What everyone prefers in terms of water pressure can vary wildly from person to person. Because there is no real one set “standard” for what everyone would consider accurate, it is important to be able to accurately measure water pressure when it comes to your home or any home that you are looking at buying. This is most especially true for home inspectors. If a client ever asks why the inspector did not comment on the water pressure, then the inspector should document a normal water pressure reading.
Water pressure gauges are easy to use and incredibly practical. It requires a minimal cost, about ten dollars, and no experience at all to operate these tools correctly. You can buy them at just about any hardware store.
Once you have the water pressure gauge, your next question is probably ‘What readings should I be looking for?’ Normal pressure is considered between 40 and 80 PSI (pounds per square inch) and the easiest way to check is to screw the gauge onto an outside faucet. However, you might run into a bit of a snag if you do this. Some homes have the outside plumbing done before a water pressure reducer is installed. Therefore, you may get an alarmingly high reading on the gauge.
If this happens, it’s considered advisable to check the water pressure somewhere inside the house, such as where the washing machine hooks up to. If the reading is still high, then you can likely count on it being accurate at this point.
If the people who are going to be living in the house don’t have a water pressure gauge of their own, then it’s time to do the old-fashioned multi-flow test! This is an easy way for the person to assess with their own eyes if the water pressure is suitable. To do this, run something like the washing machine or dish washer, as well as some sinks and then try the bathroom shower. Do this on each floor, with other fixtures running. This is a pretty solid way to check for quality water pressure.
If your water pressure is too high, a water pressure reducer can be installed by your plumber-and will likely be recommended by them as well.
In the case of low water pressure, though, you’ll likely run into a more complicated situation. Low water pressure can be caused by damage to the pipes, including rust, as well as a slew of other issues.