Water pressure Check is Part of Residential Plumbing Maintenance

High Water Pressure: Understanding the Destructive Force

Water is one of the most powerful elements on our planet, capable of shaping landscapes and sustaining life. However, intensifying that force beyond natural levels can wreak havoc on our homes and plumbing systems. High water pressure, though often overlooked, is a silent culprit responsible for many damages that can significantly impact residential and commercial properties. We’ll delve into the destructive potential of high water pressure and its implications.

One main problem is that homeowners see it as a luxury without understanding the destructive side of high water pressure. We think about those hot showers with hot water pouring out of the showerhead. Maybe you like turning on the outdoor spigot with the water pressure blazing out of the hose. Whatever the case, if you’re a homeowner, get your water pressure to a manageable place.

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The Mechanics of High Water Pressure 

Water pressure is the force of water exerted through the plumbing system. Normal water pressure typically ranges between 40 to 80 pounds per square inch (psi), although most experts say 60-65 psi is the right spot to provide adequate flow for daily activities. However, when this pressure exceeds safe levels beyond 80 psi, it can lead to a cascade of issues.

High Water Pressure Puts Immense Strain on Plumbing Systems

Constant high pressure weakens pipes, joints, and fixtures, making them prone to leaks, bursts, and ruptures. Excessive water pressure in plumbing systems equipped with pumps, such as circulating hot water pumps, can accelerate water flow, leading to pipe corrosion from the inside out, leading to costly repairs. 

High Water Pressure can damage pipes

Appliance Malfunction is Another Major Issue Brought on by High Water Pressure 

Household appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, and water heaters are designed to operate within specific pressure limits. Excessive water pressure can overwhelm these appliances, causing internal components to fail prematurely. Leaking seals, cracked hoses, and damaged valves are common issues resulting from prolonged exposure to high pressure.

Bathroom Fixture Aren’t Immune from the High Pressure 

Faucets, showerheads, and toilet valves are not immune to the effects of high water pressure. The constant bombardment of pressurized water can cause these fixtures to deteriorate over time, leading to leaks, reduced performance, and the need for frequent replacements.

High Water Pressure Impacts the Internal and External Areas of a Home or Business 

This means that high water pressure doesn’t selectively target specific components of the water delivery system. Instead, it affects both the internal plumbing within a building and the external areas as well. This implies that the harmful effects of high water pressure extend beyond just the pipes and fixtures within the confines of a property; it also impacts the larger network, such as irrigation systems and other related areas of the property.

Municipal Systems Can Feel the Strain on Aging Infrastructure 

In areas where municipal authorities regulate water pressure, excessively high pressure can strain aging infrastructure, including water mains and distribution networks. The increased stress on pipes accelerates wear and tear, heightening the risk of catastrophic failures such as pipe bursts and water main breaks. These incidents can disrupt water supply, cause property damage, and require costly repairs for municipalities and residents.

Irrigation Systems and the Affects of High Water Pressure 

According to studies completed at Oklahoma State University, excessive water pressure presents a unique array of challenges. Firstly, it poses a risk of system damage. Similar to overinflating a balloon, high pressure can cause components within an irrigation system to fracture, particularly at joints where pipes connect to PVC fittings. 

Secondly, a common issue associated with elevated pressure is reduced irrigation efficiency. When the pressure at a spray nozzle exceeds optimal levels, water exits in a mist rather than as large, nourishing droplets. This mist is easily dispersed by the wind, leading to evaporation before reaching the intended landscape. Observing mist around spray heads serves as a clear indication of heightened water pressure. 

Additionally, heightened pressure escalates the flow rate of irrigation equipment. However, application uniformity may suffer significantly if the pressure surpasses the device’s design range. For instance, envision a sprinkler operating at its ideal pressure of 30 pounds per square inch (psi), dispersing water evenly within its designated arc at a flow rate of 3.3 gallons per minute (GPM). Now, if the pressure increases to 50 psi, surpassing the recommended range, the spray pattern becomes irregular, and the flow rate escalates to 4.8 GPM.

High water pressure is bad on irrigation

Adjust Your Water Pressure and Start Saving Money 

Have you noticed a sudden spike in your water bills lately, seemingly without any obvious explanation? It could be a sign of high water pressure in your plumbing system. Here’s why: High water pressure leads to increased water consumption, often without you realizing it. Consider this scenario: A standard faucet operating at a typical water pressure of 50 PSI (pounds per square inch) uses approximately 30 gallons of water per minute. However, a mere 10 PSI increase in pressure can escalate water usage to 36 gallons per minute for the same duration of use—resulting in an extra six gallons consumed, unbeknownst to you. 

Water pressure may soar to as high as 80 or even 100 PSI in some households. At these levels, that same faucet can dispense a staggering 45 gallons of water per minute, wasting an additional 15 gallons every 10 minutes of use. This unnoticed water wastage can translate to hundreds of extra dollars spent on water bills annually.

Conservation Measures Cultivate Sustainability and Environmental Stewardship

Promoting water conservation reduces water consumption and alleviates pressure on plumbing systems at home. Implementing water-efficient fixtures, such as low-flow toilets and aerated faucets, helps mitigate the effects of high water pressure while conserving resources. Furthermore, educating individuals about responsible water usage fosters a culture of sustainability and environmental stewardship.

Plumbing Maintenance: Homeowners, You Can Do It! 

Routine plumbing inspections are essential for identifying and addressing potential issues before they escalate. Checking for signs of leaks, corrosion, and water damage enables early intervention, minimizing the risk of costly repairs and property damage. Many homeowners might not want to pay for an annual plumbing checkup. So here is the challenge: make a plumbing check; this is what it will look like for an average home:

  • Check under your sinks for any sign of moisture.
  • Complete a quick walk-through on your downstairs ceiling for any stains or moisture.
  • Check your outdoor spigots and irrigation for leaks or puddling. 
  • Check your water pressure by using a water pressure gauge. The gauge costs around ten dollars at your local home center or Amazon. It will attach right to the outdoor spigot closest to the incoming water supply.

Next crucial step to your checklist

  1. Lastly, turn off all the water in your home and open your water meter. 
  2. On your water meter is a spinning dial called a flow indicator. It is usually a round or triangle dial. If all the water in your home is off and the dial is still spinning, then you will have a water leak. 
  3. You can take it a step further and turn off the water to your landscaping. If the flow indicator stops, then the leak is in your landscaping. 

These few steps might take 30-45 minutes but will go a long way in keeping your plumbing system safe. 

Plumbing Checklist

Pressure-Reducing Valves is an Effective Method for Controlling Water Pressure

Installing pressure-reducing valves (PRVs) is an effective method for controlling water pressure within safe limits. PRVs adjust incoming water pressure to a predetermined level, safeguarding plumbing systems and appliances from excessive force. The valves are typically installed at the main water supply line to regulate water pressure throughout the entire plumbing system. Besides preventing damage to pipes and fixtures, PRVs contribute to conservation efforts by reducing unnecessary water usage. 

Additionally, modern PRVs often come with features such as pressure gauges and bypass mechanisms, allowing for more precise pressure control and easier troubleshooting. Investing in high-quality PRVs and adhering to a proactive maintenance schedule can significantly extend the lifespan of plumbing systems while minimizing the risk of water-related damages.

High Water Pressure, Big B’s Plumbing Has You Covered!

High water pressure may seem harmless initially, but its consequences can be far-reaching and costly. From plumbing failures to infrastructure damage, the impacts of excessive water pressure extend beyond the confines of our homes and businesses. By understanding the destructive potential of high water pressure and implementing proactive measures to mitigate its effects, we can safeguard our properties, conserve water resources, and promote sustainable living for generations to come. If you’re experiencing high water pressure, Big B’s Plumbing has you covered! Call today, and you’ll always get the service you deserve.

Brandon and Family, Licensed plumbing contractor

Family Owned & Operated

My name is Brandon Mageno. I'm the founder, President, and CEO of Big B's Plumbing Company. As the founder, I never thought about being average or good. My passion for being the best plumbing company in Southern California has always been the same. Providing plumbing services to this great county is simply in my DNA. Nothing makes me happier than to see a satisfied customer. Learn More About Us

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