What is PSI?
Water pressure, measured in pounds per square inch (PSI), is the force at which water travels through the water main and throughout your home. The average water pressure in homes is between 45 and 75 PSI. Having water pressure above 80 PSI violates plumbing code, while water pressure below 40 can present water usage issues.
Why adequate water pressure is important
Having adequate water pressure allows multiple water fixtures to be used at once without a drop in flow. You may have experienced a drop in water pressure while showering when someone uses the sink or flushes the toilet. This is a classic example of a low water pressure setup. Although low water pressure isn’t a dangerous issue, it can be quite annoying.
The more pressing issue is when your home's water pressure is too high. High water pressure can cause serious problems down the line, especially concerning your plumbing. Constant high water pressure can weaken your plumbing joints over time and cause leaks. If the pipes are weakened enough, a pipe may burst, resulting in an expensive bill for water damage.
What are the warning signs for high water pressure?
Typical warning signs related to high water pressure:
- Banging or knocking sounds within your plumbing. If you turn on the water and hear rattling or knocking pipes, this may be a water hammer. Water hammer is a phenomenon that occurs when the plumbing experiences a sudden surge of high water pressure, causing the water to abruptly change direction or stop.
- If your plumbing fixtures or appliances are repeatedly leaking, especially at connection points, then your water pressure may be too high.
Bursting lines or failing appliances could be a sign of excessive water pressure as well.
For more information, read this in depth article about high water pressure in your home.
Maintaining an adequate water pressure
The simplest way to ensure your water pressure remains at an adequate level is to use a gauge and make adjustments as needed. You can get a water pressure gauge in just about any hardware store for under $20. If you need to make adjustments, we recommend calling a licensed professional plumber.