All new domestic houses these days are required to have pressure limiting valves at the boundary if the water pressure coming into the property is above 500kpa. When all the downstream taps are off the valve will control the static pressure to a maximum of 500kpa.
(Pressure limiting valve on the meter.)
High water pressure coming into one’s property can cause taps to leak through the top of spindles, can damage wall and flick mixers by blowing out ‘o’ rings and can cause unwanted water hammer as well as greatly reducing the life of washers and tapware due to the increased wear and tear from increased water pressure.
Older housing area’s will probably experience some of these traits mentioned above due to the fact that these limiting valves weren’t required to be installed back then when they were built.
Water pressure is often a common question in the plumbing industry. Owners are often frustrated that their shower only dribbles out or the kitchen sink doesn’t have any pressure.
Our supplier of water here in Perth is the Water Corporation of WA and 350kpa of water pressure is what they say is average for Perth households. If you think you have a water pressure issue here’s a simple test. Shut off all the taps in the house and anything that is likely to use water. Go to the water meter and take a reading of the numbers. Turn on the front garden tap for 60 seconds. Go back to the water meter and take down the new number and then subtract the new number from the reading you got at the start to find out how much water came out of the tap. The Water Corp aims to supply water at 20 litres per minute if you are receiving less than that the Water Corp will have to do further investigations.
If the water pressure is fine at the garden tap and yet only one tap or shower in the house seems to have low pressure there are a few things we can try. Firstly, if it’s a mixer tap take the aerator off the spout with a crescent, this has a little gauze filter in the end of the spout that can often get clogged with bits of sand, minerals or other substances that have come off the inside of your water pipes. By removing and cleaning the aerator and then putting it back you’d be surprised the difference it can make sometimes. If that doesn’t work the mixer cartridge can be removed and checked for blockages, this is done by removing the mixer handle to access the cartridge but can be a bit more involved and difficult to do. The flexi hoses underneath the sink can also get blockages but it isn’t as common.
(Tap Aerators with debris.)
The shower head can be cleaned also by cleaning the jets where the water comes out. They can become blocked with minerals like calcium and other substances. Also, at the water outlet you can often have a little filter like the aerator of a sink, this can be cleaned of any material. And then you have the water saving devices! Yes, I know we want to be saving water but sometimes these things are a real problem. If you find one in your hand piece or shower head removing it with a screw driver can make a huge difference to your pressure. You weigh it up good pressure at your shower or saving water.
(Water saving devices.)
Thanks for listening.