High water pressure can cause flooding
During a home inspection, one of the very important items we check is the water pressure inside your home. San Diego has very high water pressure in many neighborhoods. The pressure is reduced into your home with the use of a pressure regulator which usually looks like the device pictured here. They are typically located at the front exterior wall of the house, or in the garage. The problem is that the life span of a pressure regulator is 6 to 10 years. While the exterior is usually made from brass, the interior components are rubber, plastic, and steel which degrade over time. When they fail, they allow the pressure inside your home to rise to whatever the street pressure is. This can be two to three times the recommended interior pressure of 55-60 psi.
Your water pressure should be checked at least twice per year.
When the pressure regulator fails, it puts tremendous stress on the plumbing in your house. Most notably, all of the plastic fittings and valves that are connected to your plumbing. Many components in your house such as toilet fill valves, refrigerator water lines, dishwasher valves, and even old hoses under sinks, toilets, and clothes washers cannot handle very high pressure. This can result in flooding which, even with insurance, can cost you thousands of dollars.
Signs that your pressure is too high include:
- Extra noise when your toilet fills after flushing
- Toilets constantly filling
- Water hammer
- Dripping faucets
- Tub/shower diverter spraying from the tub spout
- Dripping from the water heater pressure relief valve
- A noticeable, short “pfffft” sound when first turning on a faucet
You can check the water pressure yourself with an inexpensive pressure gauge available from your favorite hardware store for less than $15. If you find that your water pressure is higher than 80 psi, you likely need your pressure regulator replaced. The best place to check the water pressure is inside your house, not at a hose spigot (unless you are sure that it is plumbed after the regulator). If you are not comfortable checking the pressure yourself, please consider having a handyman, plumber, or your home inspector check it. There will be a small fee, but it is well worth it to save wear and tear on your plumbing and likely prevent flooding in your house.
High water pressure can cost you money in other ways, including losing water at your irrigation system. Find out how high water pressure can waste water.
As always, if you have any questions regarding your home, do not hesitate to contact us. We are happy to help!