The water that enters your home is under pressure. Water pressure is what propels water throughout your public water supply and likewise what pushes the water throughout your home to the many various faucets and fixtures where it’s needed. If your water was not under pressure, it wouldn’t be able to reach your upper floors, and very likely wouldn’t be able to come out of any of your downstairs faucets or fixtures at any pace more than a trickle.
However, too much water pressure isn’t a good thing. Much like putting too much air into a balloon can cause it to pop, too much water pressure flowing through your plumbing system can have all sorts of bad consequences for your home. And to make matters worse, most people don’t realize that several seemingly innocuous plumbing problems are actually signs that your water pressure could be too high.
Here are a few signs that you may be dealing with water pressure that’s too high so you can figure out if you need to rectify this issue in your home.
Leaking Faucets or Fixtures
Do you have an obnoxious faucet that seems to start dripping for no real reason quite frequently? Does your toilet periodically turn on and refill even though it hasn’t been used in hours? These are usually signs that these fixtures are leaking, and these leaks are usually the result of rubber gaskets or seals wearing out. While repairing these issues is generally simple, repeated leaking even after replacement could be a sign that your water pressure entering these features is too high. If you find that your faucets start leaking quite frequently or your toilets run without being used, check your water pressure.
Under a normal pressure of around 60 PSI, pipes leaks or failures will be extraordinarily rare. However, too much pressure is a lot like overfilling a balloon. Most of the time a leak starts as a pinhole—a small weakness that causes the smallest gap where water can slowly seep out. These are perhaps the toughest leaks to detect because they make no noise and can often occur in areas where your pipes are completely hidden.
However, in rare cases a catastrophic failure can happen and your pipe can completely burst. This can cause catastrophic flooding in a matter of a few short minutes, as well as an immense amount of damage to your home and your possessions. If you find you’re dealing with frequent leaks, make sure you check your water pressure to ensure you’re not putting too much strain on your pipes.
Banging or Knocking Noises
Are you greeted by a loud thud or knocking noise when you shut off your water? This can most often be attributed to your water pressure being too high. This thud comes from the flow of water suddenly stopping, and the momentum looking for somewhere to go. When it has nowhere to go, it quickly builds up and puts pressure on the walls of your plumbing, and in time that can lead to leaks like we discussed earlier. Be sure to listen carefully and you may be able to avoid a leak from high water pressure.
Premature Appliance Failure
Several of your appliances depend on a connection to your main water supply, including your dishwasher, washing machine, refrigerator, ice maker, and even a water filtration device like a reverse osmosis filter. If there’s too much pressure in these devices, their pressure regulators can fail, and that could cause damage to the important components in them which handle the water.
If your dishwasher fails several years before it’s expected lifespan or you find you need a new water heater after roughly half a decade, then the problem may not necessarily be with your water quality, but rather with your water pressure. Too much pressure can wreak havoc on appliances, and that’s an expensive consequences of a problem that’s not necessarily difficult to fix.
If you suspect you may have high water pressure, call the team at Carter Quality Plumbing at (803) 998-2270 and let us get it fixed for you.