How to Test Water Pressure at Home

water pressure detector

Low water pressure results in trickling showerheads and faucets, but high water pressure can damage your plumbing system. Similar to checking your indoor air quality, testing your home water pressure a few times a year can help you identify and remedy problems before they get worse. Use this as a guide on how to test the water pressure in your home.

The Importance of Testing Home Water Pressure

Many people only think to test the water pressure when it becomes noticeably low. However, too much of a good thing can be bad. High water pressure can harm your pipe connections, water softener, water heater, faucets, and appliances. Blowouts in flex lines and washing machine hoses are also more likely, which could, in turn, flood your home.

How to Test Home Water Pressure

The only tool you need is a simple, inexpensive pressure gauge, which you can purchase at any hardware or home improvement store. Look for one with female hose threads for easy hook-up, a rubber gasket to form a tight seal, and the ability to measure up to 300 pounds per square inch (psi).

With a pressure gauge on hand, follow these steps to test the water pressure:

1. Preparation

turn off all faucets
Make sure all faucets, showerheads, dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerator ice makers, and sprinklers are off. If water is moving anywhere in your plumbing system, this may cause a low-pressure reading.

2. Hook Up Pressure Gauge

image showing outdoor hose bib
Hook up the gauge to an outside faucet or hose bib. If you get your water from a municipal utility, select the one closest to the water meter. If you have a well, choose a hose bib as close as possible to the well’s pressure tank.

3. Measure Water Pressure

Tighten the gauge by hand and open the faucet all the way. Look at the gauge to determine the pressure. An ideal reading is between 45 and 55 psi. If the pressure is below 40 psi or above 80 psi, you should take action.

How to Address High or Low Water Pressure

What’s the verdict? Is your water pressure too high, too low, or just right?

  • If it’s too high, consider installing a water pressure regulator on the water main to ensure a maximum flow of 75 psi. Even if you already have one installed, it’s still wise to test the water pressure in your home because pressure regulators can fail without noticeable symptoms.
  • If it’s too low, inspect the pressure regulator, if you have one. It should be set to 50 psi by default, but you can adjust the screw on top to improve the flow. If a pressure regulator isn’t to blame, the municipal water utility may be delivering low water flow to your home. You can solve this problem by installing a water pressure booster to improve the flow every time someone opens a faucet.
  • If it’s just right, there’s nothing more you need to do. Tuck your pressure gauge away for a few months until your next test.

Contact Mr. Rooter® Plumbing for Help Troubleshooting Water Pressure Issues

If you need help testing home water pressure, or you determine that you could use a pressure regulator or booster, please call Mr. Rooter Plumbing for assistance. We can test for clogged plumbing that might cause low water pressure and make sure no fixtures have been damaged by high pressure. Call Mr. Rooter Plumbing or contact us online to schedule the services you need!