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  1. #1
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    Default High Water Pressure!

    Hello My Inspection Brothers,

    Today I did an inspection at a single family residence 4bed/2.5bath. with a pool.

    My question tonight pertains to water supply pressure which was at 100psi.
    It is my understanding that pressures above 80 psi may void warranties for some appliances such as water heaters or washing machines, and also flexible supply lines to washing machines are more likely to burst with higher pressures. Typically the pressure cannot be regulated at the water meter. I recommended having a qualified plumber evaluate and make modifications to reduce the pressure below 80 psi., such as, installing a pressure reducing valve on the main service pipe. Did I make a wrong call Or is this typical pressure for a residence with a pool and filteration system.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: High Water Pressure!

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Rodriguez View Post
    Hello My Inspection Brothers,

    Today I did an inspection at a single family residence 4bed/2.5bath. with a pool.

    My question tonight pertains to water supply pressure which was at 100psi.
    It is my understanding that pressures above 80 psi may void warranties for some appliances such as water heaters or washing machines, and also flexible supply lines to washing machines are more likely to burst with higher pressures. Typically the pressure cannot be regulated at the water meter. I recommended having a qualified plumber evaluate and make modifications to reduce the pressure below 80 psi., such as, installing a pressure reducing valve on the main service pipe. Did I make a wrong call Or is this typical pressure for a residence with a pool and filteration system.
    Two separate components.
    H2o pressure for a pool is usually the filler and is not typically regulated but can be.
    Is there a regulator street side? Some old areas, however, may not have a regulator at all. Which is the case in some places out here like older LA areas.

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
    www.mazzainspections.com
    Level III Thermo-picture-taker-er...er

  3. #3
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: High Water Pressure!

    If the pressure is over 80 psi a regulator needs to be installed (or repaired/replaced if there already is one).
    Forget the warranty thing (may or may not be true), and the "evaluation" thing. The pressure is too high, it needs a regulator, period.

    I have never seen a regulator on the City side of the water meter. Maybe in some areas, but not mine, and we see pressures of 160psi all the time.


  4. #4
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    Maryland
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    Default Re: High Water Pressure!

    Had a discussion with a plumber a few weeks ago that turned to public water supply and pressure. He said that he is seeing more and more cases of homes needing pressure regulators. As homes are added to the original supply lines and more demand are put on the system the public water supplier is increasing the pressure in the main lines. Even though there are houses connected that were built 50/60 yrs ago and did not need a regulator at the time.

    It has become a common issue of concern to recommend that a pressure regulator be added for future concerns. Though not an issue now, but would be suggested to add in the future to prevent a potential future problem.


  5. #5
    Mel Baxley's Avatar
    Mel Baxley Guest

    Default Re: High Water Pressure!

    here in NC this is the requirement bassed on the IPC


    Water-pressure reducing valve or regulator. Where
    water pressure within a building exceeds 80 psi (552 kPa)
    static, an approved water-pressure reducing valve conforming
    to ASSE 1003 with strainer shall be installed to reduce the pressure
    in the building water distribution piping to 80 psi (552
    kPa) static or less.



  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: High Water Pressure!

    Thanks again for the information, Gentlemen you Guys are Awesome!


  7. #7
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    No. San Diego Co., CA
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    Default Re: High Water Pressure!

    Before I made to call to have plumber evaluate and install a regulator - possibly sending shockwaves to the homweowner, I would make sure your 100+ psi readings were correct. Did you check only one bib? I have found that readings from two bibs (front and back) can vary - though not usually as much as 20+ psi. Reads at different times of the day may also give different results. Also, I wouldn't necessarly rely on the cheapo - made in china - pressure gauge to give a reliable and accurate read on which to make a recommendation.

    If I find a high read, like that (100 psi) - I'll try another hose bib (if available) and maybe use another gauge. Sometime ago I had one of the cheapies in my bag which was giving a read of 30 psi above the actual pressure. It's now a paperweight.


  8. #8
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    Mar 2011
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    Sparks,NV
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    Default Re: High Water Pressure!

    The standards your going by say 80 psi and it was 100 psi. Even if you have a crappy gauge that was a little off your there to do a limited visual inspection. You came up with something at that day and time worth commenting on and requested a professional come in to verify and repair if needed. I think you did the right thing.

    Nevada IOS#1730
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: High Water Pressure!

    Edward

    I have inspected a few houses where one or more hose bibs were plumbed into the main water line before the pressure regulator. This was done intentionally and not by mistake. I have also inspected houses with pressure regulators that were not set improperly or somehow got out of adjustment and the water pressure was 100 psi.

    Randy Mayo, P.E.
    Residential Engineering & Inspection Services
    http://www.rlmengineers.com

  10. #10
    David Argabright's Avatar
    David Argabright Guest

    Default Re: High Water Pressure!

    Edward; If the pressure is higher than you feel is normal you have a responsibility to your client and yourself to make note of it. Just like other abnormalities.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    East Bridgewater, MA
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    Default Re: High Water Pressure!

    Typical public water supply pressures average 40-80 psi. A pressure above 80 psi is indeed and action level and the installation is a pressure reducing valve is needed as per the above replys. Certainly you have a duty to recommend further investigation to a plumber, but that may not be sufficient for risk reduction. You should also report a potential Safety Hazard, and the risk or personal injury or property damage as a result of the high pressure.

    Bob Mulloy
    MA Associate Home Inspector Instructor


  12. #12
    Join Date
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    Default Re: High Water Pressure!

    In order for the house at the top of the hill to get 80 psi. water pressure the line for the house at the bottom of the hill may have to be in the 120 - 160 psi. range. The city (at least mine) recognizes this and puts the onus on the home owner to install a regulator for it themselves.

    In my area, the regulator only controls water to the inside of the home leaving hose bibs and irrigation systems at utility company pressures so if pressure is tested at the hose bib it may not apply to the house.

    I try to check water pressure at a laundry tub faucet or the washing machine water supply valve, for a true reading of the house pressure.

    Although the recommended range for pressure is 40 to 80, 40 is very wimpy. I like to see it in the 70 to 80 range but no more. High pressure, as pointed out, is bad for fixtures and may cause premature failure of fittings or hoses. This may take some explanation to the client though because they love good strong water pressure for showers and reducing it to 75 may cause a noticeably weaker flow.

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: High Water Pressure!

    I know this is belated but I see high water pressure quite often. I always try to get several pressure readings if possible. If I can get one inside the home I like to. But I see this even in new homes.

    Don Hester
    NCW Home Inspections, LLC
    Wa. St. Licensed H I #647, WSDA #80050, http://www.ncwhomeinspections.com

  14. #14
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    Default Re: High Water Pressure!

    If I get a high reading, and I'm SURE that there is a regulator between the supply and where I am measuring, I'm not going to check other faucets, or do several tests. The fact that I get a reading over 80 psi means the regulator needs to be installed or repaired/replaced.

    If the house is vacant, I will take my readings at the laundry faucet. I also made an fitting, so I can test it at a bath or kitchen faucet. I use a liquid filled pressure gauge. They cost a bit more, but are better.

    In my area, high pressure is the norm, and just about every house has a regulator.


  15. #15
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    Wenatchee Wa
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    Default Re: High Water Pressure!

    Jack,

    It is the norm here also (high pressure). I have adapters to test at other faucets also. Every so often though the plumber will plumb the exterior hose bibbs before the PRV, so the house will have reduced pressure but the exterior hose bibbs are high.

    Don Hester
    NCW Home Inspections, LLC
    Wa. St. Licensed H I #647, WSDA #80050, http://www.ncwhomeinspections.com

  16. #16
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    Default Re: High Water Pressure!

    While I understand why someone (plumber or HO) may want to have the hose bibbs before a pressure reducing valve. However I do not know of an exception in the codes that allows the hose bibbs to be at a pressure exceeding 80psi. After all the water line for the hose bibb can burst. If it is under the slab or in a wall this can be a big problem.
    High water pressure at a hose bibb should be reported just the same as anywhere else.

    I can see this happening:
    HO comes home to find the water line in the wall to the hose bibb has burst. Now the house is flooded. They call you the Inspector and you tell the HO, " I did not report that as high water pressure because it was a only a hose bibb. I see it like that all the time".
    Needless to say, that won't float, so to speak.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  17. #17
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    Wenatchee Wa
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    Default Re: High Water Pressure!

    Rick, I always report it because you are right that is the standard. But I do know that some have plumbed them that way. It is also very hard on the seat valves of the hose bibbs.

    Don Hester
    NCW Home Inspections, LLC
    Wa. St. Licensed H I #647, WSDA #80050, http://www.ncwhomeinspections.com

  18. #18
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    Default Re: High Water Pressure!

    Don, That's why I put in my post the part about being SURE the faucet it after the PRV.

    Rick, most sprinkler systems are connected to street pressure before the PRV (at least in my area). I doubt a hose faucet or pipe will burst because of high pressure (at least from the pressures we normally see). I don't write up outside hose faucets if they are above 80 psi, but that's just the way I roll.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: High Water Pressure!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    Don, That's why I put in my post the part about being SURE the faucet it after the PRV.

    Rick, most sprinkler systems are connected to street pressure before the PRV (at least in my area).
    Yes, you are correct. However, irrigation lines are outside the house. So if they were to burst the house is not flooded. Even then, I still don't know of an exception for irrigation systems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    I doubt a hose faucet or pipe will burst because of high pressure (at least from the pressures we normally see).
    Maybe.
    But on one of my rentals, I had a PVC pipe burst in the wall that fed a hose bibb. Luckily, the tenant was there and knew how to shut off the water. Still cost me $1K for clean up and repairs. Could have been much much more.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    I don't write up outside hose faucets if they are above 80 psi, but that's just the way I roll.
    I was just pointing out that if the pressure is over 80 , anywhere in the system, it would be prudent to inform your customer.
    Believe me when I say, water lines can, and do burst.
    And if the HO (or more likely the insurance company) can, they will try to find someone to pay for the damages.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: High Water Pressure!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    ... I had a PVC pipe burst in the wall ...
    PVC should not be used "in the wall", outside only when used for supply pressure, and then the only approved use for PVC is for the water service line for the domestic water system. CPVC has more approved used, including hot and cold branch line piping.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  21. #21
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    Default Re: High Water Pressure!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    PVC should not be used "in the wall",
    I said PVC but I think it was CPVC.
    Point I was making was, pipes can bust in the wall.
    Everything else was copper, only this 24" section was CPVC.
    On examination I saw that the hose bib was not secured to the wall. I suspect the tenant may have twisted the CPVC pipe when they turned the knob.
    Wasn't their fault. I just had to repair the damage. Luckily none of their property was damaged.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  22. #22
    Join Date
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    Default Re: High Water Pressure!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    I said PVC but I think it was CPVC.
    - I suspected as much but was making sure.

    Point I was making was, pipes can bust in the wall.
    Everything else was copper, only this 24" section was CPVC.
    - Even copper can burst and leak - albeit copper is much less likely to. Except in areas of the country where the water eats the copper away from the inside.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  23. #23
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    Default Re: High Water Pressure!

    Tested a backflow prevention assembly today and the water pressure was 135.
    I see 110 often even 120. The highest I have seen is 140. That was on an 8" line, in a 12' deep pit.
    That made me a little nervous.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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