From showers that don't get you clean to a washing machine that takes an eternity to fill up, chances are you've heard several of the symptoms of low water pressure. However, did you realize that the water pressure in your home can be too high? High water pressure is a common and serious problem that can wreak havoc on your plumbing, and pocketbook.
Don't let high water pressure put an unnecessary strain on your pipes, and instead, here is some valuable information to help you diagnose the problem and get it fixed.
Symptoms of High Water Pressure
There are several common signs of high water pressure that you probably noticed but might have determined weren't serious, or figured is just the way your plumbing worked. Here are a few of the signs your plumbing is being damaged by high water pressure:
- A banging noise originating from your pipes Leaky faucets
- Water heaters, washers, and dishwashers with a short life
- Higher sewer and water bills Toilets that continue to run
Another dangerous sign that you are suffering from high water pressure is thermal expansion. This phenomenon occurs when your hot water heater becomes overfull. All that hot water will cause your metal heater to expand and become warped. If left untreated, a water heater that is damaged by thermal expansion can explode.
If you notice any bulges or damage to your water heater, don't attempt to fix the problem yourself. Instead, contact a plumber immediately.
Causes of High Water Pressure
There are only a small number of causes of high water pressure. The most common is your location. If you live at the bottom of the hill or a steep incline, gravity will naturally raise your home's water pressure. Additionally, if you live in an urban area, or a neighborhood with several tall buildings, your city's utility company might turn up the water pressure to accommodate these structures.
Dangers of High Water Pressure
In addition to the danger of water heater thermal expansion, high water pressure will wreak havoc on your plumbing. The pressure can cause small holes to form throughout your plumbing, and if you do not control your home's water pressure, the small holes can eventually create a huge mess.
If you notice water stains on your walls or ceiling, the issue could be damage to your plumbing that is caused by high water pressure.
What You Can Do
Most residential plumbing, hot water heaters and appliances aren't constructed to withstand water pressure over 80 psi, or pounds per square inch. If you suspect your plumbing is being damaged by high water pressure, the best way to determine this is with a pressure gauge. These inexpensive tools are available at your local hardware store, home improvement store or online.
To use the regulator, first make sure that all the faucets and appliances throughout your home are turned off. Next, attach the pressure regulator to your home's outdoor spigot. Turn on the water and check the gauge. If the number is between 40 and 80 psi, your water pressure is ideal. However, if the number is above 80 psi, it is critical to have the issue corrected immediately.
The best option is to have a water pressure regulator installed on your incoming water line. If you already have a valve installed, and your water pressure is too high, chances are the regulator needs to be replaced.
Do not attempt to install the pressure regulator on your own. Contact a plumber to take on this delicate task.
High water pressure can raise your utility bills and damage your plumbing. If you suspect you have high water pressure, don't hesitate to contact the professionals at Albert's Plumbing and Drain Service.