When you first move into a house or begin renting, one of the first things you might want to do is lower the water pressure.
The reason for this varies from individual to individual. People who are living in an apartment building sometimes cannot use certain appliances because their high-pressure showerhead blasts through them too quickly.
Others simply want to increase the water flow and conserve on their bills. Whatever the reason, you can lower your water pressure with some simple modifications.
How To Lower Water Pressure In A House- The Steps
Step 1: Check Your Pipes
Before doing any work to increase or decrease your water pressure, first check if there is a problem with your pipes. To do this, turn off all of the faucets in your house and flush your toilets.
If the water pressure returns, then you do not need to make any repairs or adjustments. If there is no change in pressure, go to Step 2.
Step 2: Lower Your Water Pressure
There are two ways that you can lower your water pressure: decrease the incoming water’s PSI (pounds per square inch) or increase the water’s resistance. Decreasing PSI involves making changes in your current plumbing system, while increasing resistance involves attaching a low-pressure hose to your plumbing.
A. Decrease Your Water Pressure (Decrease PSI)
- Go to the main shutoff valve in your house and turn it all the way clockwise. If your house already has a smaller shutoff valve, turn that one as well.
- Go to the main water meter on the street and turn it all the way counterclockwise. This will stop any more water from coming into your house.
- Turn off the spigot at the front of your house. Get a pair of adjustable pliers and remove any fittings attached to this spigot.
- Find the copper pipe that comes into your house from under the meter. Follow it until you come across a T fitting. The two pipes coming out of the T will have shutoff valves on them–one going up, one going down. Turn both of these valves so they are pointing towards the ground.
- Take the hose that is attached to your spigot and attach it to the pipe coming out of the T fitting. Turn on this faucet, allowing water to flow through the hose.
- Feel how hard it is for you to turn on the hose’s faucet with your hands; now think about how hard it would be if you had to turn the faucet by hand for an entire houseful of water. Make sure that your pressure gauge reads fewer PSI than was previously present at your spigot. You have now decreased the amount of water coming into your house.
B. Increase Your Water Resistance (Increase Resistance)
- Go to a hardware store and purchase a low-pressure hose attachment. Attach the other end of this hose to your spigot. Make sure that you have turned off all of your faucets in order to stop the water from flowing into your house before doing this step.
- Turn on the spigot to start running water through the hose, which will decrease the amount of PSI in your pipes.
- Check the pressure gauge to see if you have reached the desired number. If not, turn off your hose and attach a hose sprayer or shower head to it before turning on the faucet again.
Note: When attaching an attachment such as a shower head or sprayer to the end of your hose, be sure that you do not attach anything with a diameter larger than the hose. Doing this will increase the pressure in your pipes and cause damage to your plumbing system.
Step 3: Restore Your Water Pressure
Once you have completed one of these processes, turn off your hose and let all of the water flow back into your house.
Go to your faucets and turn them all the way counterclockwise. Turn on your water meter and wait for it to stop running. Now turn off the meter and go back to each of your faucets, turning them clockwise until they are closed completely. This will allow any remaining water in your pipes to flow back into your water meter.
Go to your main shutoff valve and turn it counterclockwise until it is closed completely. If you have a smaller shutoff valve, go back there and close that one as well.
Turn on each of the other valves in your house, starting with the furthest fixture from the water meter and working your way towards the faucet.
Turn the spigot and hose back on and check to see that your desired number of PSI has been restored at your water meter and faucets.
Step 4: Check For Leaks
While checking to make sure that you have successfully restored the correct amount of PSI, check for any leaks in your plumbing system. If you notice a leak, fix it before continuing to use your water supply.
Step 5: Double-Check Your Work
The final step in this process should include double checking all of the steps you have taken so far. Go back to your main shutoff valve and turn it counterclockwise one more time (if you already turned it once, turn it twice instead).
The faucet should be turned all the way counterclockwise and then all the way clockwise again. You may also wish to check for leaks one more time.
If you found that there was a leak before completing this step, fix it and go back to Step 4.
If you completed all of these steps without finding any leaks, then your pressure should now be lower than it was before.
Tips And Cautions When Lowering Water Pressure
1. If you own a well, it is important to know how much PSI your pump will need to run properly. If the PSI of your water is too low when the pump kicks on, it could cause irreparable damage to your pump.
2. You should never be in a situation where there is not enough water pressure in your system for your toilets to flush properly.
3. If you live in an area with certain kinds of geological conditions, lowering the PSI could cause your water pressure to drop very low (and potentially disappear entirely). This is known as “low-flow hammer” and can damage other components in your system.
4. If one or more of the appliances in your house are not working properly because of the lower water pressure, you should consider calling a plumber.
5. If your fixtures are clogged due to low water pressure, use an acidic cleaner to help dissolve whatever debris is restricting the flow. You can then follow up by flushing out these pipes with high-pressure water from outside your home.
When You Shouldn’t Lower Your Water Pressure?
There are two reasons why you would not want to decrease the amount of PSI in your water system.
1. If you live in an area with very hard water, you will have to decrease the amount of minerals in your water by using a water softener. This process is very different from simply decreasing the PSI in your water system.
2. If your house was built before 1985, chances are that it has lead pipes instead of copper ones. Lead can leach into the water when the PSI is not high enough, which could cause you to ingest lead. For this reason, it would be best to avoid attempting to lower your water pressure unless you are sure that the pipes in your house are made of copper.
Other Things To Consider
It is important to remember that if lowering the PSI does not resolve the problem with your water system, you will need to find the root cause of the problem.
If low water pressure is due to mineral deposits or rust in your pipes, lowering the PSI should solve this problem. However, if low water pressure is caused by low water levels in nearby dams or other bodies of water, it could be very difficult (or impossible) to fix.
Once you have successfully turned your main water supply back on and restored the correct amount of PSI, your system should run without any issues.
If the problem was caused by low water pressure in an area dam, it is unlikely that turning off and then on again would fix this issue. For this reason, it may be necessary to call a plumber to solve this problem.