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High water pressure will send water pounding out of your showerhead onto your aching back, and it will make easy work of rinsing off your patio with a garden hose.

But that high pressure can damage your plumbing fixtures and cause them to wear out too quickly by blowing gaskets and seals.

Plus, some manufacturers of plumbing fixtures will void their warranties if a product breaks because your water pressure is too high. 

The ideal water pressure for a home is between 55 and 65 pounds per inch (PSI).

Test your water pressure to find out if it’s consistently higher than 65 pounds per inch (PSI). If it is, install a pressure regulator to even out the flow. 

To test water pressure:

  1. Turn off every plumbing fixture in and around your home, including faucets, the ice maker, the automatic pool filler, sprinklers, the dishwasher, the washing machine and the evaporative cooler.
  2. Locate the outdoor water spigot closest to the front of your house. That’s where the water enters the house from the city’s water supply.
  3. Remove the hose from the “hose bib”, the part of the spigot that lets you screw the hose on and off.
  4. Screw on a water pressure gauge in its place. You can buy a gauge for a few dollars from most hardware stores.
  5. Turn that spigot on.
  6. Watch the needle on the gauge move. It will land at the number that indicates your water pressure.
  7. Repeat the test three times in one day: early in the morning, when you get home from work and at bedtime. You’ll probably see some variation each time. The optimum range is 55 to 65 pounds per inch (PSI).

If your test reveals that your water pressure is higher than 65 PSI, install a pressure regulator to even out the flow.  This is a job for a licensed plumber.

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