Water Pressure in the Home: High & Low

February 20, 2017
Posted by Ty Gailey
Water Pressure Gauge

Check the pressure in your home!

One of the important checks plumbers can make at your home is a water pressure test. The test usually involves hooking a standard water pressure guage (see below for a picture of one) onto an outside hose bibb (spiggot). 

High water pressure in a residence is a common problem. Many of the plumbing problems people notice in their house such as pipe noise, dripping faucets, running toilets, prematurly failing water heaters, and high water bills can be related to higher than optimal pressure. In Georgia, the potable water system in homes is not supposed to exceed 80 PSI. Water pressure in the municipal water mains is typically much higher than 80 PSI – sometimes well above 140 PSI. In order to reduce the pressure from the street pressure into the acceptable range, a Pressure Regulator Valve PRV is installed at the point where a water service line enters the home. If you have symptoms related to high pressure, the PRV in your home may not be doing it’s job. The recommended repair for this problem is a PRV is replacement. 

When customer is experienceing low water pressure, their fixtures (faucets, showers, etc) do not perform well. Washing, showering, cleaning etc are unpleasant, annoying or more difficult. One common cause of low water pressure in the home can be caused by a clogged or otherwise malfunctioning PRV.

A low pressure experience can also be cause be an undersized or crimped water line. In this case the pressure at an outside hosebibb (spiggot) may test normal. Uncovering a crimped/undersized line requires measuring the water pressure after fixtures are turned on in the house. The pressure reading taken when fixtures inside are in use is called the residual (or flow) pressure. 

An additional cause of low fixture can be malfunctioning or clogging at particular fixtures. If certain fixtures seem consistently lower pressure than others in the home, fixture problems may be the culprit.