How To Test Water Pressure At Home – Easy Ways for Beginner

​Who doesn’t want a refreshing shower every morning to start off each day on a positive note? One of the most significant factors contributing to a good shower is a good and consistent flow of water.

However, if the water pressure of your home is not at its optimum state, this flow cannot be achieved. That is why you need to test it from time to time. Here we discuss three ways of how to test water pressure at home so that you have plenty of options to choose from!

Why Testing You Home Water Pressure Is Necessary?

It may not come across as a regular need for most, but testing the water pressure of your home is actually quite important. You should do it at least twice a year in order to maintain an ideal plumbing condition.

Although most of us keep plumbing on hold till the day when we detect low water pressure, this may not always be the only scenario of suspicion. Sometimes we need to take steps beforehand in order to prevent the troubling outcomes of high water pressure in the system.

If the water pressure is too high, it can affect the pipes and fixtures involved in plumbing. These parts can burst out causing dirty water to splash all over your toilet, sink or similar household units attached to the supply.

In extreme cases, the whole house can get flooded with this large volume of spilled water. Usually, such a situation can also damage the faucets, water heater, water softener, washing machine hoses and other appliances depending on water supply.

Many of us sleep well knowing there is a pressure regulator installed in our apartment or building. However, this regulator may fail to detect the water pressure issues in time. The same goes for valves which can reduce pressure from the main water supply.

How To Test Home Water Pressure

test home water pressure

There are multiple ways to test the water pressure of your home system. Here are three of the most popular methods for you to choose from according to your convenience.

Outdoor Faucet

You will only need a pressure gauge to test the water pressure this way. These are usually available at any hardware store, especially the ones focused on household tools and appliances. You should invest in a pressure gauge that measures in units of psi or pounds per square inch.

Another good feature to look for in the ideal pressure gauge would be female hose threads. These parts will make the job easier for you when you screw it into a bib of either hose or the washing machine.

If you want to go the extra mile and ensure a tight fit when the test is completed, get a big adjustable wrench or a couple of tongue-and-groove pliers as well.

(A) Tools You Need

  • Pressure Gauge
  • Pliers or Wrench (optional)

(B) The Steps

First of all, decide on the area where you will conduct the pressure test. Some of your ideal options would be an outdoor tap connected to the main water supply. The closer to the underground water supply line entrance, the better for your test.

To ensure more accuracy in the test results, choose such an outdoor tap that is connected to the biggest pipe available inside your house. The ideal size for such a pipe would be three-quarters of an inch. However, in some cases it can also be half an inch.

Make sure the faucet or tap you have chosen is the only running water in the house. All other faucets or openings indoors and outdoors must be closed for the time being.

These also include other home appliances that utilize water like refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, ice makers and sprinklers.

Doing so is necessary because the water needs to be static while its pressure is being measured. Letting it run or move elsewhere can disrupt the pressure reading and give you the wrong impression of the plumbing system.

Now you will need to make the chosen outdoor faucet available. This means you will have to disconnect any hose or similar part from it which carries the water.

In order to install the pressure gauge, mark the rubber gasket inside it and thread it onto the tap. Use the gasket to tightly place the gauge onto the tap mouth. Make sure that it is tight enough to stop any water from leaking through the loose parts or gaps.

Usually using hands is enough to tighten up the gauge. If you are not convinced with the manual effort, take the wrench or pliers to make sure of it.

Turn on the tap to its maximum volume and observe the readings on the attached pressure gauge. The ideal measure ranges between 40 psi to 60 psi. If the reading exceeds this value, contact your most trusted plumber in the area to fix the water pressure.

Washing Machine Faucet

If you don’t want to go outside or prefer measuring the water pressure indoors, a good alternative of the outdoor tap would be the washing machine. Similar to the previous method, make sure that water from all possible sources in the house is turned off to keep the water supply static.

(A) Tools You Need

  • Pressure Gauge
  • Pliers or Wrench (optional)

(B) The Steps

Choose the faucet for cold water located behind your washing machine. Turn it off so that there is no running water during the entire testing process.

Take off the hose connected to this faucet carefully.

Mark the gasket of your pressure gauge and screw it on this faucet. Make sure it is tight enough to prevent any leakage during the process. Try to tighten it up manually and if that fails, take the help of pliers or a large adjustable wrench.

Turn on the faucet until it reaches the maximum volume. Read the gauge to see what pressure it displays. If the reading goes below 40 psi or above 60 psi, you need to take action to fix it.

Compressor/Adaptor

The two methods mentioned above are the most common choices for testing water pressure. Even though they are the norm, you can go for another one too if you are feeling a little rebellious!

Here you get to use air to test the water pressure of your home. You will need an air compressor for this, along with an adaptor to use it on the faucet. This method is recommended for the systems which are newly plumbed.

(A) Tools You Need

  • Air Compressor
  • Adaptor
  • Pressure Gauge

(B) The Steps

Firstly, locate the valve to the main water supply and turn it off. As we mentioned earlier, the total water system must be in a static state for the pressure reading to be accurate.

You will need two faucets for this process. One will be attached to the pressure gauge while the other will be busy with compressor. Turn them both on so that the pipes attached to them can be emptied out.

Place the pressure gauge onto the first threaded faucet.

Take the hose of your air compressor and attach it to the next faucet with the adaptor.

Activate the compressor and let it go on for about 15 minutes to get a correct pressure reading.

How To Address High Or Low Water Pressure Problem?

By reading the results of these tests at home, you can identify if your water system has low pressure or high pressure. To reach the ideal measure of such pressure, you can take the following steps:

High Water Pressure

In the case of high water pressure, you will often see too much water bursting out from your faucets. While it does sound good to have a heavy waterfall over your head during the showers, such high pressure may not be too kind on your utility bills at the end of the month.

Besides, it can cause damage to the fixtures and home appliances involved. You can also encounter frequent leaks as a result of high water pressure at home. Usually, the measure of such high water pressure is 75 psi or more.

(i) Possible Causes

  • Home Location: If your home is located down the hill, there can be high water pressure as a result of gravitational forces.
  • Surrounding Structures: The presence of tall structures like fire hydrants or skyscrapers around the building can also lead to high water pressure.
  • Water Heater: Sometimes using water heater can lead your home to expand thermally leading to higher water pressure.

(ii) Solution

Install a good pressure regulator on the main line of your water supply system and set the upper limit to 75 psi. This device will keep the water pressure in check and prevent possible damages. It will also help you to keep the utility bills within budget limits and save you money on any plumbing issue.

Low Water Pressure

You can sense low water pressure when you notice that the water of shower is reducing to droplets. This is more likely to happen if you share the home with other inhabitants and the water is distributed among multiple people. Another sign is when the washing machine takes too long to get ready.

(i) Possible Causes

  • Hidden Leak: This is the most common cause of low water pressure at home. A hidden leak is causing much of your supplied water to go somewhere else. To be sure if this is the reason, hire a plumber to detect the leak or check the water meter yourself.
  • Mineral Deposits: Sometimes, corrosion leads to mineral deposits in pipes which in turn cause low water pressure. This is more likely to happen if the supplied water is hard in nature or if the pipes are too old.
  • Municipality Issues: Another possible reason can be your local municipality who is encountering a fault in the main water supply. Give them a call to see if that is in fact the underlying cause behind your low water pressure.

(ii) Solution

Get your home a pressure regulator for the main water supply and set its lower limit to 40-50 psi according to your preference. Another option is to install a water pressure booster which makes each influx of water better. No matter when or how many times you turn on the faucet, it will result in a great flow of water.

Conclusion

Now that you know how to test water pressure at home in several ways, you can get started with renewing your daily shower experience and more!

If you identify high or low water pressure in the system, you can just install a pressure regulator and let it handle the matter. If you do get lucky with proper water pressure at home, feel blessed and get a good night’s sleep before the refreshing morning comes along!

Last Updated on April 24th, 2020

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