I always took my home's heating and cooling system for granted. That is until I found myself battling one of the hottest days in years and my air conditioner simply refused to turn on. After contacting my local HVAC contractor, I learned that my cooling coils had frozen over from a lack of maintenance. He did get my AC back up and running that day, but he also helped me to look at my heating and cooling system in a whole new light. I have spent a lot of time over the last few years learning more about how to properly maintain my HVAC system and ultimately lower my energy costs. Today, I would like to share this knowledge with you so that I can help you to avoid some of the costly mistakes I have made in the past.
You may not realize it, but the water coming into your home from the main municipal line is under pressure that can vary under certain circumstances. The geographical location of your home or your proximity to tall buildings could affect the pressure of water flowing through the municipal pipe. Once the water enters your home, the pressure can change due to changes in temperature of the water. High pressure can cause problems with your plumbing, and all the while you may not even realize what's going on. Here is some information on this plumbing problem and what to do about it.
When To Suspect There Is A Pressure Problem
If the water in your lines is constantly under too much pressure, it can cause leaks in your pipes. The pressure forces openings in pipe seams that lead to leaks. You'll also experience frequent faucet leaks since high pressure damages rubber washers. If you repair one faucet only to have another one start leaking, then you should definitely suspect a high pressure problem. Also, if your repairs don't last very long, that's a sign of a pressure problem. In addition, it may be difficult to judge, but if it seems like your hot water heater or washer have shorter lives than expected, or if they need frequent repairs, it could be due to high pressure in your lines.
Why High Pressure Is A Problem
If the high pressure is a chronic condition, you'll experience frequent plumbing problems. This is not only frustrating; it also costs money in repairs. The appliances connected to your water lines will need to be replaced sooner, and you'll even spend more on your water bill. More water will flow through each time you turn on the faucet. In addition, if you develop a leak that is underground or out of sight, you'll be paying for a water leak that you may not know exists.
How To Tell If Your Pressure Is Too High
The water pressure to your home should be under 80 psi. That is the upper limit deemed acceptable by appliance manufacturers, but the actual pressure in your home is usually much lower than that. You can easily determine the pressure with a water pressure gauge. These only cost a few dollars at a hardware store. The gauge screws on the end of an outdoor faucet like a hose. The gauge has a dial that reads the psi, and if the reading is close to 80, your water pressure may be too high. If it is 80 or higher, it is definitely too high. If you think the pressure may be too high, but the reading is under 80, then call a plumber to come out and inspect your pipes with more sensitive equipment.
What To Do About High Water Pressure
If your home is fairly new, there may be a valve near your water meter that allows you to regulate the pressure. All you have to do is adjust the valve until the gauge is in a more normal range. If your home is older, there probably won't be a valve you can adjust. In that case, the solution is to have a pressure regulator installed on your main water line. Then you can reduce the pressure whenever you need to in order to keep it within acceptable ranges. The pressure regulator adjusts the pressure of the water as it leaves the water main so the water is at a safe pressure before it enters your home. A plumber is needed to install one of these devices since it is positioned in line with your main water pipe. You may need to have your water shut off at the meter before work begins. Although you'll have the expense of paying for plumbing services, you'll be free from constant plumbing problems and the worry of underground leaks that drive up your water bill. Click here for more information on plumbing services.Share
6 March 2017