We, as your Tallahassee Home Inspectors, know how important the plumbing system is to your home, and always inspect the different components that comprise it. One of the things most people take for granted is readily available potable water in our homes. This water is delivered to us via either a private or public source through a plumbing system that consists of many different sized pipes. The water is available on demand because it’s pressurized. People are quick to complain or further investigate low water pressure, but not more often than not, high water pressure doesn’t concern anyone. Everyone loves a good strong hot shower! Unfortunately, most don’t realize the negative consequences that can arise from having water pressure that’s too high. We consider a home to have normal water pressure between the 40psi-80psi range, with the ideal level between 50psi-60psi. This is easy to control when it’s a private well, because you can set the range for a well. A public water supply often has the water psi well in excess of 100. This is one of the reasons we test the water pressure during the course of a home inspection and will note the pressure on your report and if needed, corrective recommendations.
With high water pressure, you may experience:
- Banging or noisy pipes when you turn on or off a faucet, also called water hammer.
- “Spitting” from the water faucet aerator when the water is turned on at a sink.
- The water heater life is often shortened.
- Leaking faucets and running toilets.
- Dishwashers and washing machines will often have reduced lifespans due to leaks.
- Septic drain field flooding and failure if system uses a septic system.
- Increased sewer bill – most utilities base sewer charges on water usage.
- Increased water bills – a lot more water is flowing through your fixtures than needs to be.
- Increased cost for water heating, because you’re using a lot more hot water.
While it’s hard to put an exact dollar amount on the list above, most studies have shown that installing a pressure reducing valve more than pays for itself. So if your water pressure is too high in your home, we would recommend having a qualified plumber install one to protect your house and lower your utility costs. A very popular manufacturer of water pressure reducing valves in the US is Watts Industries.