It goes without saying that low water pressure is a major inconvenience and annoyance and can be a sign of unseen plumbing issues. Did you know, though, that high water pressure is also a problem? While a massage-like pressure from your shower might seem like a good thing when you’re trying to wake up in the morning, water pressure that’s too high puts immense strain on your plumbing and can be a huge problem.
Causes of High Water Pressure
- Location of the Home
Although it may sound absurd, being located at the bottom of a hill can cause your water pressure to be too high.Natural water runs downhill, and this is actually one of the most common causes of high water pressure.
- City Development
When communities grow, the infrastructure needs to grow with them – but sometimes it doesn’t.New housing developments receive their water from the same systems as the old ones, so it only makes sense that water pressure would drop when more homes are added to the existing system.Re-plumbing an entire neighborhood is extremely costly, and often the city will choose to just turn the water pressure up at the water main to combat this, but, while this will increase the overall pressure, it can result in uneven and too-high water pressure, depending on the distance and location of a home in relation to the main.
- Mechanical Back Flows
Back flows are created to ensure that water from your home doesn’t flow backward into the main water supply and contaminate it.This is fantastic until there’s a build-up of pressure behind the device, which causes high water pressure over time.
- Faulty Pressure Regulator
Water pressure regulators do exactly what their name implies – they regulate the water pressure from the water main to ensure that the water flowing into your home has the correct pressure for the plumbing within the house.A faulty regulator will allow water to flow at a pressure that is too high and incompatible with the home.
Damage from High Water Pressure
Consistently high water pressure causes damage to your plumbing system mainly by creating excessive wear and tear that the system wasn’t created to withstand. Tell-tale signs of high water pressure are shaking, rattling, and banging sounds as the water flows through your pipes at a rate they can’t manage. Not only is this excessive pressure damaging to your pipes, but it can damage your appliances and fixtures as well. Dishwashers, washing machines, toilets, showerheads, and even hot water heaters, will break down well before their average lifespan because they just can’t stand up to the pressure exerted on them. Ultimately this can lead to leaking and burst pipes and appliances, which will create huge and costly damages to your home.
While high water pressure might seem like a bonus when you’re washing your car or trying to scrape burnt-on dinner off your nice pans, it’s not worth it in the long run. If you notice your water pressure seems higher than normal, call a plumber right away to address the issue before it gets out of control.