Top 3 Reasons for High Water Pressure Problems

Have you ever stepped into the shower and found the water pressure inadequate? Although this scenario is disappointing, did you know that high water pressure is not only dangerous, but can also result in extensive and expensive repairs? If you experience your toilet running, faucet dripping, or hot water steam blasting out, then you may be a victim of high water pressure plumbing problem that can lead to pipe damage, leaks, and of course wasted water.

According to the Uniform Plumbing Code, the water pressure in your pipes should not exceed 80 pounds per square inch (psi). This is important to minimize possible damage to the solenoid valve of your dishwasher and washing machine, ballcock fill valve of the toilet tank, and the shower valve cartridges among others. To curtail the wear and tear on the pressurized side of your plumbing system, it is important to understand the most common causes of high water pressure.

1. The Water Supplier
Without a doubt, the most common reason for high water pressure is its source, which is normally the municipal water supplier. You must realize that your water supplier does not set the pressure based on individual needs, but rather, to meet its own mandate of delivering water to residences, office buildings, fire hydrants, and others. This means that water pressure can rise well above the 80 psi recommended for your home plumbing.
You do not have to feel helpless though because this common occurrence can be remedied by installing a pressure regulator to make sure that the water pressure entering your property is within the safety standards for your home plumbing system. To ensure that the device works properly, make sure that it is placed at the meter. This device also helps to minimize misting to increase the efficiency of your system and allow you to save both money and water.
Remember that just like most mechanical devices, pressure regulators are not designed to last a lifetime so you should check on its functionality regularly.

2. Thermal Expansion
Have you ever heard of thermal expansion? Well, if you do not have an idea what this is, it is one of the common reasons for excessive water pressure in your home. This is caused by the heating of the water (usually by the water heater) causing it to slightly expand resulting in increased pressure in your pipes.
It is important to be aware that this can happen even if the water pressure coming from the water supplier is below or within the 80 psi safety limit. Thermal expansion becomes possible because the water remains inside a closed container (your pipes) most of the time. Installing a thermal expansion tank can help your deal with the changes and fluctuations in water pressure.

3. Water Hammer Effect
When dealing with a dynamic fluid that has mass, it is important to understand that there can be an undesirable effect when its movement is suddenly stopped. This is the case when the water that travels through the pipes in your home is stopped suddenly creating what is known as the water hammer effect.
A water hammer has the ability to drastically increase the force of the water against its static pressure. Imagine the amount of pressure that a pound of hammer can generate once it is stopped suddenly as it hits the head of the nail. In terms of your plumbing system, the water hammer effect can cause your valves to leak, joints to break, and parts of plumbing fixtures to give way. This is why it is important to have your plumbing system regularly checked by a professional.

So the next time you encounter high water pressure situations, contact us immediately at Scott English Plumbing so we can take care of your worries and save your property from costly damages and you from expensive repair work.