High Home Water Pressure Can Mean More Water Damage

high home water pressure

The water pressure inside your home can be a contributing factor in the risk of water damage as well as the severity of it. High water pressure stresses all indoor plumbing components—both the pipes as well as appliances such as washing machines connected to the pipes—and may make damaging incidents more likely. Where water pressure soars excessively high, a minor pinhole leak in a water supply line or seepage at a joint may turn into a major pipe rupture and inflict extensive water damage in a house.

How High Is Too High?

To reduce plumbing wear and tear as well as the risk of indoor water damage, most plumbers recommend that indoor pressure should not exceed 65 p.s.i. Unfortunately, water pressure in the main municipal water line your house is connected to may commonly exceed 100 p.s.i. and sometimes rise as high as 200 p.s.i. in some locales. A ruptured indoor pipe at that pressure will be especially damaging.

Is Your Pressure Too High?

You can purchase a water pressure tester at any of the large retail home centers or many hardware stores. This simple gauge has a fitting exactly like a garden hose that connects to an outdoor faucet or washing machine bib. Follow instructions to get a proper pressure reading.

What Can Be Done About It?

A city-installed pressure reduction valve (PRV) is often located at the house water meter to limit incoming water pressure to levels that lessen the risk of extensive water damage. If it’s not doing the job, here are two options:

  • The city-installed PRV may require adjustment to maintain pressure at specified levels or it may be defective and need replacement. Contact your local municipal water department for information.
  • If no PRV is present at the meter—or if the standard city water pressure specification is higher than you prefer—a plumber can install a manually-adjustable regulator in your water supply line, somewhere just after the water meter and before the line enters the house. This enables indoor water pressure to be fine-tuned to a more exact specification.

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