When the Standards of Practice changed for Texas Home Inspectors on February 1, 2009, a new inspection procedure was added as a requirement. Inspectors must now put in the Report the location of the water meter, the location of the main house shut off valve (when there is one provided), and record the water pressure present at the house at the time of the inspection. The new procedure is meant to provide further information for the client in their decision to purchase, as well as to help set a base-line measure in case plumbing problems occur in the house later.
If you are wondering what difference the water pressure makes, ask yourself if you prefer a lot of pressure when you take a shower, or just a dribble. If the pressure is too low, you have run back and forth in the shower to get wet. If it’s too high … Well, come to think of it, most folks like strong pressure in the shower.
So, what’s the problem? The folks who engineer and manufacture plumbing fixtures and fittings, design those fixtures for optimum performance between 40 and 80 psi (pounds per square inch). If the pressure is too high, the seals and seats and gaskets that make those things work like they are supposed to can (and do) wear out quicker. I was talking to a plumber recently about recording a reading of 110 psi at a recent house. he asked, “Have you ever seen what 110 psi will do to a toilet fill valve?” I did a search of the topic and came across this Chat site: Is my home’s water pressure (90 psi) too high?
Yesterday, February 4, 2009, I tested a house where the pressure was 135+ psi. The Buyer (my Client) was not a happy camper, but after we talked about options, he decided to proceed with the contract and ask the Seller to pay for the plumber to install a pressure reducer at the water meter. It’s reasonable request. That’s what we help our clients to do: figure out what to do next. We’re not trying to scare anyone, or sensationalize about anything we find. We just want to help you make the best decisions on how to proceed.