Most people know what an annoyance it is to take a shower with water pressure so low that you’re not sure the shampoo is going to rinse out of your hair. If you’re not familiar, maybe you know, instead, how frustrating it is to stand at a kitchen sink with dishes that just won’t get clean from a barely running faucet.
These are two obvious signs of low water pressure at home and also reasons you may want to look into how to increase your water pressure. Other tell-tale signs of low water pressure at home are…
- Tubs take longer than usual to fill
- Washing machine fills up too slowly
- Unable to get a solid flow of water from your garden hose
But, we can help you figure this out so those situations are things of the past. Read on to find out how to test your home water pressure and take steps to change it!
Test Your Water Pressure
If you’re struggling with the above issues, there’s no harm in testing your water pressure to find out where you stand. You’ll need a water pressure gauge to do that, but they run as inexpensive as $6 on sale if you don’t already know someone that has one.
They come with an attachment for your outdoor spigot. All you have to do is hook it up there and turn your spigot on.
If the reading is lower than 40 PSI, guess what! You have low water pressure.
The normal value for a home is anywhere from 40 to 60 PSI. 50 PSI is a normal place to be for good water pressure.
Try the Bucket Test
There is another quick and easy way to test what’s going on with your water pressure. It doesn’t require anything fancy as all you need is your standard garden hose and three buckets or just one bucket to test your shower.
This is called testing your water flow rate. Water pressure is the amount of force with which your water is coming out of your faucet. Water flow is how much water comes out of your faucet in a given time.
Water flow can be affected by water pressure and also the diameter of your pipes. It’s also measured as gallons per minute or GPM.
To run this test, just grab 3 buckets, line them up outside, and use your hose to fill them in 60 seconds. Make sure the rest of your facets are off and that you have your outdoor spigot turned up all the way.
The ideal flow rate that you’re looking for is from 6 to 12 GPM. One bucket should equal about 5 GPM.
To specifically test a shower head, unscrew the head and turn the water on so it falls from the arm into a bucket. Measure how much water is in the bucket after 10 seconds.
You want about 8 to 10 GPM in reality. If you do get that much and still have problems with your shower, it’s time to replace the shower head.
Call Your Local Municipality
If you did the water pressure test, it came up low, and you’re on city water, you can contact your municipality. They will come run their own set of tests to be sure the issue isn’t on their end.
What they can do is check the water pressure coming from their street pipes to your home. This isn’t helpful for anyone who uses a well for their water. However, there are different solutions for you.
Tweak Your Pressure-Reducing Valve
Near your water meter is a regulator that includes an adjustment screw. This is your pressure-reducing valve.
Turn it clockwise to increase your water pressure. Start by making small adjustments until your water pressure is where you want it to be.
If you’ve recently had some work done, it’s possible that the valve was tampered with and needs to be calibrated back to where you want it. Be careful about adjusting it too much without the help of a residential plumber.
The last thing you want is to have too much pressure coming through ancient pipes. You’ll then have zero water pressure because you’ve sprung a leak.
Check with Your Neighbors
Maybe this isn’t just a you problem. If others in your neighborhood are experiencing the same issue you are, you can contact the city.
There could be a leak, clog, or other issues like their pipes being corroded. They’ll have to step in to handle that on their end. However, it’s probably in your best interest at this point to just install a water-pressure booster.
Install a Water-Pressure Booster
You’ve run all the tests, talked to all the people, and you still don’t have an answer. There is the possibility that you have a leak or clog in your own pipes and need to have a plumber come out.
If they find nothing wrong, that’s your cue to install a water-pressure booster. This will cost you some money, and you want to have a licensed plumber install it for you.
But, it is a surefire way to increase your water pressure. The pump is cut into the water line to raise the pressure to the correct level.
Call Plumbing Services to Increase Your Water Pressure
To help you solve what’s going on and increase your water pressure to the level that you want, call a plumber. They specialize in this!
A plumber will also take care of installing a booster and helping you choose one. They know which one is best suited for your needs.
If you’re in need of plumbing services, we can help. Request an appointment with us today!