Strategies for Improving Water Pressure
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Low water pressure in your home is a problem for several reasons. Without adequate pressure, your toilets do not flush properly. Your dishwasher and washing machine cannot work as effectively, and doing a load of laundry or dishes takes far longer than it should. Outdoors, your automatic sprinkler system does not have time to deliver enough water to keep your landscape green. Find out the possible causes of low water pressure in your home and how to correct them. Call your Berkeley plumbing team for experienced help.
If the water pressure in your house seems unbalanced, it could be due in part to gravity. Water loses pressure as it moves upward to your second floor. For every 2.3-foot vertical climb, your water supply expends 1 pound of pressure. By the time it reaches your upstairs shower, it has a significantly lower pressure than your main floor shower. In homes where the water pressure is sufficient between 45 and 55 psi this type of pressure loss is relatively unnoticeable. However, if you start out with insufficient pressure 40 pounds or less gravity loss is a problem.
You can determine the water pressure in your home with one of two methods. If you use a municipal or other public water supply, request a pressure reading. If you have a private water source such as a well, purchase a pressure gauge at the hardware store. All you need to do is attach the gauge to an outside faucet and turn on the flow for an instant reading.
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If your reading is less than 40 psi, you have a low-pressure problem. If it tops 80 psi, your water pressure is too high and may be wearing out your plumbing fixtures prematurely. Many local building codes consider 80 psi to be the upper limit for residential plumbing systems.
Causes of low water pressure vary. The fault may lie with your city water supply, and you will most likely have the responsibility to resolve the problem individually. Your water intake pipes may be too small in diameter to deliver the water supply at the pressure with which it enters the home. Clogs in your intake system also slow down water flow as do mineral deposits in your faucet aerators.
Your water conditioning equipment may be compromising your water pressure too. When the flow must pass through a water softener or a purifier, for example, it loses a significant amount of pressure, slowing the flow from your faucets to an annoying trickle.
If you determine that your home has chronically low water pressure, one remedy is purchasing a pressure booster. This device costs a few hundred dollars and connects to your individual water supply valve. However, the best way to correctly diagnose those factors that are slowing your water down is to have your plumber evaluate your system and suggest solutions.