Everyone enjoys an nice hot shower especially when the water pressure is sufficient to provide a massaging and therapeutic experience. But where does all that pressure come from and how do I lower if it seems excessive?
The utility company in your neighborhood that provides your water is required to deliver that water at a minimum prescribed level. They accomplish this goal in a variety of ways, from water towers to high pressure pumps. In almost every case, they also rely on gravity to assist in the operation.
Since gravity plays no favorites and the utility must deliver a minimum water pressure to a residence that is high on a hill, the homes at the bottom of the hill will experience a higher water pressure. This situation is not particularly problematic in level or small communities. As communities expand and encompass more territory, more elevation changes. The utility must, typically, increase its water pressure level to adequately supply all of its customers.
Water Pressure Regulators
In most cases, the increase in water pressure can be handled by the existing residential pipes. But in extreme cases, a water pressure regulator must be installed to lower the pressure. This device is usually located outside near the water meter or inside on the water supply pipes that lead to the water heater. It is recommended that a professional plumber be used to install this very valuable appliance.
In addition, the installation of a water pressure regulator creates a closed system that is subject to thermal expansion. The installation of a thermal expansion tank on the cold water line is an inexpensive solution to this problem. If installing a regulator, be sure to consult with your plumbing professional about this device.
Hot Water and Plenty of It
Once installed, water pressure regulators can be set across a wide range of pressure from 40 psi to 85 psi. Most plumbing professionals recommend 50- 55 psi. In any case, a water pressure regulator will protect your pipes and your water heater from undue stress and provide a great and relaxing shower.