Easy Ways You Can Test Water Pressure at Home

Experiencing water pressure problems can be a real nuisance. 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 crucial for getting things flowing again. Fortunately, evaluating your water pressure is a simple task that doesn’t require special training. Discover the simple process of testing your water pressure at home, how to interpret the results and what a professional can do to fix any irregularities you find.

Why Should You Test the Water Pressure?

Getting educated about your home’s water pressure is a way to make sure you’ll get a satisfying shower, but more importantly, it protects your plumbing system from harm. Just like you regularly check the oil in your car, getting a read on your water pressure once or twice a year can prevent bigger problems down the road.

After all, low water pressure is annoying, but high water pressure can really 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, goes up with high water pressure, potentially causing leaks and extensive water damage. Evaluating your water pressure and taking appropriate steps based on the results can prevent 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 often 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 potential to measure up to 300 pounds per square inch (psi).

An Easy Guide to Testing Water Pressure

With a pressure gauge at your fingertips, you’re set to test that water pressure. Just follow these steps:

1. Preparation: First, make sure that all water outlets in your home are turned off. This consists of faucets, showerheads, dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerator ice makers and sprinkler systems. Any water use throughout testing may affect your readings and give a false indication of low pressure.

2. Connect the pressure gauge: Attach the gauge to an external faucet or hose bib. If your water comes from a municipal source, connect it to the faucet nearest to the water meter to ensure the most accurate reading. For homes connected to a well system, affix it to a hose bib in the vicinity of the well’s pressure tank.

3. Measure the pressure: Tighten the gauge by hand and open the faucet as wide as possible. Now, look at the readout to determine the pressure. A recommended reading ranges from 45 to 55 psi. If your reading is below 40 psi or greater than 80 psi, it’s time to do something.

Resolving Water Pressure Abnormalities

Here are remedies to solve water pressure problems:

  • 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 smart to review the pressure routinely, as regulators can fail without obvious symptoms.
  • Low pressure: To begin with, examine any existing pressure regulators, which should be set to roughly 50 psi. Adjusting the screw on top should increase flow. If a pressure regulator isn’t the culprit, the problem might be with the municipal water supply. In this case, installing a water pressure booster may help.
  • Normal pressure: If your pressure falls in the ideal range, no additional action is required. Just keep in mind to test your water pressure periodically 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 on your own, or if you’ve discovered an issue that calls for professional evaluation, don’t hesitate to contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Our talented plumbers can help you test your water pressure, diagnose issues and check to be sure that no fixtures have been negatively affected by high pressure. We can also help with putting in a pressure regulator or booster if needed. Thanks to our 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can rely on us to make the correct fix the first time around. The next time you face water pressure problems or other plumbing concerns in the U.S., call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to schedule an appointment. We’re here for you!