Water pressure – How high is too high?

High water pressure, it can be a blessing and a curse. It’s great for showers because lets face it, who enjoys a shower with low pressure? Not me, not you, not anybody. But while it may be nice for a shower, it can often be a strain for the rest of your plumbing system.

Appliances and certain plumbing fixtures suffer the most with high pressure water. To meet Australian Standards, the maximum water pressure for residential homes is 500kpa (kilopascals). Some homes in Adelaide, more often than not, are well above 500kpa; in some cases above 1000. This becomes a problem because it may void warranty for items such as your hot water service, washing machines, dishwashers, valves and certain tapware.

How do I know if my water pressure is too high?

The best way to start is by a simple observation. Turn a tap on and if the pressure seems excessive, then it will most likely be too high. There are other signs that will tell you if your pressure is too high, such as:

  • Water hammer
  • Short appliance life
  • Short inlet valve life
  • Occasional running toilet (particularly at night when nobody is using it)
  • Sudden burst pipes
  • Persistent leaking taps

What can I do?

Start by purchasing a water pressure gauge, they are around $20 and available from most hardware storesĀ https://www.bunnings.com.au/holman-pressure-gauge_p3120293.

Next conduct a pressure test and record your results. I recommend taking a few readings at different points of the day. Water pressure is at its peak around 2am due to the lack of usage. If you find your pressure is consistently above 500kpa, then its time to do something about it. Call your local plumber and ask for a pressure limiting valve or pressure reduction valve to be installed on your property. Remember to place the valve in an accessible location for future maintenance, a good plumber should know that.


Thanks for reading this article, hopefully you have found the information useful. As always, feel free to contact Hall Plumbing for any quotes or queries.