High Water Pressure Can Be Bad News

doucheWe all like more water pressure in the shower and it can be helpful when you’re doing the dishes, but beware of the dangers of too much of a good thing. When was the last time you checked your water pressure? Have you ever? A water pressure gauge can be inexpensively purchased (usually around $10) from any home improvement store and it’s well worth it! Test the water pressure at various times of the day, as fluctuations often occur at night when the demand goes down. The maximum water pressure in any home is 80psi, but it’s often over 100psi, sometimes even over 150psi. Regularly testing the water pressure is especially important for those on the municipal water supply, as the water company sets the pressure based on their needs, such as supplying water to fire hydrants, not yours.

What’s the big deal?

High water pressure can wreak havoc on your plumbing fixtures. Here are a few examples of high water pressure problems:

  • Leaky faucets
  • Running toilets
  • Reduced water heater life
  • Shorter washing machine and dishwasher life
  • Higher water heating costs
  • Septic system failure
  • Wasted water
  • Higher sewer costs if sewer charges are based on water usage

What to do if you have high water pressure

A water pressure regulator can correct the problem. The regulator is installed where the main water line comes into your home, but after the main shut off valve. It works by intercepting the water coming into your house and releasing it at a safe pressure, before it reaches any fixtures within the home.

Installing a water pressure regulator

If you have an existing regulator that is no longer functioning it can be quite simple to replace, providing you use the same brand and model. Manufacturers rarely change the size and shape, so the new one should fit exactly the same way as the old one. Installing a new one, however, should be done by a professional plumber because it involves modifying the main water line and possibly altering the main water shutoff valve to allow room for the regulator.