Easy Ways You Can Test Water Pressure at Home

Experiencing water pressure issues can be a real pain in the neck. No matter if your shower has become a mere drizzle or your garden hose lacks its usual intensity, understanding and dealing with your home’s water pressure is required for getting things flowing again. The good thing is, checking your water pressure is an easy 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 address any issues you find.

Why Should You Test the Water Pressure?

Knowing your home’s water pressure guarantees a satisfying shower, but more importantly, it shields your plumbing system from harm. Just like 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 frustrating, but high water pressure can actually 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, increases with high water pressure, potentially causing 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 get started, you need a common and affordable tool called a pressure gauge. These are often available at hardware or home improvement retailers. 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 means to measure as high as 300 pounds per square inch (psi).

Step-by-Step Guide to Testing Water Pressure

With a pressure gauge at the ready, you’re set to determine your home’s water pressure. Just follow these steps:

1. Preparation: First, ensure that all water outlets in your residence are shut off. This includes faucets, showerheads, dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerator ice makers and sprinkler systems. Any water use during testing may alter your readings and give a false impression of low pressure.

2. Get out the pressure gauge: Attach the gauge to an exterior faucet or hose bib. If your water is from a municipal source, connect it to the faucet that is as close as possible to the water meter to get the most accurate reading. For homes with a well system, connect it to a hose bib near the well’s pressure tank.

3. Calculate the pressure: Tighten the gauge by hand and open the faucet as far as it will go. Now, examine the readout to see the pressure. A suitable reading runs from 45 to 55 psi. If your reading is below 40 psi or above 80 psi, it’s time to take action.

Fixing Water Pressure Abnormalities

Here are things you can do to fix high or low water pressure:

  • High pressure: Install a water pressure regulator on your water main. This tool keeps the pressure at a maximum flow of 75 psi. Even if you already have a regulator, it’s a good idea to review the pressure routinely, as these devices can fail without you knowing.
  • Low pressure: First, inspect any current pressure regulators, which should be set to roughly 50 psi. Adjusting the screw on top should improve flow. If a pressure regulator isn’t the issue, the problem could be with the municipal water supply. In this situation, setting up a water pressure booster may increase the flow.
  • Normal pressure: If your pressure falls in the appropriate range, no additional action is necessary. Just remember to test your water pressure regularly to ensure it continues to be within this range.

When to Seek Professional Help for Water Pressure Problems in the U.S.

If you’re not feeling very confident about testing the water pressure in your own home, or if you’ve identified an issue that needs professional repair, don’t hesitate to contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Our experienced plumbers can help you test your water pressure, diagnose what’s wrong and check to be sure that no fixtures have been damaged by high pressure. We can also assist with outfitting your home with a pressure regulator or booster if needed. Thanks to our 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can rely on us to fix the problem 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 to help!

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