Plumbing strain can lead to leaks developing in your pipes throughout your home, causing water damage and opening the door for mold and mildew growth to develop. Thankfully, there are a few easy steps that you can take to reduce the amount of strain that is placed on your plumbing in order to extend its lifespan and reduce the amount of repairs that you have to do.
High water pressure places a lot of stress on your pipes, especially on bends and where the pipes are joined together. The normal water pressure for your home should be between 40 and 45 psi. You can purchase a test gauge at most hardware stores, which attaches itself to a faucet in your home and measure the water pressure. However, if your water pressure is uncomfortable while in the shower, you probably need to reduce it anyway. If your water pressure exceeds 45 psi, you should call a plumber to install a pressure reducer in order to reduce the amount of strain that you are placing on your pipes before they become damaged.
Water contains minerals, like calcium, in it that can collect in your pipes over time and cause a blockage. However, even if the buildup does not clog your pipes, it will restrict water flow and increase overall water pressure, again placing greater strain on your pipes. If you notice a slow rise in your water pressure or the collection of hard white buildup on your faucets and showerheads, you probably have a buildup of collected minerals in your pipes. You should call a plumber (such as one from A Absolute Plumbing & Heating) to install a water softener, which will dissolve the minerals before they have the chance to buildup in your plumbing.
If you live in an area that suffers from particularly harsh winters, the water inside your pipes can freeze during extremely cold days. If this occurs, the ice will expand when it melts, which places a great deal of stress on your pipes, and can even make them burst. If this has been a problem for you in the past, or if the climate around your home is significantly cold, you should have a plumber come in and install insulation around your pipes. This helps reduce overall heat loss from your water heater as well, which can help you save money in the long run and improve the performance of your water heater throughout the year.