Many people suffer from terrible water pressure without realizing that it can be easily solved by a plumbing expert. Many of the homes where we work suffer from water pressure that is either too high or too low. It’s mind blowing how many plumbing issues are actually caused by extremely high water pressure (75+psi).
On the other hand, low water pressure (50psi or lower) results in poor sanitization when cleaning and creates an overall poor experience when utilizing your plumbing. The root problem and solution depend on whether you are on city water or on a well system.
Let’s take a look at each scenario and break down the best solutions accordingly.
City Water Pressure
There are two advantages of being on city water: great water pressure and low maintenance. The local municipality pumps water at a relatively high pressure (100-150psi) in order to simultaneously feed every home in the area. However, your faucets, fixtures, and fittings are only designed to handle a maximum pressure of 75psi. Because unregulated city water pressure would literally destroy your plumbing system and put your entire home at risk, plumbing codes require that a pressure regulator valve (PRV) be installed where the main water service (from the meter) enters the home. The PRV drops the pressure down to 50-75psi and keeps your home safe and operating at the highest level.
When a pressure regulator goes bad, it usually seizes up in either the fully open or mostly closed positions. If it seizes in the open position, it will allow the full wrath of the city water pressure into your home, causing leaky faucets and showers, and in the worst-case scenario, results in a burst pipe flooding the home. If the pressure regulator seizes in the “mostly closed” position, it will greatly restrict the flow of water into your home, creating a terrible shower experience and preventing fixtures like dishwashers, washing machines, and toilets from operating properly. Some other symptoms of a faulty PRV are water hammer (the loud banging in your pipes when water runs or is shut off), faucets giving good pressure for a couple seconds before dying down, and drips throughout the home.
Whether your water pressure is high or low, the solution for fixing the water pressure in a home on city water is relatively straightforward: find and replace the pressure regulator. At Tennessee Standard, when we find that a client’s regulator has gone bad, one of our class-act licensed plumbers will give multiple pricing options on replacing your pressure regulator and will knock it out on the spot!
Well System Pressure
The primary difference of well system pressure is that the incoming water maintains a much lower pressure. In a well system, a localized pump is actually drawing water out of the ground and building pressure in a well pressure tank above ground. A pressure switch activates the pump when pressure drops below 40psi (for most systems), and then deactivates when pressure reaches 60psi.
Because a well system usually maintains pressure far below the fixture ratings, no pressure regulator is required to keep the home safe. Low or inconsistent pressure is the most common issue we are asked to resolve for our customers with well systems. Because well pumps only react at 40 or 60psi, fluctuation in pressure can sometimes be quite noticeable and annoying when taking a shower or using any sizeable volume of water. The solution for fluctuating well pressure: install a variable-speed booster pump.
At Tennessee Standard, our class-act licensed plumbing experts can install one of these pumps on the incoming main coming from the well tank and actually increase the output to 60psi-70psi consistently. The booster pump’s output can be controlled with the simple push of a button to set the desired pressure, and the end user would never feel the difference that a well system normally brings. The booster pump solution can also be installed on a city water system where the home is on top of a hill and does not receive the same pressure as the homes around it.
Low Water Pressure in Your Home?
If you’re experiencing any of these issues and you’re sick of dealing with horrible water pressure or leaks constantly springing up, give us call today and one of our class-act plumbing experts will get you multiple options to solve this problem and completely enhance your water experience.