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20 October 2015

Are Charlotte's High Water Pressure Issues Putting Your House At Risk?

Are Charlotte's High Water Pressure Issues Putting Your House At Risk?

Why would high water pressure be dangerous?  The safety code states that any home with a pressure reading of 80 psi or higher must have a PRV or pressure reducing valve installed on the system. The reason being is that high water pressure running through your home's pipes to all the fixtures that you use is no different than high blood pressure running through your body's piping system to all the organs.

"Just like high blood pressure is dangerous to your health; high water pressure is dangerous to your home."

Over time high water pressure can damage important systems in your home causing expensive damage to your water heater, faucets, toilets, pipes or even your entire plumbing system.  Charlotte and the surrounding areas are some of the fastest growing regions in the Southeast.  With new homes and shopping centers popping up everywhere, these districts are being forced to increase the water pressure in order to accommodate the additional needs.  Charlotte news media have been reporting on issues resulting from this situation over the past several years.

One of the most serious concerns is that high water pressure can cause pipes to burst.  Pipes can burst in your house, the wall, the attic, the slab, under the house or in your yard -- causing it to cost you thousands of dollars in property damage and repairs.

Another serious issue is that high water pressure can cause premature failure of your water heater. Water heaters are equipped with safety features such as a T&P Valve (temperature and pressure relief), but these valves are only rated to certain pressure levels and can fail when pressure is higher. The Safety Code also requires thermal expansion tanks, which are designed to release the pressure from thermal expansion, but we find that many Charlotte area homes either do not have them or they are not properly pressurized for the home or have outlived their life expectancy. Additionally, most thermal expansion tanks are only rated to 100 psi and will eventually become useless when exposed to higher pressures. High water pressure can cause water heater tanks to split open dumping 30-50 gallons of water in your home.

Wouldn't I want high water pressure for my showers?

The unnecessary stress on your plumbing system is not worth the the slight change in pressure you will feel from your shower. You can always install a better spraying shower head that will give you the feel of high pressure water because they are made with lots of tiny holes close together that forces the same volume of water through giving the appearance of the stronger shower while still conserving water and allowing the rest of your home to be protected.  

How do I know if my home has high water pressure?

Check your water pressure now, before it is too late.

When Three Way Plumbing is at a home for any plumbing service, we always measure the water pressure as we take pride in trying to find the root of any plumbing problems.  Just like when you go to the doctor with a headache - you want him to find out what is causing your headaches, not just give you an aspirin.

You can conduct your own pressure test on your home.  Purchase a water pressure gage and screw it on a faucet in the back of the house.  Do not measure water pressure in the front of the house.  The reason is you may have a PRV downstream of the front spigot.  Therefore, if you take the reading on the front of the house and a PRV is not out by the water meter, you are only getting a reading of the incoming water pressure at that time, which may vary widely.  You want to take the reading on a back hose faucet to see what the pressure is throughout the home. Then you will know if there is a PRV that is working or not.

Or if you are in the Charlotte area, you can give us a call and we will schedule an appointment to conduct a water pressure reading at your home.

How can I protect my home from current or future high water pressure problems in Charlotte?
A pressure reducing valve (PRV) will provide you with a peace of mind knowing the safety of your home is secure.  A PRV will maintain approximately 70 pounds of pressure in your home, regardless of the incoming pressure.  The installation of a pressure reducing valve extends the life of your plumbing equipment and protects your plumbing system and home, saving you both time and money. If you are interested in knowing more about a PRV or scheduling an installation, please give us a call at 704.535.4795.

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