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The Right Water Pressure in your House

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Does your shower suddenly or permanently drizzle a little instead of getting you decently wet? Or will the whole bathroom be sprayed wet if you open it even a little? Then there is usually something wrong with the water pressure; in the first case, it is too low, and in the second case, it is too high. How do you find out, and what can you do? Here are answers to these and other important questions.

Determine the water pressure.

First of all, it is important to determine whether the water pressure is right at all. It is best to look in the basement near the water meter. A pressure gauge is often attached there, a manometer. This should show a two to six-bar pressure when the water is running. If this value is not reached, the house needs a pressure boosting system; if it is exceeded, a pressure reducing system.

If the water pressure in the basement is right, but there’s still not enough water coming out of the faucet in the bathroom, you can have the Pipe Doctor hook up a manometer. Of course, this also works if no measuring device exists in the basement. Decent equipment is available for less than $30 – if there are actual problems with water pressure, the investment is worth it. Incidentally, the tap must be turned on to measure the water pressure. Other methods of determining water pressure are occasionally recommended. For example, if it takes 25 seconds to fill a 3-gallon bucket from the full tap, the pressure is 5 bar; if it takes 40 seconds, it is around 3.5 bar. But these are imprecise values ​​that are not of much use. If the values ​​are important, you should buy the pressure gauge. Ask your local water supplier what their expected pressure is.

Changes in the supply network

If there are changes in the water pressure without a cause being immediately identifiable, the first thing to do is to call the utility company. Occasionally, water supply networks are rebuilt, for example, connected to another elevated tank, and then the pressure changes permanently. Or there is a temporary change because the pipe network is being flushed or other work that’s being done. You wait for temporary changes; in the case of permanent changes, you should check whether a pressure increase or a reduction needs to be built in. In that case, call us, and we’ll be there to help you.

Imminent danger – water pipe burst

If the water pressure does not decrease gradually but suddenly, there is a risk that a pipe is leaking. The best thing to do is to contact the utility company, which can quickly determine whether the problem originated in the public network or the house. At the same time, wherever you can see the pipes and walls, you can see whether water leaks. If the damage is done to a wall, it will eventually become damp. Unfortunately, it takes a while for this to become apparent.

If the water pipe bursts outside your home, there is little more you can do than wait for the utility company to respond. If the damage is in the house, give us a call immediately!  

Calcified water pipes – something for professionals

Occasionally you can read that calcified water pipes in the house must be replaced. It’s a horrifying performance. Tearing walls open, dismantling old lines, installing new ones – that’s a lot of work, especially since the walls have to be restored to their old condition. Often enough, this also means you need new tiles. Replacing or cleaning pipes is not something you can just try to do yourself; this can only be done by a specialist company like the Pipe Doctor. The plumbers access the lines and send certain cleaning fluids through the line. There are enormous sources of error – the dosage of the agent, for example, can be too high or too low, so either the pipes are damaged, or the whole action has no effect. In addition, you need special tools to carry out water installations – so please don’t try to do this alone unless you love unpleasant surprises.

Other causes

A water pipe burst, or calcified pipes are serious problems, especially for water pressure that is too low. There are a few other reasons that are easy to check. If you have a pressure reducer, ensure it’s installed correctly. All water shut-offs should be fully open and properly functional. If filters are installed near the main water meter, ensure they are clean and function properly. And then there are the faucets themselves. Limescale and dirt can be found in shower heads and faucets. These are the most common cause of gradually decreasing water pressure.

Risk of excessive water pressure

You should not underestimate the risk associated with excessive water pressure. This can damage all sorts of equipment that are directly connected to the water supply. Excessive pressure is suspected if the water splashes very hard from the tap. Then you should measure and, if necessary, install a pressure reducer.

It is an absolute case for the specialist if only the warm water comes out of the pipe with too little pressure. Suppose there are problems with hot water preparation. In that case, the plumber has to come – regardless of whether the hot water is generated in the heating system, with boilers or with instantaneous water heaters.

Again, we are happy to come out, check the pressure for you, and determine the origin of the problem. Handling the problem correctly will save you lots of time and money in the long term. 

Give us a call at 508-775-6670

or email cmurphy@plumberscapecod.com

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