How’s the water pressure in your Chicago building? If your residents are like most people, they probably love high-pressure because it makes showers more pleasant and ensures that those fancy massaging showerheads do their jobs. It also ensures that if multiple water-using appliances are being used they all have the water pressure they need to function. However, there is such a thing as having too much water pressure. In fact, having an excessively high water pressure of above 80 psi can actually damage your appliances and pipes. Let’s take a look at how high water pressure and low water pressure can affect your plumbing system.

The Harms of High Water Pressure

While high water pressure may be great for showers, baths, and filling pots, it’s not good for your pipes or appliances. High water pressure can cause:

  • Pipe Banging – High water pressure can cause your pipes to make banging sounds or other noises. This isn’t good for your pipes and can lead to leaks at the seams and joints.
  • Excess Water Usage – Having high water pressure can cause you to use more water than you intend, which can result in needlessly excessive water bills.
  • Reduced Pipe Lifespans – High water pressure can prematurely wear out your plumbing pipes, causing blowouts and leaks. It can even wear out valves, faucets, and showerheads.
  • Reduced Appliance Lifespans – High water pressure can reduce the expected useful life of your water-using appliances. This is because high water pressure can wear out valves and the pipes inside those appliances, resulting in the need to replace them or repair them faster than you expect.

The Problems with Low Water Pressure

Having low water pressure isn’t a good idea either. Low water pressure can make cooking and cleaning extremely time-consuming and annoying. Low water pressure can cause:

  • Inefficient Water Flow – Having low water pressure can cause insufficient water flow, especially when using multiple appliances, like your dishwasher and clothing washer at the same time. This can result in your appliances taking longer than normal and possibly not doing as well of a job.
  • Problems with Taking Showers and Baths – Baths and showers may take longer and it may be difficult to wash all the soap from your hair and body due to the low water pressure.
  • Problems Filling Containers – Filling pots, pans, coffee makers, and buckets for cleaning will take longer.
  • Hint at Plumbing Issues – Low water pressure can hint at problems with the system, like multiple leaks inside walls or a broken water pump. If you suspect low water pressure, it’s best to call a professional Chicago plumber in order to figure out why you have low water pressure and implement repairs.
  • Low to No Water on Upper Floors – Low water pressure may first appear on the upper floors of your building. This is because these floors are farthest away from the source of the water. Plus, the water flowing to the upper floors of your building must travel against gravity. For this reason, low water pressure situations may first appear on the upper floors. As the pressure gets worse, lower floors may experience low water pressure.

The Health Considerations of High Water Pressure

Water pressure should be under 80psi. If it’s above 80psi it can harm your home’s plumbing system and water-using appliances, and in some cases, it may even harm your health or safety and cause damage to your building.

Your Water Heater

Your water heater could be damaged by high water pressure. When your water heater is receiving water at too high a pressure, the water flowing from your taps, shower or baths may be hotter than expected. This can leave the end-user with burns and scalding. Additionally, your water heater may run out of space to store all the pressurized water. This can result in leaks and even tank blowouts. In fact, homes with high water pressure should have expansion tanks on their water heaters to prevent bursting.

Your Water’s Cleanliness

Having high water pressure can negatively affect your water’s cleanliness. Leaks in the pipes could lead to foreign matter getting into the water supply of your Chicago building. It can also lead to backflow problems, which is where your clean water starts flowing backward through the pipes due to the excessive pressure. If the building is already equipped with a backflow preventer, the high water pressure can cause the valves to fail.

You’re Ability to Filter Your Water

If you filter your water in order to soften it or to improve its taste, your water filter may not be able to adequately remove all the particulate matter from your water because of the high pressure. This is because the excessive pressure forces the water through the filter faster than the filter can remove the particles. Additionally, the high water pressure may cause the water filtration device to burst or crack, leading to floods and the need for emergency repairs.

How to Regulate High Water Pressure

The first step in controlling high water pressure is to know if you have high water pressure. A licensed plumber can test the pressure of your water, or you can attempt to test it yourself, using a pressure gauge. These usually attach to an outdoor water hose bib or the water heater drain.

If you do find that your building has high water pressure, you can have a water pressure valve or a pressure regulator installed by a professional Chicago plumber.

Additionally, you may want to have an expansion tank installed on your hot water heater. Expansion tanks help regulate the pressure inside the water heater in order to prevent blowouts.

How to Protect Your Plumbing System from High Water Pressure

The first step to taking care of high water pressure situations is to pay attention. Is the flow of water out of the faucets and fixtures higher than normal? Do you hear pipes banging? Have you noticed more leaks than usual in your building? These can all be signs that your building in experiencing high water pressure.

If you do notice any of these signs, it’s best to call a professional plumber in Chicago to test the pressure of your water and implement a solution. This can help reduce the chances of experiencing pipe bursts and expensive repair bills. Not to mention, you’ll be protecting all of your water-using appliances, including your water heaters.

How NuFlow Can Help with Water Pressure Issues

At Nuflow, serving Chicago, we offer pipelining as a way to rehabilitate your plumbing pipes. As part of that service, we also offer building pipe assessments, which can give you valuable information on the status of your plumbing system. Our assessments can tell you the ages of your plumbing pipes, their conditions, and how much life is left in them. We can also tell you if your plumbing system is a good candidate for epoxy pipelining and give you a quote. Epoxy pipelining can be used on all types of plumbing pipes, including potable water lines, drain lines, and even vent pipes. In addition to all this, we can also coordinate with other plumbing professionals in order to ensure that you have a well-maintained, well-balanced safe, and healthy plumbing system.

To learn more about how pipelining can help you rehabilitate your plumbing system, remove and prevent corrosion, and give you reliable water service from your system for years to come, don’t hesitate to contact us!