|Perhaps nothing is more frustrating than low water pressure. We've all been victim to the shower that never seems to end because the water is trickling out at such a low volume. Or perhaps you have felt the frustration when washing dishes or trying to fill a pot to cook dinner. If you are like most homeowners, your water supply is routed from a municipal water system, where it has likely been treated to remove pollutants and impurities after being extracted from its source. Water that ends up coming out of your tap has most generally been drawn from a groundwater source and pumped into a water tower that is set high above the area that you live in. The force of gravity provides the pressure that forces the water that you use throughout the water mains in the system and ultimately, into your home's water lines to be dispelled through your faucets, shower, or other entry points. One cubic foot of water will exert .433 pounds of pressure per square inch, or, better put, a 100 foot tall water storage tower will have discharge pressure of around 43 pounds per square inch (or psi). The amount of water pressure that you will have in your own home depends on the elevation of your home as it relates to the water storage tower and the height of the tower itself.
Too Much or Too Little Pressure
Most home water systems are built to deal with water pressure that ranges from 40 psi to 60 psi. If the water entering your home is being discharged at a level higher than what your home's system is engineered for, installation of a water pressure regulator may be necessary. A pressure regulator can protect your home water system and its equipment from becoming damaged by the excessive force of the water. Inversely, if the water pressure coming into your home is lower than 40 psi, installation of a pressure booster may be needed in order to raise the pressure level to a more optimal level.
Various Causes of Low Pressure
Water volume refers to the water that is available for delivery to your home's water system and the water pressure on that volume of water results in water flow. Oftentimes, low pressure in your home's water system may be the result of an obstruction somewhere in the water supply lines, or may even be the result of relying on too small of a line for your water supply. These two instances of low water pressure may not be corrected by using a pressure booster - but rather by removing the obstruction or installing larger lines.
Additionally, older pipes may have serious built up corrosion, including mineral deposits that can reduce the internal diameter of the pipe or line, causing less water to be able to move through the pipe. Getting better water pressure in this instance is a matter of increasing pipe capacity by replacing the old pipes with more efficient ones.