Plumbing is the kind of thing most people would rather sweep under the rug. Unfortunately, too many of us tend to forget about the plumbing in our homes and as a result simple problems become costly issues. Save yourself hours of frustration and an expensive plumbing bill by taking the time to get familiar with pipes and valves in your home.
Know Your Water Pressure Limits
The Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) calls for water to be delivered to homes for domestic use at between 50 to 70 psi. Angle stops (valves) and supply lines as well as appliances are designed to withstand up to 80 pounds per square inch.
Water pressure regulators take the water as it is delivered by the water district, and regulate it to between 50 and 70 psi. The pieces in the water pressure regulator that reduce the water pressure are made of rubber and metal. Over a period of time, they fail. When the water pressure regulator fails, water pressure to the home is allowed to increase. This puts a strain on valves, hoses and appliances that they were not designed to withstand. Unchecked, excessive water pressure may cause a rupture in the supply lines or valves.
A water pressure test gauge can inform the homeowner if water pressure is excessive. Simply connect the gauge to an outdoor faucet, and turn on the water to determine the water pressure. Make sure the faucet used is “regulated”. Some outdoor faucets are unregulated. If the pipe connected to the faucet comes out of the wall, there is a fairly good chance that faucet is regulated.
Generally speaking, replacing the water pressure regulator, including parts and labor, should cost much less than a homeowner’s standard $500 deductible. A working water pressure regulator reduces the strain on plumbing fixtures and increases their service life. If the worst happens and you do have a burst pipe then here are a few tips to help with the clean-up.
Cleaning Up After a Leak
1. Turn off water to the house.
2. Remove as much water as possible with mopping and blotting.
3. Remove all photos, art and small fixtures to a safe, dry place.
4. Remove damp books from shelves and spread out to dry.
5. Wipe wooden furniture dry. Prop up cushions for even drying.
6. Open drawers, cabinets and closets for faster drying.
7. Put aluminum foil, saucers or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
8. Remove rugs from on top of wet carpet to prevent color saturation.
9. Remove items that are not colorfast, such as books and magazines, from wet flooring and carpet.
10. Immediately use fans to circulate air and encourage drying.
11. Try to stabilize the indoor air temperature to about 70 degrees and use dehumidifiers, if possible.
The best advice we can offer is to call a local professional for plumbing services and have them test the pressure while its on your mind. In most cases everything is okay, but if something does need to be replaced then it’s bets to do it before something awful happens.
Sometimes a leaking faucet can be caused by high water pressure. If something starts leaking all of a sudden, then you might want to have it checked out.