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Watch the Water Pressure in Your Home

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Main-water-shutoff ball valveHomeowner Tip: According to home inspectors our home buyers use, the average San Diego home’s water pressure should be between 60-70 p.s.i (pounds per square inch) and should not exceed 80 p.s.i. Water pressure that exceeds 80 p.s.i. can damage the fixtures in the home and eventually cause serious damage if a pipe, valve or fixture bursts as a result.

Most home inspectors carry a water pressure gauge like the one above to test the home’s water pressure. A common type of gauge simply attaches to a hose bib and then you turn on the water and the pressure is measured. During a recent clients’ home inspection, the water pressure measured 114 p.s.i.! And some of the angle stops and other water valves showed signs of corrosion and some leakage. If left unchecked, the excessive pressure would’ve undoubtedly caused problems down the road.

water regulatorWe asked the sellers to replace the water regulator (like this one) which was apparently broken, leading to no pressure regulation at all of the water between the street main and the house water main. We also asked the sellers to replace 8 angle stops (the little valves under the kitchen and bathroom sinks) and the water valve on the hot water heater. The seller agreed to all repair requests and pressure in the home is back to normal levels.

You can pick up a pressure regulator on your own or ask a plumber to measure it for you. It’s a simple check for your home’s water/plumbing system, but also an important one that can save you lots of time, money and hassle if it’s not working properly. Talk to your local plumber for more information and to check what water pressure levels should be in your area. If you own a condominium, you might not have a separate pressure regulator on your water main. If so, check with your plumber and property manager to determine the water pressure for your home.