Plumbing System Water Pressure - High Water Pressure or Low Water Pressure and what can be done about it?

Are you experiencing either High or Low Water Pressure? Below we will cover some of the possible reasons and potential solutions.


High Water Pressure - High water pressure by Uniform Plumbing Code 608.2 is defined as excessive when the (pounds per square inch) or PSI exceeds 80psi


The number one cause of plumbing problems is EXCESSIVE WATER PRESSURE! Whether it be a bursted water supply line, underground slab leak, or leaking water heater - 90% of the time we find the water pressure to be excessive and a contributing factor to the leaks. Often times, the water pressure goes unchecked and 6 months later the plumbing system has another failure. 


A good analogy would be this. What is the first thing your doctor checks upon seeing you? Your blood pressure. High or Low Blood Pressure tells the doctor a lot and tends to be a contributing factor for a variety of illnesses. Immediately upon diagnosing either High or Low blood pressure the doctor will seek to provide a solution or treament to curb the issue. 


When it comes to high water pressure the surest course of action is to install a inline water pressure regulator. The water pressure regulator is designed to reduce the incoming pressure to 75 psi or below (as it has an integral adjustment feature). We recommend that you set your incoming water pressure in the range of 50 psi. As 50 psi is the optimal setting recommended by fixture manufacturers. 


Once the regulator is installed you will want to perform a yearly pressure test to ensure the water pressure regulator hasn't failed. The higher the incoming pressure from the city side - the higher chance you will have of the water pressure regulator wearing out and becoming ineffective. 


Testing the pressure regulator is fairly easy and only takes a simple water pressure gauge (found at any local hardware store) and about 2 minutes. All you have to do is attach the gauge to a hose bibb and turn the water on. You will instantly see the pressure reading to complete the yearly test. 


Low Water Pressure - Low water pressure is somewhat a rarity when your water source is supplied via the public water system. In most cases, low water pressure issues tend to be associated with an old water system that lacks volume (pressure is static no matter if its a 1/4in pipe or 10in pipe delivering it), or some sort of restriction caused by a failed water softener or other added device. 


Low Water Pressure is more common on high rise buildings and well water systems: as a booster pump of sorts is generally required in order to increase the delivery side pressure. If you have a booster pump the system will generally trigger an alarm indicating some sort of failure and need for corrective action. 


Absent a booster pump system application the most common cause of low volume (often confused with low water pressure) is restricted volume caused by an old galvanize water system. The best remedy for an old galvanize water system with restricted volume is a complete water system repipe. 

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