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3 Symptoms of Low Water Pressure & How to Test It

Low water pressure can be frustrating, while your appliances can be damaged by excessively high water pressure. The ideal household water ranges between 35 to 80 psi (pounds per square inch). The local water utility makes use of regulators which deliver water to homes at a pressure of between 50-70 psi, but problems in your domestic plumbing system can reduce or increase the water pressure once it arrives in your pipes.

Regulator valves are helpful in preventing excessive water pressure, but when they fail, it can place additional strain on your plumbing system and appliances. You can test your water pressure using a pressure gage, if you are concerned that your household water pressure might be too high.

Symptoms of Water Pressure Issues

If your plumbing does not match the averages below, you might have a problem with water pressure:

toilet-cistern
The average toilet cistern takes 1 minute 40 seconds to refill.

dribble-shower
The shower should not start to dribble if someone else uses the toilet of a faucet.

bath-faucet-slow
The average bath should only take about 5 minutes to fill.

If you have noticed that your plumbing system takes longer to refill fixtures than the above averages, it is likely that you have low water pressure. Speak to Anta Plumbing about doing a pressure test and create a fix.

Testing Your Household Water Pressure

Most hardware stores sell residential water pressure gauge kits. Find a kit that will fit most of your household water outlets and hose bibs.

1. Find the hose bib closest to the main water supply, or nearest to the water meter, if your water comes from the city’s municipal utility. If you have well water at your home, choose an outlet that is near the pressure tank of your well.

2. Turn off all appliances or faucets that use water, including dishwashers, washing machines, sprinkler systems and refrigerators with ice makers or water dispensers. Water pressure guages measure static water pressure, so moving water in your plumbing system will give a false low reading.

3. Attach the pressure gauge to the washing machine connection or hose bib or a similar outlet. The fitting end must be screwed into the outlet.

4. Slowly open the water supply valve that controls the specific outlet to which the gauge is attached until it is opened fully.

5. Once the needle stops moving, read the pressure on the gauge. The ideal pressure will fall between 50 psi to 75 psi.

If your water pressure is below or above that, it is possible that your gauge is faulty or incorrectly installed. Close the water valve and wait for a few minutes before testing again. If you get the same out-of-range reading, you may need to call a professional plumber for an inspection.

If the reading is different, re-check to ensure that all the water-using appliances and faucets are in fact shut off. A professional plumber from Anta Plumbing will use modern high-tech, professional grade equipment to test your water pressure and determine whether the reading falls within the appropriate range.

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Written by Tanya Klien

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