How do you fix low water pressure?

Water Pressure in Marietta GA

What is normal house water pressure?

Is there anything worse than trying to a long, hot shower and have extraordinarily little water pressure? Maybe no hot water, but that’s another topic for another day. As much as we depend on the water and the water heater, water pressure is important to our daily lives too.

Air and water pressure are both measured in pounds per square inch, or PSI.  In regard to water pressure, this is the force that water comes from the water main and into your home. The normal PSI for a home plumbing system is between thirty and eighty psi.

When people mention water volume, is that the same thing? No, the difference between water pressure vs volume is force vs amount.  Water pressure is the force in which water pushes through the plumbing. Water volume is the amount of water that is flowing through your water faucets and water taps.

Can you have  too much water pressure? Immediately, no, high water for a short time likely will not cause a pipe burst or leak. However, it will add can stress to the water pipes and any weak areas will have an increased chance of pipe failures and leaks.

Why is my water pressure so low all of a sudden?

When the  water pressure is low in house, it is typically easy to troubleshoot to find the problem, and sometime, it is an easy fix. Four things to check and try before calling the city or a plumber are:  

1. Determine the problem:

Before water pressure problems can be resolved, you have to what’s going on first. Some things to check so that you can go forward are:

Water fixture: If the problem of low water pressure is one fixture, that could be an aerator or cartridge clogged. Simply remove those with pliers, soak a few minutes in water and white vinegar to remove the limescale, and replace them. A showerhead may need to soak overnight.

The entire house: If the water pressure is affecting every fixture, you need to look at the main shut-off valve. If it is partially closed, turn it toward open just a fraction and check the water pressure again. If it isn’t a problem with the water main, you need to call a plumber.

The entire neighborhood: Sometimes, a low water pressure problem can affect the entire neighborhood. Check with your neighbors if they are having any issues with water pressure.  If other are experiencing this same problem, check with the city or local water supply and see if they are working on the water system.

2. Check your water heater

When the cold water pressure is good, but the water pressure for the hot water is low, check the water heater. Start with checking the shut-off valve to the water heater. It may be closed slightly which will affect the water pressure. Open it back up and check the hot water pressure again.  If it is open or the water pressure is still poor, this could indicate the water heater has a build-up of sediment and needs to be flushed. Or your water heater may need replacing.

3. Check water pressure regulator

Also referred to as the PRV, this is what brings the water pressure to an optimum level prior to reaching the plumbing fixtures. Your home may not have one, but if you do, the PRV is common when experiencing low water pressure if it is broken. It can be replaced by a professional plumber.  

4. Tracking down leaking pipes

Even if there is plenty of water coming from the main to your home, if there is a leak anywhere in between or within the plumbing system of your home, you’re going to lose water pressure. The first step in finding out if you have water is a leak is checking the meter.  With all the water off in and outside the house, if the meter is moving, you have a leak. Now, the hunt and find begin.

How do I test my home water pressure?

Like the indoor air quality in your home, you should test the water pressure in your home two to three times a year. This will help you find and identify in possible issues and remedy them before they become bigger problems. This guide will walk you through the steps to test your home’s water pressure with just an inexpensive, simple pressure gauge that is available at any home improvement store. You want one with female hose threads,  a rubber gasket, and a capacity to measure up to 300 psi.

  1. Make sure all water outlets are turned off inside and outside your home. This includes the dishwasher, ice maker, faucets, showerheads, washing machine, and sprinklers.  If any water is on, the water pressure check will be incorrect.
  2. Connect the gauge to any outside faucet or the hose bib, closest to your water meter.
  3. By hand, tighten the gauge and open the faucet. If the gauge reads between forty-five and fifty-five psi, you have ideal water pressure.  

Can you increase water pressure in your house?

If the faucets and showerhead only dribble water out and it takes forever for the washing machine to fill, your home probably has a low water pressure issue, a relatively common plumbing issue. There could be one of many reasons that is causing this, but fortunately, there are ways that and fix this with a little money and time.

  • First, you’ll want to do a water pressure check as we’ve discussed above. When that proves to be adequate, checking the flow rate, another  important factor for the water pressure to your home.
  • The water flow rate measure the amount of water delivered through our homes pipes over a certain time. This is calculated as GPM (gallons per minute). When there is a higher demand for water that what the system is able to supply, it will seem to be a low water pressure issue.
  • To check your home’s water flow, turn all water-using appliances and faucets are turned off.  With a garden hose connected to a faucet  outdoors, line three 5-gallon buckets up and begin filling the buckets with water using the hose, with the faucet turned up full blast.
  • After sixty seconds, stop and measure the amount of water the buckets captured. If there are two-and-half buckets, then calculates to 12-1/2 GPM. Each person in an average household will use between 100 to 120 gallons of water daily. The ideal water flow rate is between six to twelve GPM.

How do I adjust my water pressure?

There three ways you can increase the water pressure in your home:

  • Call the Water Department: When you’re on a city water system, they will check your home’s water pressure as it comes from the street to your home. If there isn’t a problem found on the city’s die at the main water pipe, then take the next step.
  • Pressure-Reducing Valve: Adjusting the pressure-reducing valve is a easy and fast way to improve your water pressure. Beside the water meter, there is a conical-shaped valve and a threaded bolt protruding from that valve. To increase the water pressure, loosen the locking nut around the bolt, then turn it clockwise. Using the pressure gauge, determine when the proper water pressure is reached, 50 PSI, and tighten the locknut.
  • Pressure Booster: If these methods for increasing your water pressure fail, you’ll need to have a booster pump installed by a profession plumbing contractor.

If you’re looking for a way to increase water pressure without pump, check your water pressure first and if you have a reading of 30 to 80 psi, then there is adequate water pressure in your home. With that determined, any of the following can affect your home’s water pressure.

  • Clogged Pipes
  • Malfunction Valves
  • Leakage
  • Water Pressure Regulator Issues
  • Faulty Fixtures
  • High Water Demand
  • Water Rationing

Can you increase the water pressure with well water supply? Yes, you can achieve an ideal water pressure for a well between 40 to 60 psi. The following are things you can check to increase your home’s water pressure:

  • Air fill valve
  • Pipe inspection
  • Inspect the water from the well
  • Have pressure tank and pump inspected

Need help with your home water pressure in Marietta, GA? BDS Plumbing Solutions Inc can help! Call (770) 672-0095 today!

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