Solving The Water Pressure Problem: Is It Flow Rate, Water Pressure, Or Your Pressure System?
Whether you’re experiencing sudden loss of water pressure or consistently inconsistent pressure, identifying the source of the issue requires a little detective work. You’re looking for the signs that lead to what went wrong in the first place. You need to know what to look for and who to ask when you don’t have the answers. Water pressure problems can stem from pressure system issues, weather and groundwater availability, or even unfortunate over-usage in the surrounding areas. Before your dive in with the DIY diagnostics,
Understanding Water Pressure
Water pressure is the force that pushes water from your water well, through your plumbing system and to your house. Water pressure is measured in psi, or pounds per square inch. While a normal water pressure reading will vary from house to house, a normal water pressure would hover around 40-60 psi.
For homes that are hooked up to the municipal water system, water pressure is managed by the city–homeowners don’t have to think about it. Water well owners, however, have to take action in order to prevent major water system damage. They can choose to hire a water well maintenance professional or troubleshoot on their own. If you take the DIY approach, make sure you know what to look for. There could be a number of reasons why your water pressure isn’t as steady or robust as it used to be:
- Abnormally High Water Usage – If your home is located near an industrial, commercial or agricultural facility, then you may occasionally experience lower water pressure if those facilities are undergoing construction. You may also experience a drop in water pressure during your own remodel, especially if your upgrades include an addition of a kitchen or bathroom.
- Drought and Dry Climate – During dry years, there is typically less groundwater or static water, which will interfere with the level of available water in your well.
- Inefficient Pressure System – It’s the source of many family fights: inconsistent water pressure. Someone flushes the toilet while you’re in the shower, or you’re running the dishwasher while you’re trying to take a nice bath. If you find that the water pressure in one source in your house decreases when you turn on another source, then you might have an inefficient pressure system. Talk to your water well expert about constant pressure systems to see if this may be a good fit for your household.
Is It Water Pressure Or Flow Rate?
Sometimes when water pressure is low, the problem could actually be with the flow rate. This means there is less water volume, not water pressure. When there is less water volume, less water is available to travel through the pipes. Low flow rate typically occurs when there is a build up of rocks or sediment interfering with the water pump. Low flow rate can also occur if the water pump is positioned too high. If this is the case, you will need to hire a water well professional take a look at your water well pump and to reposition the pump if necessary.
Identifying the root of the water pressure problem can prevent serious damage that would otherwise occur if you were to troubleshoot by symptoms. For example, if you were to increase the water pressure when the issue is actually with the flow rate, then there will be major damage to the water system. If you are unsure where the water pressure problem is stemming from, contact you water well expert to take a look around. Getting a second opinion could end up saving a bundle in damage costs.