The force at which water enters your home piping system from the main inlet defines water pressure. This force is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI). When this pressure is low or high, you tend to experience inefficiencies. The ideal water pressure that works best in residential buildings is between 40 and 60 PSI. Essentially, pressure below 40 PSI tends to be too low to rely on, while above 60 PSI is too high to work with. These are the two common water pressure issues you will encounter. In this article, we will explore the causes and effects of both. And, you will learn how to regulate and maintain the ideal water pressure.
Causes of Low Water Pressure
When water from faucets comes out as more of a drip, you have low water pressure. Various issues can cause this:
- Multiple plumbing fixtures are running at the same time, for instance when a sink faucet and the shower are turned on simultaneously.
- Faulty pressure regulators. Water pressure regulators maintain the PSI at a required mark to ensure ideal water pressure. When water pressure falls abnormally, a broken regulator could be the cause.
- Closed water valves. Typically, your plumbing system will have two valves — one on the inlet and the other on the meter. When a valve is not turned on fully, it will lower the water pressure flowing in the pipes.
- Sediment deposits inside the pipes. Clogged pipes are the most common cause of low water pressure. This is because the water flowing in the pipes tends to carry along some mineral deposits or rust, thereby hindering water flow.
Other causes of low water pressure, such as the time of the day, are natural and expected. For instance, water pressure from a shared water provider tends to be low during peak hours, such as in the morning. This is something out of your control.
Signs Your Water Pressure is too High
As mentioned, water pressure above 60 PSI is generally considered high. These signs will tell you when your water pressure is too high.
- Leaking pipes. High water pressure can cause pipes to burst. Most water pipes are engineered to sustain only a certain water pressure level.
- Failing appliances. Home appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers will fail if they are subjected to high water pressure. In most cases, this will apply if the appliance is relatively new.
- Banging sounds in the pipes. When water with high pressure flows in the pipes, it will shake the pipes against the wall and produce banging sounds. In fact, this banging can eventually cause wear and tear to the pipes.
- High water bills. This goes without saying. When water pressure is too high, water might leak in the heater or partially closed faucets and increase the water bill.
How to Maintain an Ideal Water Pressure
The easiest way for you to achieve the recommended water pressure is by using a water pressure regulator. This works best in cases of high water pressure. However, when you are experiencing low water pressure, you should try the following:
- Switch from galvanized to PEX pipes. Most galvanized pipes are made of corrosive metals that are subject to rust and mineral deposits that reduce water pressure. PEX pipes, on the other hand, are made of plastic and are less susceptible to corrosion or clogging.
- Inspect the water valves regularly. This requires minimal effort, but the results are like having a water pressure regulator on a budget.
- Seek professional plumbing help. Plumbers are well equipped to handle such plumbing issues professionally and efficiently, and fixes like unclogging or replacing water pipes will require a professional plumber. If you need any plumbing services, we service all of Orange County from our headquarters in Irvine, California. Call today, and we will be happy to help you.
Kalka Plumbing Heating & Air, located in Irvine and servicing all of Orange County residents and businesses, for plumbing, heating and air conditioning needs.
At Kalka Plumbing, Heating and Air, our goal is to offer the most reasonably priced plumbing and HVAC work in Orange County and the surrounding cities. Because we value our customers, we do everything we can to keep service costs down without skimping on quality. We also pride ourselves on serving our customers for almost 3 decades. Find us online at www.kalkaplumbingheatingandair.com. Or by phone – (949) 458-6600.