Too Much Water?

By Zachary Mikat

Can there ever be too much of a good thing?  While we may have our doubts, it’s good to keep in mind all those times we’ve had a little too much “good” ourselves.  Take, for instance, the foodie fest that ended in groaning and agony, all because of the simple phrase, “Just one more bite”.  We’ve all had similar experiences.  Oddly enough, so has your house.  Part of proper home maintenance requires a little checkup to make sure your home isn’t suffering from that bloated feeling of excess water pressure.

As a plumber in Upland, where water pressure is often 130-140 psi, I have made a point of checking the water pressure of your home on every service call.  The Uniform Plumbing Code requires that the water pressure in your home never exceeds 80 psi.  More importantly is the reason for this code.  High water pressure increases the amount of stress on your plumbing system and fixtures.  Supply lines, and fill valves in your toilets, dishwashers and clothes washers all become potential hazards when excess pressure is part of the equation.  In homes damaged by water, excess pressure caused from a malfunctioning pressure regulator is often one of the key factors.  While your Upland plumber knows this from experience, a gentleman in Upland found this out the hard way.  To begin with, the water pressure entering his home was 135psi.  He was unaware of this because the person (clearly not a professional plumber) who installed the fill valve on his toilet didn’t check the water pressure at the time of the repair.  Secondly, the fill valve was not properly installed, causing excess stress on the plastic.  The third problem was that the gentleman left on vacation without turning the water to the house off.  The result: returning home from vacation to a 5000 square foot swimming pool.

How does one avoid such flooding disasters?

Here’s as few things to keep in mind.  High pressure often causes your plumbing to make noise.  This can be especially noticeable when your toilet is filling.  Listen for whistling sounds.  Loud banging sounds when you turn off the water can also be a sign of excess pressure.  The best method of detection, however, is to regularly check your pressure with a pressure gauge (you can pick one up at almost any hardware store).  Thread the gauge onto a hose bib and turn on the water.  Residential pressure regulators are factory set for a pressure range of 25-75 psi, so if your gauge reads more than 75 psi, it’s time to replace your regulator.  This can be a challenging job, so if you are not up to the task, give Green Hippo Plumbing a call.  Your Upland plumber is always glad to help!

High water pressure is not only loud and annoying, it’s also destructive, so keep your ears open and check your water pressure at least once a year.  It could save the contents of your home, and you won’t have to find a new place to live while your house is being repaired.

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