Is Your Water Pressure Too High?
Water pressure is an amazing thing; it allows us to take showers and wash the grime of the day away, it also allows us to water our grass. However, water pressure that is too high can cause a multitude of issues. Appliances and fixtures are typically tested and approved for water pressure up to 80 Pounds Per Square Inch (PSI) or about 5.5 bars.
One of the telltale signs of high water pressure is a persistent drippy faucet. Have you had a plumber repair a dripping faucet, and within a couple of months to a year, it starts dripping again? Chances are, you have high water pressure. Fortunately, it is easily remedied by what professionals call a "PRV." A PRV, or a Pressure Reducing Valve, allows a plumber (or homeowner) to regulate the water pressure to a safe, yet functional, water pressure.
Why would you have water pressure so high? For starters, the weight of water is .414 lbs for every foot of water column. In layman's terms, water is approximately 5 lbs for every 10 feet of elevation. If you have a water tower on top of a hill and your house is in a valley, your water pressure may be tremendously high.
Another example, is if the water company (also known as a purveyor) has set up a water pump to assist water to get to the homes and businesses on the outskirts of town, and you are close to the pump, your water pressure may be astronomical.
One last thing to consider when testing your water pressure. If you check your pressure around 5:00 pm, you will get a completely different reading than 2:00 am. Reason? During peak usage times of the day, when two-thirds of the populations is utilizing water, the pressure will drop. So when families are making dinner, children are home from school taking showers and doing laundry throughout the city, the pressure will be vastly different than during the night when everyone is sleeping.
So what can you do, and how will it affect you?
Add a pressure reducing valve at the water meter, that is the point where the water main enters the house. This will stop wear and tear on your appliances. This is pretty much the only practical way to stop high-pressure high pressure in your house.
Dropping the pressure will add life to your pipes, your appliances, and your water heater. It will ensure you have a good steady stream of water, without breaking anything.
So when you turn on your garden hose, and it feels more like a firehose, it might be time to call a plumber and get inspected.