Since it’s such a big decision, you want to do everything to ensure your new home is worth the investment. While many shoppers may be most concerned by such things as the foundation, roof, and flooring, there’s an element to a home inspection that doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves: water pressure and flow. In this blog, we’ll explain the importance of inspecting water pressure and flow and why it affects more than just your morning showers.
The Difference Between Water Pressure and Water Flow
When a home inspector examines water pressure, they’re looking at the measurable force moving through the pipes and faucets. Water pressure is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI), and the standard for water pressure for most homes in 40 to 45 PSI. When we inspect water flow, we are referring to the volume of water traveling through the pipes to the individual fixtures. A home can have proper water pressure but poor flow, which usually indicates the ducts are obstructed by rust or the pipes are too narrow.
What Problems Can Arise from Incorrect Water Pressure and Flow?
Inspecting water pressure and flow is a great way of measuring the adequacy of the home’s plumbing system. If the pressure or flow is too low or high, it can be revealing of underlying issues or lead to disastrous situations, including:
- Bursting Pipes or Fixtures: Piping systems are designed to withstand up to 80 PSI. If the water pressure is exceedingly high, it causes undue strain on pipes, fixtures, and appliances, leading to water damage and mold.
- Obstructed Pipes: If the water pressure and flow are low, it could point to a rust or mineral obstruction in the piping, in which the only solution is replacing the supply pipes.
- Water Waste: Excessive water pressure can cause faucets to leak and can lead to constantly running toilets.
- Malfunctioning Pressure Control: If there are abrupt changes in pressure, it could signal a nonresponsive pressure control switch, a failing pressure control valve, or a kink the water heater’s flexible water conduit.
When a home inspection uncovers these issues, it allows the buyer to rectify the problems before moving in or renegotiate the terms of the sale. Additionally, it’s always wise to have the water quality tested, too.
A home inspector that understands the importance of inspecting water pressure and flow will have the expertise to perform a full plumbing inspection. It’s an important aspect of one’s safety and comfort. That’s why we here are the Homeinex Corporation includes an in-depth plumbing inspection as a part of our basic home inspection service. If you’re looking to buy or sell a home, be sure to contact us to ensure no issues go unnoticed.