You might think high water pressure is actually a good thing… when you’re happily singing in a nice hot shower. But when suddenly faced with super-sized water bills or costly plumbing repairs, you’ll be tempted to change your tune.
Find out whether you have wasteful, expensive high water pressure in your home by looking for these common signs.
What Is Normal Water Pressure for a House?
Before we get started, it’s important to know what we’re talking about. Normal water pressure is between 40 to 60 PSI (pounds per square inch). Although pressure both below and above that figure is problematic, we’ll focus only on overly high water pressure in this article.
How Do I Know if My Water Pressure Is Too High?
There are a number of clues to look for that indicate your home water pressure might be too high. Pay attention to what your pipes and fixtures are trying to tell you, and if you come across any of the following six plumbing issues, call a professional for help:
1. Leaking Pipes
High water pressure is hard on your plumbing system. The pressure loosens connections and causes pinhole leakage in the pipes. This is especially dangerous when you have plumbing pipes made of “poly B” (polybutylene) or Kitec. The likely result is water damage to your home and possessions, the possibility of mould growth, and the risk of flooding.
2. Water Hammer
Water hammer refers to a banging noise that originates from your plumbing, often when you turn the water off suddenly. It is caused by abruptly stopping water in motion. As a result, a shockwave travels through your piping and may result in pipes rattling against each other or the surrounding wood framing.
Another source of water hammer is excessive pressure in the main water supply pipe that leads into your house. Not just a nuisance, water hammer is actually capable of dislodging your plumbing connections or cracking your pipes.
3. Appliance Damage
Major appliances that use water to function – washing machines, dishwashers, tank and tankless hot water heaters – are susceptible to damage from overly high water pressure. The first signs of trouble are noisier operation and small leaks, which will lead to large leaks and serious breakdowns. If you suspect your appliances are damaged, it is best to quickly arrange for plumbing repair.
4. Higher Water Bills
Keep track of how much you’re charged for water every month. If you notice a sudden unexplained spike in your water bill – beware. This unexpected expense could be your first indication of high water pressure problems. High water pressure means higher water usage because there is an increased water flow when you switch on your shower or faucet. This is not only pricey, but wasting water is also bad for the environment.
5. Leaking Faucets
The increased water flow that we just mentioned can have a secondary adverse effect. Your faucets may either leak or spit and spray when you turn them on due to the water’s force.
6. Running Toilet
Does your toilet sound like it’s constantly running? A damaged fill valve or flapper, due to extra-high water pressure, might be causing this problem. As a result, water keeps leaking from your toilet tank into the bowl – another reason why your water bills might have shot up recently.
How Do I Fix My Water Pressure?
Good question! While high water pressure in your home can be a big problem, it is fairly quick and simple to fix. All you’ll need to do is hire a plumbing service to install a water pressure regulator (also known as a “pressure reduction valve”).
Do you already have a water pressure regulator? According to the International Building Code, Calgary homes built post-2002 were required to have a water pressure regulator installed at the time of construction. Or perhaps you added a regulator to an existing home. In either case, it’s important to know that these devices typically last only 7-12 years. If yours is older, it should be replaced.
Knight Solves High Water Pressure Problems
When you’ve got high water pressure (or any other plumbing problems), turn to Knight for the solution. We’re your experienced, licensed Calgary plumbers, with a team that’s highly skilled at troubleshooting and repairing a wide range of issues.