It’s no secret that having a well-pressurized water system is extremely important for your home or business. It makes it more fun to shower and easier to wash. It’s the key to keeping your appliances and equipment working efficiently, and it also keeps you from wasting water.
The most common way to increase water pressure is by installing a pump. However, if you don’t have an outdoor outlet for a pump, you’ll need to find other solutions to increasing pressure in your home. If that sounds like something you’re interested in, read on for some ways you can do this without using a pump.
What is water pressure and is it affected by gravity?
Water pressure is a measurement of the force of water. The higher the pressure, the harder it is for that water to flow through a pipe. There are many ways you can increase pressure in your home, including installing a pump or using a different device.
Newer devices such as rain showers need higher water pressure to perform well. A lot of older homes have not been designed with these applications in mind. Therefore they don’t have enough water pressure.
Gravity does affect water pressure. In the past they used water towers to get water in higher buildings. Nowadays pumps are more efficient and they often replace water towers.
This makes sure that even the tallest buildings have enough water pressure to take a shower. Water companies often guarantee a certain pressure. If you have a remote big house on a hill, you might have to get a pump in your house to increase the water pressure though.
Water pressure is commonly measured in psi. Plumbers have special devices to measure this and can determine if a faucet should have higher pressure. Most systems have meters as well.
Advantages of high water pressure
1. Keep High-Pressure Appliances Working Properly:
In this case, high-pressure appliances like washing machines and dishwashers won’t struggle when they’re working hard. That keeps them operating at peak efficiency and saves you money on repairs down the line.
2. Lowers dirt Levels in Your System:
Higher water pressure can push dirt out of your system. This is important as pipes can clog up if you don’t have a filter or water softener. It won’t remove everything but can help to reduce the sediment in your pipes.
3. More comfort. Some plumbers install wider pipes in their own house as this allows them to use multiple showerheads at the same time. It is a luxury but can be fun. This can use quite a lot of water but can be very comfortable.
Using a pump to increase water pressure: fix for house, bathtub and shower
A pump can increase the water pressure in some instances. This is mainly the case when you use groundwater or rainwater. City water often has enough pressure except when your house is very big or on a height. In these instances, you can reach out to the city to see what they can do.
Pumps can use a lot of electricity so it is essential that you get the right one for your needs. Some pumps are a lot more powerful than others. The height that the water has to be transported is important. You also have to think about the amount of water that is needed. Some systems have a buffer so that you receive water faster. Pumps also can have safety measures to make sure that they don’t break.
Sometimes pumps come with a tank. This makes the system more efficient as the pump can work for a longer period of time and doesn’t have to engage every time. These systems are called water pressure boosters. These are often quite easy to install as you just need to add them between the pipes. Just make sure that you get the right system for your house. You might have to add an electric circuit as well.
You can also add a pump for your shower. This can increase the water pressure but don’t expect miracles. Rain showers can require a lot of water and installing new pipes might be the answer.
While a pump might be the answer, it can’t solve everything. Let’s take a look at some other options below.
Increase your water pressure without a pump: fix for house and shower
There are several ways to increase the water pressure in your system without a pump. It is even possible that you have to combine several of these approaches.
1) Install a water softener:
A water softener can help to soften the water so that it’s easier on appliances and pipes. This is recommended in areas with a lot of chalk as this can build up in your pipes over time. Check your pipes if you have a lot of chalk but no water softener. It is possible that there is a big build-up of chalk that is slowing down the water.
2) Check your installation.
A valve might not be fully open and slow down the water. It happens more often than you think! It is an easy fix as you just have to turn open the valve and the water pressure will increase immediately. It is also possible that there is an issue with the water pressure regulator.
3) Clean your faucets and showerhead:
It is possible that chalk or dirt has been built on them. You can use this by using vinegar or other cleaning products. This should happen at least once a year if you have a lot of chalk in the water and no water filter. Your showerhead can also contain chalk. In some instances, you have to open up your shower to get it cleaned. Some faucets have a small filter that might be dirty. You have to open up the faucet to clean it. The same is true about showers. Check the manual of your shower to see how to do this.
Getting a new showerhead might work as well. This is easy to install as you just need to turn the connector.
4) Increase the diameter of your pipes
The main determinant of your water pressure is the diameter of your pipes. A lot of people try to save on their plumbing system and using a smaller diameter is an option to do so. This can really decrease the water pressure, especially if multiple faucets are on the same water circuit.
5) Install another water circuit.
It is possible that too many appliances on the same circuit are using water at the time. This is mainly a problem with copper and iron pipes but could be an issue with PEX as well.
6) Check if you have water leaks.
A small leak can really decrease the water pressure. It is easy to check if you have a water leak. This is done by closing all the faucets and devices that use water. Then you check the water meter and write down the number that you see. You wait for 15 minutes and check this number again. If there is a meaningful difference, you might have a water leak somewhere. A big water bill can also be an indication.
7) Ask the water supplier or city
Check with your water supplier if they can increase the water pressure. Often they have pumps that can be adjusted. It is possible that there is an issue in your area so you can check with your neighbors. Your system has to be able to deal with this.
8) Install a water filter
You can install a filter on your water system. It is possible that sand and dirt are present and a filter can help to remove this. This has to be cleaned from time to time to make sure that it keeps working properly. It has other advantages as well.
9) Add other faucets or a small pump
You can also add a pump for individual faucets or showers. In combination with a pressure vat, this could increase the problem. This is easier than having to retool your whole plumbing system. You can also install other faucets. For example, you can replace a rain shower with a normal shower. That last one uses less water. This might be a disappointing answer but it is the easiest way to fix the issue. There are also special showerheads that increase the pressure (see below).
Diameter of the pipes
The diameter of the pipes will help determine how much water pressure can be generated. Typically, the larger the pipe size, the higher the pressure that can be achieved. There are formulas that allow plumbers to determine how wide the pipe should be. This depends on the number of faucets and how many will be used at the same time. The height of the house (or apartment) and the geography can also have an impact. Your plumber should calculate this before they start installing your system. Plumbers sometimes don’t realize that a bigger house requires wider pipes and install a system that doesn’t provide enough pressure. It is difficult to fix this without replacing the pipes or adding a pump.
Sometimes the plumber didn’t have enough space to install wide pipes. This can happen when the floor is quite low and there just wasn’t enough space to install an appropriate pipe. Most people don’t enjoy seeing a pipe running across their house but it can be a challenge to hide them.
Can you reduce water pressure by closing valve?
Yes, you can often reduce the water pressure by closing the water valve. Most homes have a water pressure regulator though and this is a more efficient way of regulating the water pressure.
Your water valve can break or get stuck if you partly close it. For this reason, you shouldn’t do this. Opening and closing your water valve every few years can be a great way to maintain it.
Most people struggle with too few water pressure instead of too much. You can use smaller water pipes if you think that you have too much water pressure. You can also get a faucet that is more sensitive and allows you to regulate the water flow with higher precision.
Can water pressure be negative?
In a house, the water pressure shouldn’t be negative. This means that the water shouldn’t flow from your house to the water supply. This is forbidden as this can contaminate the water. This is why most houses must have a water stop. Inspectors make sure that every house has this backflow regulator to avoid issues.
In fact, most faucets have this as well as dirty water can really cause a lot of problems if it is mixed with proper water. The water company has to clean a lot of pipes when this happens. This can be a costly situation and homeowners should avoid this at all costs.
Especially if you have a well you have to pay attention to this as it can contaminate your water supply.
House inspectors check the backflow regulator to make sure that this is installed properly.
The most common way to increase water pressure is by installing a pump, but if you don’t have an outdoor outlet for a pump, you’ll need to find another solution. The easiest ways to do this are cleaning faucets and installing a water softener if you have chalk in the water. The other way is to increase the diameter of the pipes or add another water circuit in your home.
Increasing the water pressure in a house can involve a lot of work. Smaller steps such as adding a new shower head can also already help.