Is My Water Pressure Too High?

by Missy Nolan
A water pressure regulator device with a gauge is shown against a blue background, water pressure regulator, regulator, gauge, blue background, blue, water pressure, water, pressure, plumbing, plumber

Adjusting your shower head for higher water pressure can feel amazing on aching muscles or leave your hair feeling extra clean. However, water pressure shouldn't be high all the time — especially if you aren't intentionally keeping the pressure high. Household water pressure can be too high if it exceeds 80 pounds per square inch.

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Can Home Water Pressure Be Too High?

Water pressure can be too low or too high, so it's important to check your home water psi levels if something seems off. Pounds per square inch describes the force of water as it travels from main lines to the plumbing system in your home. Generally, your water pressure should fall between 30 and 80 psi, but many people prefer to keep it between 60 and 70 psi. Water that exceeds 80 psi may violate local codes.

You can help reduce the force of water with a water pressure regulator. This pressure-reducing valve has a diaphragm and spring that help control water pressure as it enters your home. 

What Are the Consequences of High Water Pressure?

Consistently having high water pressure in the house can lead to numerous problems, many of which can quickly become expensive. You may experience plumbing issues, such as cracked pipes or hoses, with high water pressure in the home. Water pressure that's too high can also damage the seals, joints and fixtures in and around your home. You may even notice that your washing machine frequently needs new parts, your toilet constantly runs or your water heater often leaks. You may have to replace or repair appliances and fixtures more than other families due to higher water pressure.

Wasting water is another consequence associated with abnormal water pressure in your plumbing system, and there are several reasons for this. You may notice high water bills due to the leaks and cracks that excessive water forces can cause. Running toilets can also make your utility costs skyrocket. Additionally, high water pressure often means you're using more water to do the same tasks, such as showering or bathing, which can increase water bills. 

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Signs the Water Pressure in Your House Is Too High

Signs of high water pressure are not always obvious unless you have water pressure that is suddenly high. Many people mistakenly assume it's common for toilets to run throughout the day or washing machines to break regularly, but these issues aren't normal. Here are some signs of high water pressure you can watch for in your home:

  • Banging pipes: Dubbed a water hammer, loud banging can occur in the plumbing system when water abruptly changes direction in the pipes.
  • Spitting faucet noises: Faucets that hiss or make spitting noises may be struggling to manage higher water pressure levels.
  • Noisy appliances: Your washing machine may make loud noises as the parts fail due to wear and tear from high water pressure. 
  • Cracked hoses and pinhole leaks in pipes: Your plumbing system may become damaged if pressure is too high, so watch out for cracks and leaks, even if they're small ones. 
  • Toilet troubles: Your toilet shouldn't run constantly, and it shouldn't significantly affect other plumbing in the home. For example, water pressure that reduces in the shower when someone flushes a toilet can indicate a problem. 

What Should You Do About High Water Pressure?

High water pressure isn't a problem you should ignore, so make sure you take action quickly before your pipes and appliances get damaged. Depending on the cause of high water pressure in your home, you may find a water pressure regulator fixes your plumbing issues and high water bills. You can often find these regulators online or at your local hardware store. Replacing your main valve may also help, or you can try adjusting the valve to reduce the pressure of water entering your home. 

Fixing high water pressure isn't always a DIY project. Talk to an experienced plumber if you need additional ideas or help installing a water pressure regulator for your home. 

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