The best way to fix a problem is to prevent it from happening in the first place. That’s why we go to the doctor for an annual physical and get the oil changed in our cars. The same idea applies to your plumbing. One thing you can periodically check to avoid a major issue is the water pressure of your water supply.
If the water pressure is too high, it can put extra stress on your pipes and fixtures, which can cause a break and major flooding in your home. Water pressure is usually well controlled by the water department or a pressure-reducing valve in your home, but failures can always occur. That’s why it’s a good idea to test the water pressure yourself. In this article, we’ll explain how.
What you’ll need:
- Pressure gauge with female hose threads – you can find these at your local home improvement store
- Adjustable wrench or channel lock pliers
- Notebook to record results for future reference
Steps for testing your home’s water pressure
- Choose the best testing location – Ideally, you’ll want to use the outside hose bibb to test the water pressure. If you have multiple outdoor faucets, use the one that’s closest to the main water supply line coming into your home. If an outside hose bibb is not an option, you can also use the cold water supply faucet for your laundry washing machine.
- Turn off all running water – For an accurate reading, it’s important that the water is not being used anywhere else in the home. That means turning off dishwashers, the sprinkler system, showers, etc. Let anyone else in your home know not to turn on a faucet or flush the toilet for a few minutes while you conduct the pressure test.
- Install pressure gauge – Take off the hose from the outdoor faucet (or disconnect the washer from the cold water line). Twist the pressure gauge on the spigot like you would a hose. For the first try, hand-tighten the gauge, but if there are any leaks when you turn on the water you can tighten it more with your wrench or pliers.
- Turn on the water – Open the faucet all the way. You’ll see the needle of the pressure gauge move. Once the needle settles, check the reading and writing the number in your notebook.
Understanding the water pressure reading
Ideally, you want your water pressure to be between 40 and 50 psi. If it’s not within that range and you have a pressure-reducing valve, adjust it to make sure it’s working properly.
If your water pressure is above 75 psi and you can’t reduce it yourself, you should call a plumber to fix the pressure before it causes a larger problem.
Testing the water pressure in your home is a smart idea and easy to do yourself. Of course, if you have any difficulties or would prefer a professional’s opinion, contact Liberty Plumbing. We strive to provide the best plumbing and heating services in the Murrieta and Winchester, CA area. Call us today at (951) 760-4215.