When it comes to the water pressure in your home, what one person thinks is enough might only be a trickle to another. Because everyone has a different opinion, and it is important to make a determination of the adequacy of water pressure in some defining way. This is very true for home inspectors when they are inspecting the home for a potential buyer. If a client asks why the inspector did not report on high or low water pressure, then having a normal water pressure reading documented on the report is a good idea.
Water pressure gauges are easy to use tools. In fact, these gauges can be purchased at any good hardware store for about $10.00. Once you have the tool, you might want to know what readings you are looking for? Normal pressure is described as being between 40 and 80 PSI. The easiest place to check that reading is to screw the gauge on at an outside faucet. But beware, it could give you a false reading doing that. Not often, but sometimes, the hosebibb or outside faucet is plumbed in before a pressure reducer is put in the system and, in that case, there will be a high reading on the gauge. For this reason, when a hosebibb gives a high reading, a person should try to get another reading, such as attaching the gauge to the faucet the washing machine connects to. The washing machine faucet is inside the home and has the same threads as the pressure gauge. If the reading is still high, then the problem is confirmed since the washing machine is one of the appliances we are trying to protect from damage caused by high water pressure.
It is my opinion, having inspected many homes and then checked the water flow, that any reading under 50 PSI is suspect and the people who are going to live in the house ought to see for themselves if they like the water pressure. I suggest the good old fashioned multi flow test. It is simple enough. Get the dishwasher or washing machine running. Then turn on a sink or two and go to a bathroom and try the shower, the sink, etc. Do this on each floor, with other fixtures running. You can get a pretty good idea of the water pressure and how it will affect you. If you see that the pressure starts to drop after each faucet is turned on then you need to consult a professional plumber. Low water pressure can be caused by several different things. Bad pressure from the utility district, rusted old pipes or an old main coming into the house.
If the pressure is too high, a pressure reducer can be installed by a professional plumber. I suggest that the reducer be installed after the outdoor hosebibbs. This will ensure that outdoor watering and leisure activities will have ample amount of water. The pressure reducer will help protect appliances like your dishwasher and washing machine. It will also help protect your toilets from constant repair.
If you live in the middle Tennessee area and would like us to come check your water pressure, or solve any water pressure problems you can call us at 615-864-9459 and a H20 Plumbing Specialist can help you in deciding how to take care of your particular problem.