Poor water pressure in your home can be quite annoying — especially starting or ending your day with a wimpy shower. If your water pressure is too high, sooner or later you’re going to run into appliance and plumbing problems. Adjusting your home’s water pressure could turn out to be a few simple tasks. In either case, you know it has to be done to get your showers and other water services just right. So, add it to your spring cleaning to-do list and use these helpful tips.

How To Check Water Pressure

Whether your water pressure is too low or too high, you need to know what the water pressure is when entering your home’s plumbing. To do that, you can pick up an inexpensive water pressure gauge at your local home store.

The water pressure gauge is threaded to fit a standard-size outdoor water spigot, a water heater drain bib or perhaps your clothes washer cold-water supply valve. If you’re really lucky, there could be a draw off valve near the connecting point of the main water line and your home’s plumbing, which is usually located in the basement.

Follow these steps to determine water pressure:

  • Attach the water pressure gauge to one of the water valve choices.
  • Ideal water pressure is 60 PSI, but it shouldn’t be below 40 PSI or above 80 PSI.
  • Take water pressure readings during the times of day that your household uses the most water.

The reason for this is that the municipal water supply could fluctuate depending on area usage. So, if you check water pressure at three different times during the day, you may get three different readings. Average them out.

High Water Pressure

Water pressure that is too high from the municipal side might be great for showers, but it can actually harm your appliances and fixtures causing them to fail prematurely. So, you’ll need to adjust the water pressure regulator. This is a device installed at the connection point of the main water line and your home’s plumbing line.

If you don’t have a water pressure regulator installed in your home, you must call your plumber to install one in order to reduce water pressure. If you do and think you’ll be able to handle the task, follow these tips:

  • Loosen the lock nut on the threaded valve stem.
  • Use a wrench to turn the adjustment nut counter clockwise a few turns.
  • Take a water pressure reading.
  • Turn the adjustment nut as needed to reduce water pressure (counter clockwise) or to increase water pressure (clockwise).
  • Tighten the lock nut when you’ve reached your desired water pressure.

Low Water Pressure

The trickier problem with water pressure is pinpointing low water pressure and hoping for a practical solution. If water pressure is fine during your test, then the problem is either with your appliances, fixtures or pipes. Low water pressure isolated to one fixture, such as a shower head, is an easy fix. You can replace the shower head or soak and clean it in a vinegar and baking soda solution.

Check the screens on your faucets and clothes washer, or any specific fixture and appliance with low water pressure. Sediment and debris often become lodged in the screens and block water flow.

Don’t suffer with water pressure problems anymore. Contact the professionals at Minnesota Plumbing & Home Services to solve the problem for you.