Is your water pressure too low? Here are some ways you can increase the water pressure in your home.
First, you need to find out what you have to work with. Put a water pressure test gauge on an outside spigot and see what the pressure is. They cost about ten dollars if you don't have one. If it's below 40 psi, which is on the low end of standard, then it's time to do some more digging. Standard water pressure is 45 to 55 psi.
Call your water provider and find out what the pressure is supposed to be at the water main tap. If they tell you that it's higher than what you are showing on your test gauge, the problem could be a bad pressure-reducing valve. These valves are located on your water main and can go bad after ten or twenty years. When they do, they result can be either too much water pressure or not enough. The pressure is adjusted with threads at the top of the valve. If adjusting doesn't solve the problem, it's time to replace the valve. It's a job that takes a little plumbing experience to handle, so if you are in doubt, call a licensed plumber.
If the problem persists after you change your pressure-reducing valve, then you either have clogged pipes or a leak. Neither scenario is good. It's time to call a licensed plumber and see what your options are.
If the pressure seems to be good at the meter, but not inside the house, then you are back to eliminating clogged pipes or a leak. If you try to increase your water pressure without taking care of one of these problems hiding in your walls, you will make your situation worse. So again, if you are in doubt, call a licensed plumber. The peace of mind is worth the service call.
If your plumbing system is sound and you are ready to spend up to $1000, you can invest in a pressure booster. These machines have an electric motor and a pressure tank. They can be set to pump out water at 45 to 55 psi. You will need access to your water main to install it. If access to the water main is underground, or otherwise difficult to get to, the cost may not be worth it.
Finally, remember that it is very possible to have water pressure that is too high. Anything over 80 psi will push water through your water heater faster than it can be heated. It will also wear out seals, appliances and faucets that are not designed to handle that level of pressure.
The best thing to do if you think your water pressure is too low is to call a professional to assess your water system. Then you will know exactly what you can do and how much it will cost to get it done.
You might want to visit our Plumbing page for answers to your questions.