How High-Pressure Water Destroys Your Home’s Plumbing System

13 Mar

Does your shower have ultra-high water pressure? If so, it could be destroying your home’s plumbing system!

The problem with high water pressure is that many people think it’s a good thing. However, overly pressurized water can cause a great deal of damage to pipes and other water fixtures in your home. There’s a major difference between proper home water pressure and an over-pressurized flow, which can lead to significant plumbing damage.

Unfortunately, it’s not always clear if your pressure is too high. The best thing you can do is understand how high-pressure water destroys your plumbing and call a professional.

How Your Water Pressure Rises

When water travels to your home and community via a municipal water supplier, that supplier sets the water pressure to meet the requirements for the municipality as a whole. This can be good or bad for your home, depending on where you live.

The types of buildings that the water pressure is preset to include are as follows:

  • High-rise buildings
  • Complexes
  • Office buildings
  • Residential houses
  • Schools
  • Athletic centres
  • Other facilities that require high water pressurization

Standard home water pressure is designated at 80 psi. However, this is not the case with different kinds of facilities. Structures like high-rise buildings require higher water pressure (often in the 100–110 psi range, but sometimes as high as 150 psi). When the water being sent to your home reaches the level of some of these more extensive facilities, it can become hazardous to your water fixtures.

Another reason for high and unsafe water pressure in your home can be thermal water expansion, which is caused by heating within your water heater storage tank. As water is heated, it expands and increases the overall pressure of your water. The result can lead to unsafe psi levels and put your home plumbing systems at risk.

The best thing you can do is understand how high-pressure water can damage your pipes, as well as typical signs of excessive water pressure that you should be aware of.

What High Water Pressure Can Do to Your Pipes

When you have continuous water flowing to your home at a pressure that is higher than average, it can critically erode your pipes and other plumbing fixtures in an astonishingly short period. This can ruin the life expectancy of your sinks, faucets, washing machine, shower, toilets, and other water fixtures!

Overly high water pressure can also cause leaks that you will eventually be unable to stop from forcing their way through. Among other damaging side-effects, high-pressure water can cause severe problems like pinhole leaks in your plumbing or a toilet that continuously runs.

These kinds of problems can severely shorten the life of your water heater, dishwasher, boiler system, washing machine, toilet, and increase your water bills. As well, high water pressure contributes to what is known as the “water hammer” effect. When you shut off water fixtures with regular water flow, internal air chambers protect your pipes when running water stops. However, when you are dealing with excessively high water pressure, when the water flow stops, it negates the effects of these chambers, resulting in a “hammer” effect (and sound!) that can damage critical pipe joints, valves, and fixture heads.

If you are experiencing any of these issues, you need to call a plumber immediately.

Wasted Water Due to High Pressure and Sky-Rocketing Water Bills

Now that we have reviewed the ways that extremely high water pressure damages your plumbing, we need to cover two other essential elements that can be just as devastating to any homeowner. These elements include wasted water and expensive water bills.

Wasted Water

High water pressure, as well as the leaks and pipe damage that may result, can waste as much as 40,000 gallons of water per year. For most homes, the maximum recommended water is 80 psi; any pressurization exceeding this amount will result in thousands of wasted gallons of water each month. Not only will all this wasted water pose a threat to the environment, but it will also have a significant impact on the price of your water bill.

Water Bill

Life is already expensive as it is, but if you notice that your water bill is consistently higher than usual, you could be dealing with damage to your plumbing due to high water pressure. If you see that your bill is rising and you are not using more water than usual, you should call a professional plumber to check things out. You will save yourself a lot of time, money, and headache in the long run.

Identifying High-Pressure Water in Your Home

While identifying the signs of excessively high water pressure can be challenging, below are a few ways that you can determine if your home water pressure exceeds levels that are considered normal. If you think you might have a serious situation on your hands, don’t hesitate to call a professional immediately.

The following are good indicators of excessive water pressure that could be damaging to your home:

If you think high water pressure in your home plumbing system may be putting your pipes at risk, contact us at Brothers Plumbing today. The longer you wait, the more you may damage your pipes and water fixtures. In this case, time really is money!

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