As you luxuriate in your shower with all that hot water blasting against your skin and making you feel good in all the right places, any question about your home’s water pressure being too high might seem like the silliest question in the world.
There are many good reasons why you should check out your home’s water pressure. While it feels great to be liquidly massaged by a high-pressure shower, some not so good things could be happening elsewhere around your property.
It’s all to do with too much pressure, more specifically a level of pressure that exceeds 500kpa (kpa = kilopascal, the standard unit of pressure). 500kpa is the maximum water pressure allowed in residential homes, yet in our experience, the kpa level often goes way beyond that and deep into problem territory.
What sort of problems are we talking about? One of the most common is burst flexible plumbing pipes which we often use to connect toilet cisterns, taps, washing machines and dishwashers. When these pipes blow, they don’t do it by halves: they can do thousands of dollars of damage in a very short space of time.
Something less damaging, but just as annoying, is that hammering or screeching sound coming from your pipes. These noises are loud, tell-tale signs of excessive water pressure in your pipes. And don’t forget the link between high water pressure and the warranty on things like your hot water heater, washing machine, dishwasher, tapware and other common plumbing fixtures found around your home. All these things have a maximum water pressure inlet, usually 500kpa: if the pressure is not kept below each appliance’s maximum water pressure, and problems occur, the warranty will be void.
How do you ensure the water pressure at your home remains at acceptable levels? How can you protect your appliances, your plumbing fixtures, your warranties and, in the case of hammering and screeching pipes, your eardrums? We recommend you get in touch with us and we can check the water pressure at your place. We can do several things to bring the pressure down.
For example, we can install a Pressure Limiting Valve (PLV) on the pipework before it enters the building, normally at the water meter or under the house. Without getting too technical about it, the PLV will bring your water pressure to a safe level before it reaches your home’s pipes and plumbing fixtures. It will resolve potential warranty issues, and go a long way to eliminating water hammer.
We have to be brutally frank and honest at this point. A PLV will reduce the pressure in your shower. You will certainly notice the change if your water pressure has been at dangerously high levels but it won’t take long to get used to 500KPA of pressure. That is still a lot of satisfying, skin-tingling pressure and better than burst pipes, flooding and quick-fire lessons on how to build an Ark, or how to swim.