For showers, high water pressure can be wonderful. However, if the water pressure in your home is too high, it can actually cause damage to your plumbing system as well as other systems, including your sprinklers.
Properly watering your lawn is so important for maintaining long-term health. Understanding how to achieve the right water pressure for your home allows you to stay comfortable and helps keep your home in good repair.
Table of Contents
- What Causes High Water Pressure?
- How to Tell If Your Water Pressure Is Too High
- What Causes Low Water Pressure
- How to Tell If Your Water Pressure Is Too Low
- What Is The Optimal Water Pressure For a Home?
- How to Correct Water Pressure
What Causes High Water Pressure?
High water pressure can be caused by your elevation. For example, homes at the bottom of hills typically have higher water pressure since water runs downhill. In some parts of Omaha and other regions, water companies may maintain elevated water pressure. This is often done because some consumers, such as owners of high buildings, require higher pressure. In addition, fire hydrants may require higher pressure to function correctly in some areas.
In your home, thermal expansion can also cause higher water pressure. Whether the cause of the problem is inside or outside your home, however, you may notice signs of a problem. These problems could have you missing out on all the benefits of water-efficient sprinkler heads.
How to Tell If Your Water Pressure Is Too High
You may notice there is a problem because your pipes make strange noises. Or, you may only find out there is an issue because your sprinklers, appliances or parts of your plumbing system break down and repair professionals uncover the damage.
Another simple way to tell whether you should be concerned is to measure water pressure. You can start by looking at the water pressure gauges on your home water lines. These are provided by your utility company, and you can even call your water utility company for help reading them.
If you don’t have a residential water pressure gauge, you can buy one and follow the directions. If your water pressure is above 80 psi, it is high enough to cause damage.
How to Check Water Pressure Without a Gauge
You can even learn how to measure water pressure without a gauge. Attach a hose to an outdoor faucet. Raise the end of the hose until water no longer comes out, then measure the distance between the faucet and the end of the hose. Divide this by 2.31 to get a rough estimate of your water pressure. This method will not be as accurate, so even if this suggests there is a problem, you may wish to buy a pressure gauge.
What Causes Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure is often caused by blockages. Blockages in pipes or faucets or a shut-off valve that is not open correctly can cause water pressure problems. Even leaks can contribute to the issue.
Sometimes, there is an emergency that causes a problem for area residents. Common causes of a sudden drop in water pressure include an emergency action that requires lots of city water, flooding, and other problems from municipal water pressure. If you usually have no issues with water, check your local news. If nothing seems to be amiss and the problem persists, you may wish to contact a plumber.
How to Tell If Your Water Pressure Is Too Low
The signs of low water pressure can be more pronounced than the signs of high pressure. You may notice that in your showers the water flow is not enough to wash quickly and efficiently. When opening faucets, you may have to open to the tap all the way to get any good burst of water.
You can also check the pressure by looking at the water pressure gauges your utility company places on your water lines. If you’re not sure the gauges work correctly, use a pressure gauge designed to test water pressure. Anything below 40 psi means your water pressure is lower than optimal.
What Is The Optimal Water Pressure For a Home?
Everyone has different preferences. One person may prefer gentle showers and may see anything above a trickle as unpleasant. Others want to bathe under a firehose at full blast. Most homes are comfortable when set between 40 and 60 psi, with many homeowners preferring something in the 50 psi range.
Your best option is to try different ranges under 80 psi. Which one feels best for you and for others in your household? As long as you stay below 80 psi, your optimal water pressure in your Omaha home is largely a matter of personal taste.
How to Correct Water Pressure
If there is an issue with high water pressure, your best option is to install a regulator, which will regulate the pressure of your water and prevent expensive damage. Regulators can be installed by plumbers. If you decide on this option, it is important to have regulators installed for both your internal water supply and the outside water supply if you have a sprinkler. This will help prevent damage to your sprinkler system and will ensure your sprinkler warranty is not invalidated.
If your water pressure is too low, start by checking the water meter and shutoff valves near it. Make sure they are fully open. Contact your water department or utility company for a reading to determine if there is a problem. Ask the utility company about water pressure on your entire street to see if there is a larger issue, and while you are speaking with them, ask them to take a look at any pressure-reducing valve (PRV) on your water main. If the PRV has malfunctioned or needs replacing, that may be a culprit.
If you live in an older home, have a professional plumber check your pipes. Older pipes may be clogged or in need of replacement. If you get your water from a well, check your well’s pump to make sure it’s not the source of the difficulties.
Another option with low pressure is to install a water pressure booster system and a backflow preventer to boost your water pressure. You will need a licensed plumber for this task to ensure the installation is completed to code and will not increase your water pressure to the point that it may damage your plumbing system.
Need More Help?
If your water pressure has caused damage to your sprinkler system or your system needs to be adjusted after you have resolved your water pressure, contact Nature’s Helper. You can get in touch with us online or call us at (402) 334-2625.