what should the water pressure be in a house

What Should The Water Pressure Be In A House?

Water pressure issues don’t just leave you hanging in the shower with soap in your eyes – it also affects your plumbing and increases your water bills over time.

The water pressure should be standard – 60 PSI (pounds per square foot), even if the water is sourced from a well. It is recommended not to go above 75 PSI, which is equally dangerous to the plumbing and appliances, as is low water pressure.

However, large homes might need more considerable incoming water pressure to slow down on touching the piping bends. 

Let’s look at how you can check the water pressure in your home and bring it to the optimum level before it damages your plumbing.

Table of Contents

Testing Water Pressure At The Incoming Source

The easiest way to check the water pressure of your whole house is to check the pressure at the incoming municipal lines.

This is important even if you have a pressure regulator/pressure regulating valve at the incoming water source to the whole house because you won’t know when the regulator is malfunctioning. In addition, the plumbing might end up damaged due to the high water pressure.

Here are some signs of high water pressure:

  1. Loud knocking or banging noises from your plumbing
  2. Water faucets cause spitting noises when turned on
  3. Small leaks or cracks in the plumbing
  4. Leakages from plumbing cause wet areas
  5. Dishwashers or water heaters get damaged easily
  6. Leakages in appliances or fixtures

Read More: 2 Methods to Fix a Leaky Shower Head

Here is how you can quickly check the water pressure at the incoming source to your home:

  1. Find the main pipe and faucet leading into your home from the municipal water source. That is where you will find the water pressure originating from the water source or inside your home.
  2. Shut off all the faucets and pipes in the house to get an accurate reading of the water pressure. For more accuracy, use individual shut-off valves inside the house to ensure no water is being used.
  3. Close the main shut-off valve and connect the water pressure gauge to the main faucet. 
  4. Open the faucet and let the incoming water give you a reading of the water pressure.

You can use this method to check the water pressure inside your house at various points in case you want to know if the high water pressure is generated inside the house and not at the source. This is especially important if you need a plumber’s help with issues related to a particular faucet or valve.

Air Testing Water Pressure For Existing Plumbing

Testing the water pressure using air is usually reserved for new plumbing because you need to drain the water supply for this one. However, if you want an accurate measure of the water supply inside your house, an air test is better than a water test. So let’s look at how you can air-test your water pressure in the existing plumbing.

  1. Go to the main shut-off valve and turn it off. This will disconnect the water source from your house.
  2. Empty the pipes by running the faucets in the house till no water is left. Turn off the faucets now.
  3. Locate a threaded faucet in your house – it must be in an outdoor location.
  4. Attach the water pressure gauge to the threaded faucet and attach the gauge adapter to another faucet. Then connect the compressor hose to the adapter.
  5. Charge the compressor system to 60 PSI and wait 15 minutes for the pressure to settle.
  6. Ensure that there are no leakages in the piping system to avoid pressure loss before you turn the water faucet back on.

Air testing the water pressure can be time-consuming, but it is a foolproof way to check and restore water pressure throughout the house.

Air Testing Water Pressure For New Plumbing

If you think that air testing the existing plumbing is difficult, try air testing new plumbing. Though it may take longer, air testing the new plumbing effectively avoids any water pressure problems when you turn on the supply for the first time. Also, it helps with the early detection of leakages without the inconvenience of dealing with floods.

You will need to purchase test kits or individual items – like test balloons and weenies – to cover the plumbing that isn’t being used. So let’s get to the directions now:

  1. You must block all toilet flanges and vents in the pipe fittings and drains with the test balloons. The balloons will be inflated after attaching them to the T-fittings, and the attached pressure gauge will take care of the pressure ratings.
  2. If you have stub-out pipes for the plumbing that will be used later on – like on a showerhead – cover them with test caps to avoid leakages.
  3. Choose a plumbing fitting and insert a test weenie inside, with the pressure gauge pointed up for more effortless reading when the weenie inflates.
  4. Raise the pressure to 5 PSI and stay for 15 minutes. Look for any changes in pressure, which might mean that there are leakages in the plumbing. 

To better observe leakages, use colored gas inside the plumbing before fitting the test balloons and weenies. You can also put soap and water on the plumbing joints to look for air bubbles or listen for any hissing sounds from air escaping from the plumbing.

FAQs – What Should The Water Pressure Be In A House?

Is 70 PSI Water Pressure Too High?

Usually, the water pressure in the water plumbing should be around 30 to 70 PSI. It is against the housing laws for water pressure to exceed 80 PSI since it can easily damage the plumbing and the appliances. For safety reasons, aim for a 30-80 PSI water pressure.

What Causes Low Water Pressure In The House?

Various factors reduce the water pressure in the house –

  1. Dirt, debris, or mineral buildup in the valves over time act as an obstacle to free water flow;
  2. The main shut-off valve or individual shut-off valves around the house, when partially opened, restrict water flow and reduce water pressure;
  3. If you already have a pressure reduction valve in place that you haven’t configured the settings to, you must change the PSI on it for your desired level of water pressure.
  4. Leakages are often the most significant reason behind low water pressure in the plumbing. You can test the plumbing for leakages with the help of the methods mentioned above and consult a plumber to locate and repair the damaged plumbing.

Read More: What Causes Low Water Pressure In The Whole House?

Can Hot Water Heater Cause High Water Pressure?

We already know from basics that water expands when heated. So when using a water heater, the water in the pipes will heat up and expand, causing a higher water pressure at your faucets. Every water heating system requires a pressure relief valve or expansion tank to avoid the pressure from heated water damaging the pipes.

How To Bring The Water Pressure To Optimum Levels

Source: YouTube

If the water pressure problems are due to the municipal water supply, you might not be the only one facing it. Your neighbors are also affected. For low water pressure, installing a water pressure booster might help – it consists of a pressure tank and a pump installed near the water meter.

The system will have a dial that will help you manipulate the water pressure to 55 or 60 PSI, so the tank can hold in the pressurized water and reduce stress on the pump to run longer. Low water pressure problems from the municipal source have only one practical solution – pressure booster – though this solution might be expensive to many.

Source: Watts

Consider installing a pressure reduction valve if the municipal water source has high pressure. The valve connects to the piping that connects the municipal water source to your house and reduces the water pressure to 50 PSI. You can always toggle the pressure rating to increase or decrease the PSI through this factory setting. 

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