Water pressure is the amount of force water creates when it moves through a certain distribution system, such as a tap or shower head. Problems with water pressure may arise if the pressure exerted is too low. Maintaining a constant pressure for water levels in the home is important in conserving energy and saving money. Excessive water pressure may also be damaging to a building. Loose pipe fixtures may cause leaks which may ultimately cause problems with mould – a substance which has the potential to cause a myriad of health problems for humans and animals alike. It is important to keep water pressure at a constant level within a home or any other building. Low water pressure levels waste energy and money. Elevation of neighbourhoods or homes, amount of water present in water tanks, and loose water fixtures or clogged pipes can all be factors attributing to low levels of water pressure.
Lime scale may also contribute to reduced water pressure levels. Hard water contains calcium carbonate, which may cause calcium deposits to build up over time in pipes. This causes the volume inside to be reduced, thus reducing the amount of water able to flow through the pipe systems. Another aspect that is important in altering levels of water pressure is gravity. The use of water towers in some cities and towns ensures that the water is ‘heavy’ enough to exert a reasonable amount of pressure for water to flow adequately through the pipes and taps within homes.
If water is kept at a high altitude, the force of gravity creates more pressure as the water is pulled down. For similar reasons, neighbourhoods situated at higher elevations will generally have lower water pressure, due to the fact that gravity is working against the flow of water. On the other hand, neighbourhoods or homes closer to the reservoirs that distribute water to homes will have higher water pressure levels.
Water pressure at higher levels can also be disadvantageous. Too much pressure within pipes may cause bursts or may loosen pipe fixtures, causing leaks. High pressure may also cause appliances to malfunction. Water pressure regulators ensure that the pressure of water within a building is kept at an efficient rate. Regulators have pressure points which work to open or close valves when water reaches certain pressure points. Regulators can be set to respond at a certain water pressures, helping to assure that damage to pipes or appliances is avoided.