Water Pressure Too Low or Too High? Causes & Solutions
Date: November 17, 2023
The water pressure in your home is like the pulse of your plumbing system. Just as a doctor checks your pulse to understand your health, the water pressure tells a lot about the condition and efficiency of your plumbing. Living in Phoenix, AZ, where the climate and municipal systems have unique challenges, it’s essential to monitor your home’s water pressure.
Causes of Low & High Water Pressure
Your water pressure can fluctuate for many reasons, including:
- The local utility company largely controls your neighborhood’s water pressure. Any changes or issues in the main supply can affect the water pressure in your home.
- Your shut-off valve is partially closed. If this valve isn’t open all the way, it can reduce the water flow into your house, affecting the pressure.
- A malfunctioning water pressure regulator is another common cause of water pressure issues. This device controls the water pressure in your entire house. A failing regulator can lead to high or low pressure.
- Leaks, clogs, and trapped air in your pipes can also cause fluctuations in water pressure. Old or corroded pipes are prone to clogs.
- High water usage by your neighbors can impact your water pressure.
How Do I Know if My Water Pressure Is Too High?
If you notice any of these signs, your water pressure may be too high and causing damage to your home and plumbing system:
- Loud banging noise in your pipes
- Dripping faucets, even when not in use
- Running out of hot water way too fast
- Damage to appliances, such as washing machines, dishwashers, and water heaters
- Sprinkler system or faucets eject water with too much or inconsistent force
- Toilets frequently run or make noise when not in use
- Water bill is higher despite consistent usage
Your water pressure should be 45 to 60 psi (pounds per square inch). You can measure your water pressure using a pressure gauge.
How To Use a Pressure Gauge
You can buy a pressure gauge at any hardware store if you don’t already have one. It’s a tool specifically for measuring your home’s water pressure. To use this device, follow these steps:
- Attach the gauge to an outside water spigot, being sure to screw it on tight.
- Turn on your water and read the gauge to get your psi measurement. Make sure no one else has water on in your home, including your dishwasher or washing machine.
Reading a Pressure Gauge
Follow the measurements below to determine if your water pressure is too high or too low:
- Too low: <40 psi
- Just right: 45–60 psi
- Too high: >80 psi
Solutions to Low or High Water Pressure
Here are the steps to fix your low or high water pressure. If at any point this plumbing project goes from a simple DIY to a disaster, call a professional plumber to finish the job properly and efficiently.
Fixing Low Water Pressure
- Check your pressure regulator. If it’s set below 40 psi, adjust it to 50–60 psi.
- Look for and repair water leaks.
- Dissolve mineral deposits in faucets and showerheads by soaking them in vinegar overnight.
- Make sure your main water valve is open all the way.
- If you have a well, make sure your well pump is working efficiently.
If other methods don’t work, especially in areas where water must travel uphill or over long distances, you may need a water pressure booster.
Fixing High Water Pressure
- Install or adjust your pressure regulator. It should read between 50 and 60 psi.
- High water usage in your neighborhood can affect your water pressure. You may need to adjust your system to compensate if this is the case.
- If you have an old or faulty pressure regulator, replacing it can help normalize your water pressure.
Even if you can adjust your water pressure, we recommend consulting with a plumber to ensure there isn’t an underlying issue causing your water pressure to be high or low.
How Donley A/C & Plumbing Can Help
At Donley A/C & Plumbing, we know Phoenix plumbing systems inside and out. Our qualified technicians can handle any water pressure issue. We offer a wide range of services, including water filtration, heater repair and maintenance, drain cleaning, and more.
We’re committed to providing high-quality, customer-oriented service that has been our hallmark since 1976.
If you have any water pressure issues or other plumbing needs in the Phoenix area, call Donley A/C & Plumbing at 602-787-3956 to schedule an appointment.