What Is Your Water Pressure, And Is It Too High For Your Home?
Dated: January 30 2020
Let's talk about pressure!!
We had an unexpected expense this past month and I learned a thing or two about home water pressure in the process. I want to share these facts I learned with you so perhaps you can avoid some costly repairs. I love washing my car, I find this is a great task for me to unwind and relax. I love the look of a clean shiny car and have always kept my cars looking great by washing them frequently. I was surprised that this past summer when I went through three garden hoses! Two of them developed a bubble and then burst and one popped like a balloon! I was thinking that perhaps they just are making them cheaper than before and this was the reason to have three blowouts. Little did I know this was just a warning sign of things to come.
The next clue that something was not quite right in our home was a small trickle of water around our water heater. I know the water heater was near the end of its life span and we were ready to replace it within the next couple of years, we just did not want to have the expense quite yet. When we bought our house, we had the sellers include a home warranty in the sale so if we had a large expense unexpectedly, we would have the repair covered. Once we noticed the water leak, we contacted the warranty company and they dispatched a repairman. When he got to our home the first thing he did was to check our water pressure and imagine my shock when the repairman told me the water pressure in our home was over 100 PSI!! No wonder I kept blowing up hoses this summer! I contacted our water company and they sent a technician out to check into the high water pressure and he agreed our water pressure was 110 PSI. I inquired what his company did for such high pressure and was told they will do nothing unless the pressure is over 125 PSI. Until that level is reached it is the homeowner’s responsibility to lower the water pressure.
Now you may not know this, but most plumbing fixture manufacturers recommend their products be used with water pressure no higher than 80 psi. Anything higher than that can cause water heaters, faucets, shut-off valves, toilet parts, and garden hoses to fail prematurely. Water pressure to your house is very similar to blood pressure in your body. High blood pressure puts stress on other parts of your body and can cause serious problems if left untreated. People don’t always realize they have high water pressure, but if there is high pressure then there is unwanted stress being applied to the entire home’s plumbing system.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms below, you should hire a plumber or contractor to check your water pressure, I have a recommendation for you on who to call if you would like a suggestion, just give me a call or shoot me a text.
These items can be caused by excessive pressure in your plumbing system that results from your water heater’s thermal expansion.
• Banging pipes
• Spitting from the faucet aerator when turning on a faucet
• A short life of the water heater
• Leaking faucets
• A short life of a washing machine or dishwasher
• Running toilets
You can buy a water pressure test gauge from a local home improvement store to test the pressure of the water in your home. Simply attach the gauge to an outside faucet or the drain connection on a water heater. If the gauge reads under 60 psi, leave it in place for 48 hours to see if the pressure increases. If the water pressure in your home is above 60 PSI. you should have a water pressure regulator installed on a water line coming into the home. Some people call this a pressure regulating valve or PRV. I had one installed when the water heater was installed and if you would like a recommendation for a contractor who can install the PRV for you I have a contractor I use who does quality work and is much less expensive than most others I know I recommend him to all of my real estate clients. The cost to install the valve is around $200 but if we had known about the water pressure sooner we may have avoided the $1,000 to replace the water heater! Oh, I forgot to mention our home warranty did not cover the water heater because of the high-pressure level!! Ugh….
I hope this information was worth the time it took to read my long-winded blog post!! I will be creating these letters periodically throughout the year to provide some tips, tricks, and advice for everyone in my circle of valued clients, friends, and family. If you ever have any questions about your home, the real estate market or if you need a referral for a handyman, contractor, plumber, painter, or any other local tradesman don’t hesitate to contact me and ask for a recommendation. I have a local network of honest, reliable workmen that I refer clients of my real estate business to. Let me know what I can do for you, I am here to help.
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