance of your system experiencing these issues.

Tools You’ll Need to Test Water Pressure at Home

To start off this project, you need a basic and affordable tool called a pressure gauge. These are easily available at hardware or home improvement shops. When choosing a gauge, look for one with female hose threads (to easily attach to an outdoor faucet or hose bib), a rubber gasket for a tight seal and the capability to measure as many as 300 pounds per square inch (psi).

Step-by-Step Guide to Testing Water Pressure

With a pressure gauge in hand, you’re set to determine your home’s water pressure. Just use these steps:

1. Preparation: First, confirm that all water outlets in your household are turned off. This consists of faucets, showerheads, dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerator ice makers and sprinkler systems. Any water use throughout testing may impact your readings and give a false impression of low pressure.

2. Connect the pressure gauge: Attach the gauge to an external faucet or hose bib. If your water is derived from a municipal source, connect it to the faucet that is as close as possible to the water meter for the most accurate reading. For homes that use a well system, attach it to a hose bib near the well’s pressure tank.

3. Measure the pressure: Tighten the gauge by hand and open the faucet all the way. Now, examine the readout to see the pressure. An ideal reading runs from 45 to 55 psi. If your reading is below 40 psi or above 80 psi, it’s time to do something.

Addressing Water Pressure Problems

Here are the steps you should take depending on your pressure gauge reading:

  • High pressure: Set up a water pressure regulator on your water main. This device ensures a maximum flow of 75 psi. Even if you already have a regulator, it’s smart to check the pressure on a regular basis, as equipment can fail without obvious symptoms.
  • Low pressure: To start off with, inspect any pre-existing pressure regulators, which should be set to roughly 50 psi. Adjusting the screw on top generally helps to strengthen the flow. If a pressure regulator isn’t the issue, the problem could be with the municipal water supply. In instances like this, installing a water pressure booster may help.
  • Normal pressure: If your pressure has a reading that falls within the appropriate range, no further action is needed. Just keep in mind to test your water pressure occasionally to ensure it continues to be within this range.

When to Call an Expert for Water Pressure Problems in the U.S.

If you’re not feeling very confident about testing the water pressure on your own, or if you’ve identified an issue that calls for professional repair, don’t hesitate to contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Our talented plumbers can help you test your water pressure, diagnose what’s wrong and ensure no fixtures have been negatively affected by high pressure. We can also give you a hand in installing a pressure regulator or booster if the situation requires. Thanks to our 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can trust us to make the correct fix the first time around. The next time you encounter water pressure problems or other plumbing difficulties in the U.S., call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to schedule an appointment. We’re here to help!