It is essential to understand why water pressure is important. In addition, it is important to know what too little or too much water pressure means for your home. There are certain factors that influence the water pressure in your home.
- The material of your pipes and appliances
- The age of your pipes and appliances
- Your municipality
- Whether your house is located at the top or bottom of a hill. This is because water naturally flows downhill
The ideal range of water pressure is between 60 pounds per square inch (psi) and 80 psi. When water pressure is below 60 psi, it is considered low and is mostly due to an underlying problem such as leaking water pipes, toilet or water meter.
On the other hand, when water pressure is above 80 psi, it is considered to be high and this can lead to damage on the pipes or appliances.
Required Materials for increase water pressure at home
There are certain instruments you would need to use to check your water pressure. This will, in turn, give a clearer view of what exactly could be the problem leading to low water pressure.
Some of the steps you can take are:
- Call your local water department for a pressure reading
- You can use a pressure gauge to check for the water pressure. For the pressure test, hook up the gauge to an outside water spigot and turn on the water. Thereafter, you will get an instant reading.
P.s: If you have a secondary system, you can fix the pressure gauge to the water heater then carry on with the pressure test.
If the reading is low (below 60psi), you can call your local water department to boost the pressure or install a water pressure boosting system.
STEP BY STEP GUIDE LINE
Before calling for professional help, There are various measures you can take to increase the water pressure. They are:
Check the Water Meter
This is normally done to rule out any leaks from your pipes. The first step is to shut off all the water in the house and then read the meter. To check for leaks using the meter, observe the small triangular or disk-shaped dial on the meter. If it is spinning, and everything is shut off properly, then water is flowing. This is a clear indication of a leak.
Another way to check is by writing down the water reading. Thereafter, wait for a few hours without using water. When you check again and get a different reading, you have a leak. This would be a good time to call for professional help to fix your pipes.
Check your Main Shutoff Valve at the Street
The main shutoff valve is next to the water meter. If it is in a closed position, this could be one of the reasons why you are experiencing low water pressure. Turning the shutoff valve to fully open can help rectify the problem and increase water pressure.
Check the Pressure-Reducing Valve
Most homes on the low ground have a pressure-reducing valve installed where the line enters the building. It is shaped like a bell and reduces the supply of water to a safe pressure for your house. To increase water pressure, turn the screw or knob at the top of the pressure-reducing valve clockwise.
Be careful while you turn to avoid damaging the plumbing. If this does not work, you may need to shut off the water supply and dismantle the parts.
Check your Faucets
The low water pressure could be brought about by the faucets. If you suspect that this is the issue, clean the aerator, disassemble the faucet or repair it all together. You can clean the aerator by disassembling it, then rinsing off the dirt or sediments or soaking it in an equal mix of white vinegar and water.
Check your Pipes
Clogged pipes can be a reason for low water pressure. This could be due to accumulated sediments or dirt from several years of galvanized pipes. If you suspect that this is the issue, it may be time to re-pipe your house. As much as this is not a cheap affair, it does make the difference of increasing water pressure.
If you need to re-pipe your home, a professional plumber would be suited for this job.
Install a Water Pressure Booster System
If you have inspected your faucets, pipes, water meter, pressure-reducing valve, and main shut off valve and you are still experiencing low water pressure, it may time to install a water pressure booster system. This is also done if the local water department is not likely to boost the pressure.
If you would want to install it yourself, you would require a plumbing permit so that your work is inspected. In some cases, you may be required to install a reduced pressure and backflow preventer alongside the pressure booster.
A water pressure booster takes the water coming in from the area and increases the water pressure by the use of an electric booster pump and a pressure tank. To adjust the pressure, a dial on top of the pressure booster is used to maintain the pressure between 60 psi and 80 psi.
The pressure tank works by holding a reserve of pressurized water so that the electric pump does not have to keep running whenever someone opens a faucet. Additionally, the flow is boosted whenever the demand for water is high.
You should keep in mind that corroded or clogged pipes can be damaged or broken when you try and boost water pressure. It is important to know the state of your pipes before installing a water pressure booster.
Lastly, if water supplied to your house is from a well or gravity flow system, seek the services of a professional plumber to adjust the pressure.
Check your Shower Head
This step applies when you have checked all the parts mentioned and are still experiencing the same low water pressure problem. If the utility sink, toilet and kitchen sink all have enough water pressure, but your showerhead is the opposite, then the problem could be tied to this. In this case, you should check your restrictor valve or low flow shower valve.
To identify which of the two is the problem, inspect your shower head. Dismantle the shower head and the tub spout. If the pressure is still low, then the problem is not with the restrictor valve, but the low flow shower valve. If the low pressure is being caused by the restrictor valve, then removing it will easily solve everything.
A low flow shower valve is created to reduce water pressure in order to conserve water. If you realize that this is the reason behind the low water pressure, the best thing to do is to get a replacement. Although, before all this, it is important to check if your shower head has any debris that could be blocking the water flow.
It is clearly vital to know how to increase water pressure at home by yourself because this way, you can avoid the costs that come up with seeking professional help. However, when you have inspected everything and the low water pressure still persists, this would be the best time to seek professional help from a certified plumber.