Most homeowners know that low water pressure can be a sign of underlying problems with their plumbing systems. What they may not realize is that high water pressure can be just as big of a problem. It can damage plumbing fixtures, create extra wear on water-using appliances, and even lead to pipe leaks and bursts.
The good news is that the problem may not be as hard to deal with as most homeowners think. Abnormally high water pressure is usually a supply-side problem. Read on to find out about three steps homeowners need to take to deal with this issue and get their plumbing systems back into normal operational condition.
Step One: Learn How to Recognize the Problem
There are four common warning signs that point to high water pressure as an underlying issue. They are:
Banging sounds in pipes
Once homeowners notice these problems, they can call Express Handyman to schedule an appointment. A professional handyman will come to the property and test the water pressure using a water pressure gauge. If the water pressure exceeds the recommended pressure level for residential homes of 80 psi, that’s a sure sign it’s time to take action before any more damage occurs.
Step Two: Install a Pressure Reduction Valve
The best solution to consistently high water pressure is to install a pressure reduction valve. These regulating devices need to be installed by a professional who knows his or her way around the plumbing system and has access to specialized tools like tube cutters, so unless they’ve got experience working in the plumbing industry, homeowners shouldn’t try installing the devices themselves.
Don’t assume that turning down the water main’s stopcock is a viable alternative to installing a pressure regulator. This solution can reduce water flow and contribute to unwanted noise within the plumbing system. Pressure reduction valves, if properly installed, can last for seven years or longer and, in that time, they’ll pay for themselves by reducing water bills, so it’s worth the investment.
Step Three: Contact the Water Company
DIY solutions aren’t always enough to address high water pressure problems. In some cases, homeowners are better off contacting their water companies. More specifically, if the force measured using a water pressure gauge exceeds 100 psi, that’s a sure sign of trouble.
Excessively high water pressure can damage pipes, fixtures, and appliances, and it’s the supplier’s responsibility to ensure that customers receive their water at an appropriate pressure. Fixing the problem could be as simple as getting in touch with the company to let its representatives know that the water pressure is unreasonably high. Customers can also file complaints if they aren’t satisfied with the actions taken by their water suppliers.
Most homeowners don’t have the tools, knowledge, or experience to install water pressure reduction valves by themselves, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing they can do to protect their plumbing systems from high water pressure. The best solution is to keep an eye out for signs of trouble and call a plumber or a handyman who can address the issue as soon as they appear. If the water pressure is unreasonably high, calling the water supply company is a good idea, but it doesn’t replace the need for installing a pressure reduction valve to protect the household from further issues.