Steven L. Smith, Bellingham, WA Home Inspector (King of the House)


Bellingham Home Inspection (King of the House) Water pressure

Assessing the adequacy of water pressure, among residents of a home, is often a case of perspective. I have seen people, used to a well system out in rural Bellingham or Whatcom county, move into a city home that had marginal pressure, per city standards, and they were thrilled. Other times, I have seen people look upon what I considered to be adequate pressure as poor pressure. It is all relative to what you are accustomed to. 

Despite my saying it is relative, there are tests, and parameters, for pressure -- done with a simple water pressure gauge. The gauge above is showing water pressure over 120 PSI. That is high. Standard plumbing guidelines state that water pressure should run between 40 PSI and 80 PSI. Once it hits around or over 80, I give people the basic norms for water pressure and suggest that they contact a plumber. Pressure that is too high can shorten the lifespan of some appliances, valves, etc. At the other end, low pressure really does become relative and a matter of preference. It is not going to hurt anything, but it might also mean poor flow at sinks, showers, hoses, etc.

Typically, the ideal pressure at a one-story house is about 50 PSI and when you add on more floors, also, add about 5, or a bit more, PSI per floor.

Steven L. Smith

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Comment balloon 6 commentsSteven L. Smith • January 17 2012 11:00AM


Hope that had a press. red. in line.  Who needs a pressure washer with psi like that.

Posted by Jack Gilleland (Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton) about 8 years ago

Steve,We have some areas around here that have very high water pressures. You best have a PRV or get ready for indoor sprinklers ; )

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

At that pressure it's a wonder the dishwasher has not exploded!  And maybe also the washing machine hoses...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

Good afternoon, Steven. I know better but I the water pressure in my house is 120PSI. I love to be impaled in the back of the shower... 

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) about 8 years ago

Good tips. I have the same gauge and am very fond of it. 

Posted by Hank Spinnler, Atlanta Home Inspector (Harmony Home Inspection Services of GA) about 8 years ago

Hi Steven,

There are a lot of home owners who don't have a clue as to the proper water pressure you need in a home.

They just want to turn on the water and then use it. If it's slow then they call some one.

Good information to pass on. Where did you get that Gage at?

Drop me note, I would like to get one. I have a home made one. LOL but it works.

Best, Clint McKie  

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) about 8 years ago