What is High Water Pressure?

Pressure above 80 pounds per square inch (psi) is considered high water pressure. Plumbing fixtures are designed, produced, and tested to perform best with water pressure under 80 psi. Optimal water pressure is 50-80 psi.

Why Is High Water Pressure a Problem?

Like many people, you may love for your home to have higher water pressure. It makes for a shower that feels like a scalp massage, and it can be a nice feature when you’re running sprinklers over your well-manicured lawn.

In fact, there’s a common misconception that higher water pressure is good. But what you may not realize is that most people don’t notice a difference in pressure with anything over 80 psi.

You might not feel the pressure over 80 psi, but your plumbing fixtures sure do! Overly-high water pressure can cause major damage to your plumbing system. Turns out too much of a good thing is not such a good thing.

Less is More with Water Pressure

It’s helpful to think of water pressure like blood pressure. You need just the right levels for optimal performance. Like high blood pressure can compromise systems all throughout your body, over time, high water pressure can weaken your plumbing system and damage plumbing fixtures. The result? You’ll have to part with your hard-earned money to replace and repair compromised elements of your system.

Problems You May Encounter If Your Water Pressure Is Too High

Water pressure over 80 psi can cause damage to your home’s plumbing fixtures, including anything with a rubber gasket.

Common problem areas include:

  • water heaters
  • faucets
  • toilets
  • washing machines
  • ice makers

High water pressure is a leading cause of problems in the home. That’s why we always investigate your water pressure at every job. If your home’s plumbing shows signs of high water pressure, that’s one of the first things we’ll address.

The Warning Signs of High Water Pressure

There are a few classic telltale signs that your water pressure may be too high. These include:

  • Leaky/dripping faucets
  • Running toilets
  • Funny sounds
  • Hammering noise in pipes

How Do I Test the Water Pressure in My Home?

You can test the water pressure in your home even before an inspection from one of our plumbing technicians. You’ll need the following:

  • A water gauge (easy to find at stores like Ace Hardware and Lowe’s)

and one of the following:

  • A hose bibb (water spigot located on the exterior of your house)
  • A water heater (if your home doesn’t have a hose bibb)

Watch our technician, Josh, walk you through the process below:

What If My Water Pressure Is Too High?

High water pressure is a common problem. Thankfully, the solutions are pretty straightforward!

First, find your home’s main water shut-off valve (this is especially good to know if you have a sprinkler system and don’t want your pipes to freeze in the winter!), and check to ensure there’s a pressure-regulating valve (PRV) installed nearby.

Locate Your Main Water Shut-off Valve

The main water shut-off valve is usually located in one of three places:

  • In your crawl space
  • In your basement
  • Underground in the front of your home where the front yard meets the street.

The main shut-off valve is designed to isolate and regulate the flow of water into and out of your house. Learn more about how to find your home’s water shut-off valve here.

Remember the Sprinkler Supply Line

If you have a sprinkler system, there should also be another shut-off valve for your sprinkler supply line, just up the line from your main shut-off valve. Close this one during the winter to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting in your yard.

Check for a Pressure-Regulating Valve (PRV)

Near your main water shut-off valve, you should see a pressure-regulating valve. If one is not installed, there’s a good chance you’ve never had your water pressure tested to know if your home needs one. In that case, high water pressure could be damaging your systems and fixtures without you even knowing it.

If you like your sprinklers to have a higher pressure, having a PRV installed will ensure that the pressure is regulated in the home.

Check out this video from High 5 Plumbing, Heating & Cooling President Levi Torres on what to look for when inspecting your home for the main shut-off valve and PRV:

Prevent Future Damage and Address Existing Issues

If everything is not as it should be with your plumbing system, contact High 5 Plumbing, Heating & Cooling to have one of our technicians do an inspection, make any needed repairs, and install a pressure-regulating valve (PRV) if needed. We offer free water pressure tests and free water quality checks!

Prevent Water Pressure Issues

Whether you’ve noticed some signs of high water pressure in your home or need help making sure your plumbing is running optimally, our experienced technicians are here to put your mind at ease.

Now is the time to prevent damage before it occurs (and address any issues that already exist in your home). After all, it’s a lot easier and cheaper to install a PRV than it is to replace a washing machine!

Schedule Your Inspection Today!

At High 5 Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, our trustworthy, reliable experts can help you implement the tools and fixtures needed to protect your home from high water pressure. Call us today or contact us online to get your expert estimate–fair and honest every time!

High 5 Plumbing

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