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Distributing Water Around The House
Written by Elizabeth Wood
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement


Pressure is the key element that ensures a safe, usable water system. Water pressure provides the energy needed to deliver water to you. Pumps located at the water treatment plant and elsewhere in the distribution system maintain the water pressure. These pumps control the pressure making it possible for you to get water when you need and where you need it.

As water gets carried from the water main to the various plumbed appliances in your home, proper water pressure is absolutely essential for the protection of your faucets, toilets, showerheads and other appliances. An overload of water pressure will cause plumbing fixtures and appliances to become damaged or leak excessively. Also, if the pressure drops too low, plumbing fixtures and appliances might not work efficiently.

The system must be designed accordingly so that each appliance receives the proper pressure of water. Multiple appliances must be able to function at the same time as well. The pressure must be conserved and reduced to a level that can be safely dealt with. Also, keep in mind that maintaining a positive water pressure serves to protect the water quality by protecting it from untreated groundwater with which the pipelines might come in contact.

Water pressure is measured by the amount of force it exerts per square inch of internal pipe space, or in pounds per square inch (psi). A gauge installed on the piping system keeps an accurate measure of this. The typical water pressure for a public distribution system is between 40 - 80 psi, and should always be above 20 psi. Anything over 80 psi is dangerous.

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