For most homeowners, sooner or later, water pressure in the home will become an issue. But did you know that sudden changes in your house’s water pressure may actually indicate or foreshadow a major plumbing problem? In this article, we answer our most frequently asked questions about recommended house water pressure, the signs and causes of low and high water pressure, and how to fix a water pressure issue in your home.
What Is Water Pressure?
Water pressure, calculated as kilopascals in Australia, describes how fast the water flows through your house’s pipes and out of your faucets or showerheads.
Why Is Good Water Pressure Important?
Unfortunately, if your home has high water pressure, you may be wasting water and attracting a higher water bill without realising. Checking and adjusting your water pressure can save you money and improve the quality of your life. If your home’s water pressure is too high, you may be using too much water each day. If it’s too low, you may be taking longer to perform basic cleaning and bathing tasks. Having good water pressure helps your home use water efficiently, is better for the environment, and keeps your water bill and water heating costs under control.
Surges in water pressure intensity may damage or put stress on your pipes, fixtures and appliances. Constant hammering by water will reduce their operational life and can even void your property insurance and manufacturer’s warranty. Most insurance companies and manufacturers will not honour your policy or warranty if your water pressure is set above the recommended level.
What Is Good Water Pressure For A House?
What is good house water pressure in Australia? To meet Australian standards, the maximum recommended hose water pressure is 500 kilopascals.
Signs of Low Water Pressure
Tell-tale signs of low water pressure include:
- A trickling faucet
- A dripping showerhead
- Your dishwasher takes a long time to fill
- Your washing machine takes a long time to complete a cycle
What Causes Low Water Pressure?
What causes low water pressure in the whole house? Low water pressure can be caused by a myriad of factors. It’s important to determine the exact cause to fix the problem.
- Leaks in your piping — Plumbing leaks are probably the primary cause of low water pressure.
- Clogged or obstructed pipes — Low water pressure can be caused by a build-up of minerals and debris in your pipes. Even a small amount of sediment in your pipes can hinder the flow of water and cause short cycling, a loss of water pressure or complete failure of your water pressure reducing valve.
- Corrosion buildup within the piping — While galvanised and steel piping typically last up to two decades, the insides of these pipes will naturally rust over time. This rust can block water flow and lower water pressure. Usually, repiping is necessary to fix corroded pipes.
- Water heater issues — If your water pressure is low at certain hot temperatures, the culprit for this issue is likely your water heater. This can occur if your water heater struggles to heat sufficient amounts of water.
Signs of High Water Pressure
- A dripping or leaking faucet
- A toilet that runs constantly
- Water spits out of your faucet aerator when you turn the faucet on
- If you can hear banging sounds from your pipes, your pipes are likely struggling to remain stable under the pressure of water flowing through
- Your water heater, dishwasher or washing machine require replacement sooner than expected due to wear and tear from frequent high water pressure
What Causes High Water Pressure?
- Recent supply interruptions or maintenance – If you’ve had a maintenance supply interruption in the recent past, it’s possible that the high water pressure is caused by air trapped in your pipes. To fix this, try running your taps for a couple of minutes to release the trapped air.
- Actions by your water supplier – Water pressure changes may occur if your supplier reconfigures the supply network. Call your water supplier to investigate whether changes in supply routes may be causing your water pressure issue.
How To Adjust Water Pressure In The House
Different solutions are required, depending on the nature of the problem.
If you can’t locate the source of your high or low water pressure to one or two faucets, it’s likely to be a global plumbing problem. If this is the case, we recommend seeking assistance and advice from a plumbing professional.
One of the simplest ways to fix high water pressure is to ask a plumber to install a water pressure reducing valve. The valve will help to bring your water pressure to a safe level before it reaches your household’s pipes and plumbing fixtures. Ideally, this pressure reducing valve should be installed by a specialist to avoid complications from the incorrect configuration.
When it comes to low water pressure, a plumber will be able to address any problems with your hot water supply, check for leaky pipes, test your toilet for leaks, check the water meter to rule out leaks, confirm your shut off valve is completely open, and inspect the pressure reducing valve on your behalf. From there, they will offer a solution to fix the problem.
Final Thoughts: What Is Good Water Pressure For A House?
If you suspect you have any water pressure problems in your house and you’re unsure why it’s best to seek help from a professional plumber. They will be able to confidently identify the cause of your water pressure issue and provide a solution. A plumber can even install a water pressure reducing valve on your property if your home doesn’t already have one installed, to help you make significant savings on your water costs.