Easy Ways You Can Test Water Pressure at Home

Going through water pressure problems can be a real pain in the neck. Whether your shower has become a mere drizzle or your garden hose lacks its usual intensity, understanding and managing your home’s water pressure is necessary for getting things flowing again. The good thing is, evaluating your water pressure is a straightforward task that doesn’t call for special training. Learn the simple process of testing your water pressure at home, how to decipher the results and what a professional can do to correct any problems you find.

Why Is It a Good Idea to Check Your Home’s Water Pressure?

Understanding 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 deterioration. Much like the way you routinely check the oil in your car, assessing your water pressure once or twice a year can prevent bigger problems later on.

After all, low water pressure is aggravating, but high water pressure can significantly damage your plumbing system, including pipe connections, water heaters and appliances. The risk of blowouts in flexible lines, like those connecting to your washing machine and dishwasher, is greater with high water pressure, potentially resulting in leaks and extensive water damage. Checking your water pressure and making corrective actions after looking at the results can help avoid these issues.

Tools You’ll Need to Test Water Pressure at Home

To get started, you need a common and inexpensive tool called a pressure gauge. These are easily available at hardware or home improvement shops. When selecting 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 means to measure up to 300 pounds per square inch (psi).

Step-by-Step Guide to Testing Water Pressure

With a pressure gauge in hand, you’re set to test the water pressure. Just follow these steps:

1. Preparation: First, confirm that all water outlets in your home are shut off. This includes faucets, showerheads, dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerator ice makers and sprinkler systems. Any water consumption while you are testing may influence your readings and give a false impression of low pressure.

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

3. Calculate the pressure: Tighten the gauge by hand and open the faucet as wide as possible. Now, check the readout to determine the pressure. An ideal reading ranges from 45 to 55 psi. If your reading is less than 40 psi or greater than 80 psi, it’s time to seek assistance.

Fixing Water Pressure Issues

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

  • High pressure: Install a water pressure regulator on your water main. This tool restricts your water pressure to a maximum flow of 75 psi. Even if you already have a regulator, it’s a good idea to check the pressure routinely, as these devices can fail without obvious symptoms.
  • Low pressure: To start off with, look over any pre-existing pressure regulators, which should be set to approximately 50 psi. Adjusting the screw on top generally helps to increase flow. If a pressure regulator isn’t what’s causing the low pressure, the problem may possibly be with the municipal water source. In instances like this, setting up a water pressure booster may increase the flow.
  • Normal pressure: If your pressure is within the ideal range, no further action is required. Just remember to test your water pressure occasionally to ensure it continues to be within this range.

When to Reach Out to a Pro 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 discovered an issue that needs professional attention, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Our skilled plumbers can help you test your water pressure, diagnose problems and make sure no fixtures have been negatively affected by high pressure. We can also give you a hand in installing a pressure regulator or booster if that’s what your home needs. Thanks to our 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can count on us to make the proper adjustments the first time around. The next time you face water pressure problems or other plumbing challenges in the U.S., call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to schedule an appointment. We’re here for you!

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