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How do I diagnose water pressure problems in my home?

There’s nothing quite like a nice hot shower, but when your Oakville home has low water pressure, it can feel like you’re barely getting wet in the shower. Poor water pressure can cause other issues too – like your dishes may not get very clean in your dishwasher, or you may notice that your washing machine isn’t cleaning clothes as well as it used to. But when water pressure is too high, it isn’t good either, as this could lead to damaged pipes or damaged appliances.

When water pressure is too low or too high, it could indicate that there is a problem somewhere in the home that needs to be fixed. The following is a guide on how to diagnose water pressure in your home.

What is water pressure?

Water pressure is the force at which water comes out of the faucets in your home. This is not the same as the water flow, which is the amount of water that comes out of your faucet. Like the air pressure in the tires of your car, water pressure is measured by psi.

Water pressure in Oakville homes can range between 30 and 80 psi, although the average is usually between 40 and 60 psi.

How to test the water pressure in your home.

The easiest way to test your home’s water pressure is with a water pressure gauge. These inexpensive devices can be found at your local home improvement store or even ordered online. To test your water pressure, make sure all your faucets and appliances that use water are turned off and then connect the gauge to your outdoor hose faucet. Turn on the faucet fully and ready the gauge.

If you do not have an exterior hose faucet, you may have to disconnect your washing machine hose and connect the water pressure gauge to that faucet.

What causes low water pressure? 

There are a number of issues that can cause the water pressure in your Oakville home to be low. Here are some of the most common causes:

  • Partially closed valve – one of the main causes of low water pressure in residential homes is when shutoff valves are partially closed and obstruct the water. If you suspect this is the cause of your issue, locate the values on the main water supply line and check to see that they are operating properly and fully opened. If the valve is broken or leaking, contact a plumber to have the valve replaced.
  • Debris in pipes – pipes that are obstructed with debris, oil, food particles, mineral buildup etc., can also cause low water pressure. If you suspect this may be the cause, try cleaning out the aerator on your faucet.
  • Corroded water lines – in older homes with galvanized steel pipes, corrosion can happen over time, and the pipes develop holes and eventually fail. Unfortunately, there is no easy fix for this, and the only solution is to have a plumber re-pipe the system with newer, more modern piping.
  • Leaking pipes – if you see water pooling in your basement or seeping through walls, you know you have leaking pipes, but you can have a much smaller (and hard to find) leak that can cause you to have low water pressure. While you may be able to locate the leak yourself, there is a good chance that you have more than one leak and calling a plumber will be your best course of action.
  • Failing pressure regulator – another common reason you might have water pressure issues in your home is that you have a faulty pressure regulator or pressure-reducing valve. If this is the case, the regulator will usually need to be replaced by a professional.

Contact McKenna Plumbing today.

If you are experiencing water pressure issues in your Oakville home, we can help to diagnose and fix the problem. Contact us today to arrange for a plumber to visit your home.