When it comes to your home's water pressure, that swiftly moving water might seem like something to brag about, not something that requires the immediate attention of your favorite plumber. Unfortunately, high water pressure can have a large variety of negative consequences, which is why it is crucial to discuss the issue with an expert as soon as you discover it. Here are two strange problems caused by high water pressure and how your plumber might fix them.
1. Constantly Running Toilets
Do you ever find yourself in the bathroom trying to figure out why your toilet is still running, even though nobody has flushed in quite some time? Believe it or not, toilets that run longer than they are supposed to or start pumping water simultaneously might be having problems due to high water pressure.
The fact of the matter is that your toilet relies on a series of valves to regulate the water levels inside of the tank. If your water pressure is too high, water can push into spaces that are usually vacant when the toilet isn't flushing and launch the fill-and-flush sequence all over again. The result is a toilet that flushes spontaneously or constantly makes filling noises. In addition to making it sound as if an unexpected visitor is using your facilities, toilets that flush or run constantly can also increase your water bill because more water is moving through your system.
To avoid this kind of problem, ask a professional plumber to check your home's water pressure. Plumbers can do this in a few minutes by easily attaching a pressure gauge to your home faucets or your main incoming water line. Normal, non-commercial indoor water pressure should be between 30 to 80 pounds per square inch. If your pressure is higher than this, your plumber can install a pressure regulator on your main line to slow things down.
2. Mysterious Clanking Noises
Do you ever hear creepy banging or clanking noises emanating from your walls or basement? When faucets are turned on or your appliances draws water, high water pressure can cause mysterious noises that can be difficult to pin down.
This common problem is called "water hammer," and it is basically noise that is created when water is dispensed throughout your plumbing system too rapidly. When someone pours a glass of water or flushes the toilet, or your dishwasher pumps clean water for that rinse cycle, the extra pressure causes water to fill the pipes more quickly than it should, which physically jolts your plumbing lines. These sudden pressure changes can cause pipes to knock against internal wall studs, other metal pipes, or drywall. The result is a wide range of nearly indistinguishable noises ranging from subtle paper-rustling to impressively loud bangs.
Fortunately, plumbers can solve this age-old high water pressure problem by installing water-hammer arrestors. Water-hammer arrestors work by using a spring and internal pressure bladders to absorb extra force, quieting the flow of water. These devices are typically installed on water heaters or water softeners, where most of your home's water passes through before being dispensed into your home.
In addition to keeping your home quieter, water-hammer arrestors can also protect your home from flooding and internal plumbing damage, since movement can knock pipes and water fixtures loose. For this reason, water-hammer arrestors can save you a lot of time and money when properly installed by a professional.
By paying careful attention to your home's water pressure and working with an expert to resolve the issue, you might be able to extend the life of your plumbing fixtures—and keep your kids from waking up in the middle of the night. Click here for more info on plumbers in your area.