Is your toilet running constantly and you can’t seem to figure out how to get it to stop? Has your hose connecting your plumbing to your washing machine sprung a leak unexpectedly? Has your faucet started dripping from the handle when you turn it on? To most people these small plumbing problems aren’t really anything serious to be concerned about—they’re an easy fix that requires a readily-available part and a few minutes of their time. Most often they’re something that can easily be done on your own if you have the right tools and a little bit of know-how.
But what they may not realize is that these problems could all be connected by a common cause. No, it’s not age and it’s not something in your water—it’s your water pressure. Specifically, these are all signs that the water pressure flowing through your home could be too high. This is a serious concern—water pressure that’s too high is difficult to contain, and could leak to plumbing leaks, worn seals, and damaged fixtures. It could even shorten the lifespan of your appliances that depend on a water connection like your washing machine, ice maker, dishwasher, and more.
How can you tell you’re dealing with a problem caused by high water pressure? Here are four easy-to-spot signs that indicate you should contact a plumber about it as soon as possible.
Banging or Clanging Noises in Pipes
When you run your faucet or flush your toilet, ideally shutting the water off or the flush cycle ending shouldn’t make any strange sounds. But what happens when you do this and the end of your usage is greeted with a shuddering, banging, or clanging noise inside your walls? This is a sign that the pressure in your pipes is already extremely high, and the shuddering is your pipes adapting to the pressure increasing when you turn off the water. This also means that you could find yourself dealing with plumbing leaks within a short period of time. If you hear banging or clanging from your plumbing after shutting off the water, you should call a plumber right away.
Is your dishwasher unexpectedly loud? Does your washing machine make a ton of noise when it fills up? These are all signs that you could be dealing with a water pressure problem. This is because the seals and mechanical pieces that make these appliances work will wear out faster when they are forced to compensate for higher water pressure. This leads to more noise, more strain, and ultimately a shorter lifespan for your appliance as well.
Short Hot Water Supply
Does it seem like you’re running out of hot water quickly? This also could be a high water pressure problem. Your water heater is designed to take in water at a set rate in order to compensate for the water being used, maintaining a consistent temperature until the tank is empty. If the tank fills up too fast, like it would if your water pressure is too high, the water will refill the tank too quickly, which means that the cold water will overtake the hot water and lead to a smaller supply of hot water when you need it. This also means the possibility of a hot water heater that doesn’t last as long either—when your heater is constantly having to heat water after incomplete cycles, the tank will wear out faster, and more than likely spring a leak well before its expected lifespan.
High Water Bills
Have you noticed that your water bills are creeping up extremely high for seemingly no reason? This is a sign you might be dealing with high water pressure as well. Why? Because you’re actually using more water without realizing it. Let’s look at it this way: when you use a typical faucet at a regular water pressure of 50 PSI, then you’re using about 30 gallons of water per minute. However, an increase of just 10 PSI bumps your water usage to 36 gallons of water per 10 minutes of use. That’s six extra gallons of water that you may not even be aware that you used! Some homes may have water pressures as high as 80 or even 100 PSI, at which point you use 45 gallons of water per 10 minutes from that same faucet—a waste of 15 gallons of water! That’s hundreds of extra dollars per year you could be spending on water without even realizing it!If you think you may have high water pressure, talk to the experts from Smith’s Plumbing Services! Call our Memphis plumbers at (901) 290-1110 today to request a service appointment.