How to Increase Water Pressure
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Low water pressure in your home can actually affect you and your family’s quality of life, especially if the pressure is significantly too low. Fortunately, you can take some simple steps to determine the problem and get it fixed, raising your water pressure to where it needs to be so that you can enjoy your home.
So, what can you do to increase the water pressure in your home? In this article, Part 1 talks about some of the common culprits behind low water pressure, Part 2 discusses the need to fix any leaks you find, and Part 3 covers how equipment, such as a water pressure booster pump, can help fix your problem.
Test the water pressure
When the water pressure in your home drops, you should begin by checking common areas that could cause such a problem. The following section describes steps you can take to solve a low water pressure condition.
Step 1: Test the water pressure. Start off by testing your current water pressure by using a pressure gauge connected to a spigot outside your home.
When checking your water pressure with a pressure gauge, look for a reading between 40 to 45 PSI; it should not exceed 60 PSI.
If the pressure reads as normal, then the problem is more than than likely within the inside plumbing of your home, including a clog or leaky pipes.
Step 2: Check the main shut-off valve. Next, check the main shut-off valve between your home and the street, especially if you recently had work done on your water lines.
Sometimes a plumber, or even you, might not turn the valve on all the way when restoring water to your home.
Step 3: Check the shut-off valve inside your home. If the main shut-off valve checks out okay, take a look at the shut-off valve where the water pipe from the street comes into your house.
You might encounter the same problem where the shut-off valve in your home was not turned on fully following work on the plumbing in your house.
Step 4: Check the pressure regulator. Finally, check the pressure regulator, located where the water enters your home or at the meter outside.
When a regulator goes bad, you might initially notice a steady decrease in water pressure within your home, which will require you to replace the device.
Fix any water leaks
If you have inspected all of the various shut-off valves and regulators and found no problems, you should next check the pipes and faucets in your home to see if you have a leak.
Detecting a leak might seem difficult at first, but by using the steps below, you can find a leaky pipe in no time.
Step 1: Check the kitchen and bathrooms. Start with the kitchen and bathrooms, common areas that can spring a leak in the pipes.
Look for signs of moisture under the sink, looking for moisture around the joints and around the P trap. Corroded pipes can also indicate a water leak.
You can also look for water stains at the bottom of the cabinet containing the pipes under the sink.
If you find signs of moisture in these areas, make sure to tighten any loose fittings or replace any corroded pipes or fittings to see if that fixes the problem.
Step 2: Check the appliances. You should also check the floors and walls next to or in adjoining rooms to appliances for signs of water damage.
When searching, looked for cracked or warped flooring or soft spots in the floor, which indicate the presence of moisture.
Stains and bubbling or peeling paint are clear indicators of a leak.
You can also check the ceiling directly below appliances for signs of water damage and moisture.
Step 3: Check the basement or crawlspace. If you have easy access to your basement or crawl space, check for leaky pipes in these areas.
Pay attention to whether a pipe or fitting has any corrosion or moisture build-up. You should also look for mold and mildew in the area of a leak or rotted wood.
Either fix the leak yourself, if you know how, or use the services of a plumber.
Install a water pressure booster pump
If you check all of the above issues and still have a problem with low water pressure, the location of your home could have something to do with the issue. Homes built on hills or a long distance away from the water source often have problems with getting enough water pressure, especially during times of high water use in the neighborhood. One way to fix this problem involves installing a water pressure booster pump.
When installing a water pressure booster pump in your home, keep in mind the expensive of the equipment. This type of equipment generally costs $800 or more, according to Angie’s List. Plus, you might need to pay a plumber to make sure it is installed correctly if you do not know how to do the job yourself. Finally, the pump operates off the electricity in your home and will probably cause a rise in your monthly energy bill.
By looking for common causes for low water pressure in your home, you can often easily find the problem and fix it, including checking shut off valves, the pressure regulator, and your pipes. You should also take into account the location of your home to determine if the low water pressure has more to do with where you live than with a specific problem within your home.