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Water Pressure Explained

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Typical residential water systems are designed to function under a pressure of 40-70 psi. If the water pressure exceeds 100 psi, a pressure regulator may need to be installed in the line to reduce the pressure to an acceptable range. This protects the equipment in your home from damage caused by excess force exerted by the water. The opposite can occur too; if pressure is below 40 psi, a pressure-booster could be needed to bring it up to acceptable levels. Also, hard water can reduce pressure. High water pressure is also known to waste a lot more water and can rupture pipes, damage fixtures, and injure the people using them. Any wasted water is not good when you consider that many municipalities today not only charge homeowners and businesses high rates for water consumption, but also charge consumers equally high rates for the disposal of wastewater.

It is also important to note that water flow is not the same thing as water pressure. Water flow is the result of your water pressure on the amount of water available for delivery (volume). It is the measure of how much volume passes a specific point per second. Water pressure is the measure of the force of gravity being exerted on the mass of the water. Thus, it depends on the height above the reference and the density of the water. To keep it simple water flow is how much water is flowing off the waterfall and water pressure is how hard the water falls down the waterfall. Low water flow could be a result of an obstruction on the water line, and old pipe with contain mineral build-up or corrosion that reduces the pipe's internal diameter. So, if a water pressure gauge is reading at an acceptable level but the pressure seems off, it may be a flow problem.

If you are unsure of the water pressure at your home, there are a few easy ways to test it. Home Depot carries water pressure gauges and we also carry them here. However, most tanks will already have this feature. Also, a constant pressure valve can easily be installed. This gadget will automatically set flow with the set pressure level for the system. A variable speed pump can also be installed, as well as additional pressure tank capacity-- this will require a professional plumber. With all that said, there is really nothing to stress about. If your water pressure is too high or too low there is always a solution out there that you can easily fix yourself or with the help of a good plumber!

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