Low water pressure can really put a damper on one’s home life. It affects everything in the house that uses water, from the shower to the sink to the refrigerator. It can also affect the outdoor amenities, like the pool filter.
So with summer around the corner, it’s time to make sure that you have good water pressure, or else you won’t be able to enjoy the season as you would otherwise. So let’s make the most of the summer by starting it off right.
How To Increase Water Pressure: Identifying The Problem
Low water pressure is a common problem. According to experts at Heatingforce, a leaking boiler/central heating system or problems with your pump are usually the culprits here. But before you start troubleshooting and finding ways to fix the problem, you need to find out if you have a problem in the first place. You will need a water pressure gauge.
The first thing you should do is turn off all of the faucets, washers, dishwashers, and hoses. Then use a test gauge at upstairs faucets. The gauge will tell you everything that you need to know and if your pressure is in the normal range.
If it’s not, it could simply be that you have too much pipe running through the system, or there are too many elbows. If that isn’t the problem, it could be because of a variety of other reasons. Here are a few of them.
- Valves aren’t open all the way – check all the valves in your pipes if you can to make sure they are open. It should just be a knob that needs turned and it should be labeled open and close on the pipe.
- Pipes are too thin – if your pipes are old and less than 1/2 in then it could be making it too hard for the water to pass through. So if they are, have a plumber come to replace them, it will be well worth it.
- Pipes are dirty – if the inside of the pipes is dirty, not only will the water pressure be off, but you could be getting bacteria into your food and water. So take care of this problem quickly by contacting a plumber.
- Filters are not clean – you should be using a filter for your water inside. If you don’t have one, get a plumber to come install one. If you do have one, replace it yourself or get it replaced as soon as you can.
Lower Floor Vs. Upper Floor Water Pressure
The water pressure on the upper floor will always be lower than the pressure on the lower floors. This is because hot water heaters and sources are almost always on the lower levels. Do the math on this one and see why it happens.
For every foot of pipe, more water pressure is lost. For vertical pipes, the amount of pressure loss is more substantial than with horizontal pipes. While upper levels will never have as good of water pressure as lower levels, the tricks work all the same.
However, making sure that the water pressure is good usptairs will almost always ensure that the water pressure is good downstairs. So focusing on the upstairs water pressure is usually your best bet.
How To Increase Water Pressure In Shower
We all want a long, hot shower at the end of the day, but that shower can be ruined by low water pressure. Since low water pressure in showers is most noticeable, it’s the first thing people want to fix.
So, open up the showerhead and there should be a small disc inside that reduces water usage. The first thing you should do is remove this disc. These are for those living in facilities with shared water.
If you live in a private home, remove this disc and it may completely solve the problem. If that didn’t work, then check the water pressure regulator. Simply adjust the regulator to a higher pressure.
Do this slowly as a water pressure regulator controls the water pressure in the whole house. To increase the water pressure via the water pressure regulator, use a wrench on top of the valve to access the adjustment screw.
Most of the time, you turn it clockwise to increase pressure and counter-clockwise to reduce the water pressure. Do it very slowly, trying the new water pressure with each tiny adjustment to make sure you don’t go too far.
If you’re not confident in what you are doing, get someone to help. A plumber can adjust the water pressure in your home for next to nothing as it will only take him a few minutes. But get a quote on the phone to make sure it is worth it.
What Is A Water Pressure Gauge?
A water pressure gauge is a tool that can tell you the exact amount of water pressure in any given faucet. Most of the time, the gauge can screw into the faucet just like a hose and is compatible with almost any faucet.
Typical home water pressure ranges from 40 to 50 psi though it can be up to 60 without causing any problems. Water pressure regulators hardly ever allow you to adjust the water to over 75, so something is off if the gauge reads higher.
If you don’t have a regulator or believe your gauge isn’t working, call a plumber. Having your water pressure checked isn’t expensive and can save you a lot of time and money. After all, too much water pressure just adds to your water bill.
Best Water Pressure Gauges
If you don’t have a water pressure gauge, know that you can get them for an extremely affordable price. These three options will take care of any need that you may have, adjusted to your specifications.
Any similar gauge will do, but the YZM Stainless Steel 304 Single Scale Liquid Filled Pressure Gauge is still one of the best. It is under $15, usually less, depending on where you buy it, and it can do just about any job right.
If you want something that will work on almost any faucet in your house or outdoors, then the Flow Doctor Water Pressure Gauge is a great option. It’s the middle-ground option that is under $30 and comes with different adaptors.
If you want to get a regulator with a gauge attached, this deal is too good to be true. Or is it? It can work as simply a gauge, but is also a regulator that can be used to test and adjust the water pressure in your house.
Hot Water Pressure Washer
A lot of people hear about water pressure and think of pressure washers. While cold water pressure washers can get rid of a lot of dirt and dust, hot water pressure washers offer a lot more than cold water ones do.
Hot water pressure washers work well on grease and oil whereas cold water does not. In general, hot water pressure washers are simply better than cold water pressure washers. But the biggest difference is the power they have on grease.
Another pro to hot water pressure washers is the disinfectant qualities. Cold water does not remove bacteria or germs but hot water does. However, if you are a beginner, you probably should start with cold water to minimize the chance of accidents.
Best Hot Water Pressure Washers
Make sure that you test the water pressure of your hot water pressure washer when you get it and on a regular basis. It needs to have the same PSI as promised, so test it with your hot water pressure gauge.
This simple hot water pressure washer is called the AR ANNOVI REVERBERI AR630-HOT reaches nearly 2000-PSI. It is a carry-around pressure washer that can be stored almost anywhere. This is a great beginner’s choice.
However, it doesn’t work great for big jobs or decades of build-up. It is great to have around as it works for most projects and can keep any deck clean if done regularly. You won’t find a better small-scale pressure washer.
The Champion Power Equipment 3200-PSI 2.5 GPM washer is a solid choice and the best deal all-around. It’s the middle-ground option at just over 3000-PSI. This washer has five settings as well so it is great for any job.
Pressure washers at 3000-PSI can get just about any job done. You hardly ever need more than this, especially if you only use the setting you need for each job to ensure you get the most life out of your washer.
If you need the best of the best, then the Easy-Kleen Professional is perfect for you. This pressure washer can do any job with up to 4000-PSI and a ten-gallon tank so you don’t have to stop to refill so often.
Unless you run a huge business, you will never need more than 4000-PSI. Because think about that for a second. That’s four thousand pounds per square inch, which is equivalent to the weight of a large pickup or SUV.
Should I Do It Myself Or Hire A Plumber?
This isn’t always easy to find out. Just remember one thing though, your time is vaulable too. If you can get the job done without stressing, then go ahead and do it. But sometimes, hiring a professional is worth the money.
If you have the money to spare, then do it. If you aren’t sure, then ask for a binding estimate. Then you can be sure that you won’t spend more than was quoted to you which is such a relief! From there, you can make your decision.