Testing your home’s water pressure is an important part of any responsible homeowner’s regular plumbing maintenance. Water pressure that is too high can cause blowouts or pipe bursts. Water pressure that is too low can be a sign that there are other problems within your system.
Many homes have existing pressure regulators to make sure your water never gets too pressurized. Unfortunately, it can be hard to tell when pressure regulators fail. That’s why we recommend checking your water pressure at least twice per year.
We’ve listed the simple steps to accomplish this easy test below.
1. Purchase a pressure gauge that measures in psi.
They can be found online or at your local hardware store. We recommend a gauge with female hose threads so you can directly screw it into your hose bib.
2. Look for an outdoor hose bib.
A hose bib is the thing you hook your hose up to on the outside of your home (we’re not sure why they’re called that, either). Find the hose bib and screw the pressure gauge onto it. You’ll be able to feel the pull of the inner rubber gasket when you screw it in. You probably won’t have any problems tightening it, but have some pliers on-hand just in case.
3. Turn on the water.
Make sure no one else in the home is using water when you do this. No laundry machine, no bathroom, no water. You want an accurate reading, which will only come if no other water is being used throughout your home. Twist the metal handle on top of the hose bib to get the water flowing out and through the gauge.
Your average pressure regulator has a maximum adjustment of 75 psi. If the reading on your pressure gauge is over 75 psi, that your regulator isn’t working and needs to be replaced. If you don’t have a pressure regulator, it’s always a good idea to have one installed.
4. Write down the number.
You want your home’s water pressure to be between 30 and 75 psi. We’ve already told you what to do if it’s too high, but if it’s too low it’s time to call in professionals. They’ll help you determine the source of your slow water pressure.
If you need help with pressure regulator installation or anything else with your home’s plumbing – give us a call. The professional technicians at Ben Franklin Plumbing are always on standby, ready to tackle your particular plumbing problems.