What Is The Ideal Water Pressure?
Many people throughout the UK suffer from having low water pressure in their homes. Instead of a high powered flow of water, you get a much weaker flow, which can’t be nice when you are trying to enjoy your shower. This article will go over all of the things you need to know about water pressure in your home including, what it should be and why it can become low in the first place.
What Should Your Water Pressure Be?
Of course, there isn’t one specific number that dictates what the perfect water pressure is for everyone as everyone likes their shower at different pressures. However, as a rough guide, you should set your water pressure to be between 40-60 PSI (pounds per square inch). By setting your water pressure in this bracket, it means that you will be able to adjust the pressure to how you like it in the shower whether that is powerful or not.
How Do I Find Out What My Water Flow Rate Is?
Checking your water pressure is something that should be done regularly. Furthermore, you won’t be able to buy a new showerhead or tap without knowing this information and if your water pressure changes suddenly, it can cause damage to your home. However, not everyone knows how to check their water pressure. Here is a quick and easy way to find out:
- Get a stopwatch.
- Place a water jug that is big enough for 1-2 litres of water under the tap or shower.
- Turn it on and start your stopwatch at the exact same time.
- Run the tap for exactly 6 seconds and then turn your tap off.
- Next requires a bit of calculating. Multiply the amount of water that is in the jug, in litres (e.g 0.8 litres) by 10 (eg. 8) and this will be the number of litres of water that is produced per minute (eg. 8 litres per minute)
- If your flow is less than 10 litres per minute, you will likely have low water pressure, between 10 and 15 is considered okay but could still be improved and over 15 litres per minute is considered good.
Why Water Pressure Can Become Low?
Low water pressure can sometimes be temporary. Have you noticed that sometimes your flow of water is completely fine and then all of a sudden it becomes weak? Well take a think about this or even test it out, does your water flow become weaker when someone is using another plumbing fixture at the same time? This could be anything from you having a shower while the dishwasher is on or flushing the toilet and then trying to wash your hands straight away.
As there is only so much water your house can give out in one go when you try to use 2 systems at the same time, that one load of water is getting shared between them. However, if that is not the problem and your water pressure always seems low, there are a few things that it could be:
If you notice that your water pressure is low in only a few of your fixtures, this could be why. Over time, fixtures will naturally become faulty due to a buildup of mineral deposits such as limescale or rust.
If you notice when using your taps for example that it is very difficult to get a balance between a very powerful flow of water and very weak, then there is probably a problem with your pressure regulators.
There are usually two valves that let the water come into your home. However, if one of these was slightly closed for some reason, it could cause the pressure to drop. Checking these to see if they are completely open is always a good start.
Clogged Water Pipes
Clogged pipes are another common issue of low water pressure as they happen naturally over time. If you notice that when you turn your taps on, water sprays out as normal and then it changes and begins to flow with much less pressure, your pipes may be clogged.
Galvanised steel pipes have an average lifespan of 20 to 40 years, other pipes may last longer such as copper, brass and iron but even those materials will need replacing after 40-100 years. If you live in an older house, your pipes may have become severely corroded causing low water pressure and these will need to be replaced.
How To Increase Water Pressure?
Depending on where you are located in the UK, the water pressure will be different, in certain areas it will be better than others. However, there are some things that you can do to help improve this if it is particularly bad.
Some quick and easy fixes can be opening the supply valve, repairing any leaks and unblocking any pipes. However, if none of these work, you can install a water booster pump. There are 2 big things that can cause poor water pressure, gravity and distance. If your water has to travel uphill to reach you or it has to travel a long way, it can often struggle to produce a powerful water flow which is where a water booster pump comes in. These work by repressurising the water before it enters your home allowing it to produce a much more powerful flow of water.
Can Water Pressure Be Too High?
Checking your water pressure regularly is a great way to tell if your plumbing system is running smoothly. If you notice that there is a sudden change in your water pressure, it can be a sign that there is something wrong and this should get checked out immediately.
Any surges in water pressure should be treated as quickly as possible as they can put too much pressure on the pipes causing washing machines to break down, taps to continuously leak and toilets to run constantly.
Contact Our Pumping Specialists
If you are having trouble with water pressure and you aren’t sure what to do, our team will be able to find a solution to help you out. Get in contact with our team on 01775 711960 or fill out our online contact form and we would be happy to help.
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