You approach the sink, glass in hand. Gently, you turn the tap, expecting a trickle of water to come out.
Instead, you’re greeted by a blast of high-pressure water, a wet shirt and several minutes of frantic wiping.
It’s happened to all of us at one stage or another.
The only question: “why?”
The answer is high water pressure.
High water pressure, and why it isn’t always a good thing
You might think that high water pressure is a good thing.
Take it from us however, it most certainly isn’t!
Water is a powerful force – it did carve out the Grand Canyon, after all.
So it’s no surprise that over time, high water pressure can cause serious damage to your plumbing and home.
Left unchecked, high water pressure can cause:
Excessive water pressure can lead to leaks and eventually, burst pipes (and the associated indoor flooding and calls to local emergency plumbers).
In addition to wearing out your pipes, high water pressure often causes rattling, which can damage the joins holding your piping together.
Stress on appliances
Many appliances that use water are designed with a certain level of water pressure in mind.
Any higher, and your appliances may undergo additional stress they weren’t designed for.
Appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, toilets and water heaters are especially prone.
Not only does trouble here shorten their useful lives, but it can also lead to a costly repair job!
Here’s another problem you mightn’t have thought of: how much extra water are you wasting with high water pressure?
For example, you might only need a little bit of water to wash your hands. Thanks to high water pressure however, even turning the taps gently can cause a blast of water to come out.
Multiply this by every time you use water, and it’s easy to see how this can affect your water bill.
How to tell if you’re suffering from high water pressure
The most obvious sign of excessive water pressure is to simply turn on your taps and put your hand under the stream.
However, that isn’t the only sign!
Another common symptom is hearing unusual banging and rattling sounds coming from your pipes.
At the ideal pressure, water flows through your pipes evenly – this is known as laminar flow.
When the pressure is too high however, the water starts bouncing around the pipe, causing those distinctive banging noises – this is known as chaotic flow.
Now for the important part: what causes high water pressure?
Your pressure limiting valves aren’t properly set up
Pressure Limiting Valves are plumbing fixtures designed to – what else? – keep your water pressure set to a safe level.
If you ask us, every home should have these valves installed.
Needless to say, when PLVs aren’t properly set up – or worse, not installed at all – you may experience excessive water pressure.
If your home doesn’t have these essential fixtures installed, we recommend contacting a local Bayside plumber ASAP!
Sometimes, high water pressure might not have anything to do with your home. In fact, it could be something completely out of your control!
Believe it or not, living at the bottom of a hill is one of the most common causes of high water pressure.
Water flows downhill, after all. With gravity lending a helping hand, all the water that comes into your home’s plumbing does so at a higher than average level of pressure.
Another common cause of excessive water pressure is air pockets.
Trapped air forms bubbles, which as we all know, drift to the surface. The result is that air bubble tend to centre around “high points” in your plumbing and pipes.
The problem is that this creates a bottleneck.
Pressure builds up, as the amount of water flowing through the pipe is less than the amount of water being supplied.
Think of it a bit like a crowd of people all pushing to get through a single door and you get the idea!
The result is that what water does make it through comes out at a much higher velocity.
If these air bubbles aren’t dislodged, this can lead to perpetually high water pressure. In some cases, this can also put major strain on your plumbing.
If trapped air is a constant presence in your plumbing, it may be time to call a Melbourne plumber to diagnose and fix the problem.
Fix high water pressure with the help of a Melbourne plumber
By now, you’re probably eager to get to the root of the problem and find a fix for your pressure problems. You might even be reaching for your toolbox, eager to fix the problem on your own.
Take it from us however, DIY plumbing is something you’ll want to avoid, as you run the risk of accidentally making the problem a lot worse!
What should you do instead? Why, call your local plumber, of course.
Watermaster’s plumbers in Melbourne offer swift, quality plumbing for all manner of plumbing problems. And that includes water pressure problems!
After performing an in-depth plumbing inspection, we’ll know what the root cause of your pressure problems are.
Armed with this knowledge, we can tackle the problem directly, allowing you to enjoy normal, comfortable, and safe water flow.