Water pressure issues can cause major headaches for Tampa homeowners. Low water pressure makes it difficult to shower, do laundry, and wash dishes. High water pressure can damage plumbing and cause leaks. Understanding the root causes of water pressure problems is the first step towards finding solutions.
What Is Considered Normal Water Pressure?
The standard water pressure range is between 45 and 80 PSI (pounds per square inch). Normal dynamic water pressure when water is flowing is around 55 PSI. Static pressure when water is not flowing is usually 10-15 PSI higher than dynamic pressure.
Water pressure below 40 PSI is generally considered low. Pressure above 80 PSI is considered high. Sustained pressures above 100 PSI can damage plumbing systems over time.
Causes of Low Water Pressure
There are several potential causes of low water pressure in Tampa homes:
Old or Insufficiently Sized Plumbing
Old galvanized steel pipes can become corroded and narrowed over time, restricting water flow. Outdated 1/2” diameter pipes are not adequate for most modern homes. 3/4" or 1" pipes are required to deliver enough volume.
Partially Clogged Pipes
Mineral scale buildup inside pipes and aerators can reduce the interior diameter and restrict flow. Buildup occurs over years of hard water flowing through pipes.
Undersized Water Heater
If the water heater is too small, it can’t keep up with hot water demand. This slows the flow at fixtures. Gas tankless heaters under 199,000 BTU may struggle to support larger homes.
Failing Water Pressure Regulator
A water pressure regulator valve maintains constant downstream pressure. If it fails, pressure will fluctuate wildly. A stuck open regulator causes low pressure.
Well Pump Problems
For homes on well water, worn pump valves, a weak pressure tank, or a declining well level can cause low pressure. Pumps over 10-15 years old may need rebuilding.
Municipal Supply Issues
The city water mains and pumping systems also impact pressure. Main breaks, power outages, or high demand can cause temporary low pressure issues.
Solutions for Low Water Pressure
There are DIY and professional solutions available to increase water pressure:
Inspect Pipes and Supply Lines
Check for crimps in pipes that reduce flow. Straighten out kinked flexible supply lines under sinks and toilets that choke off flow. Consider replacing old galvanized pipes.
Clean Faucet Aerators
Remove, disassemble, and clean sediment from aerator screens. Soaking in vinegar dissolves mineral deposits. Avoid damaging the flow restrictor.
Opening faucets to full flow flushes sediment from pipes. Disconnect hoses first to increase flow. Repeat flushing monthly.
Water Pressure Booster Pump
Booster pumps increase water pressure from the main line. They range from small under sink models to whole house units. Professional installation is recommended.
Optimize Well Pump System
Service the well pump, replace the pressure tank, check well drawdown rate, and verify pipe and tank sizes are adequate for the home.
Install a Water Softener
Water softeners like the AquaLux Water Softener remove hardness minerals that accumulate in pipes. This reduces buildup and improves flow.
Whole House Filtration
Heavy sediment and mineral loads can restrict water flow in homes. Multi-stage whole home filters like the AquaBlue Whole House Filter System help condition water and prevent plumbing clogs.
Retrofit Plumbing with Larger Pipes
Replacing outdated 1/2” pipes with 3/4" or 1” lines allows more water to flow through the system. This requires re-plumbing portions of the home.
What Causes High Water Pressure?
High static and dynamic water pressure has several possible causes:
Faulty Water Pressure Regulator
A water pressure regulator stuck closed or with a setting too high can cause excessive pressure. Anything consistently over 80 PSI strains the system.
Municipal Supply Issues
High pressure in city water mains translates to the home. The public utility may need to adjust their systems if pressure is consistently too high.
Well Pump System Problems
Well components like the pressure switch, pressure tank, or pump output may be calibrated too high. Well pump systems should be adjusted to 50-60 PSI.
Homes at higher elevations than the municipal water source will experience naturally higher pressures from gravity. Pressure increases 0.5 PSI for every 2.3 feet of elevation gain.
When pipes are too narrow to handle the water volume, velocity increases and pressure spikes. 1/2” pipes are often inadequate for modern homes.
Dangers of Chronic High Water Pressure
Sustained high pressure stresses plumbing systems and causes premature failures. Common damages include:
Leaking joints and seals in fittings, valves, and appliances
Dripping faucets and showerheads
Noisy pipes and water hammer banging
Premature failure of water heater tanks
Damage to on-demand water heaters
Pinhole leaks in copper pipes
Higher water bills from wasted water
How to Reduce High Water Pressure
Several methods can decrease water pressure:
Install a Whole House Water Pressure Regulator
Pressure regulators control static and dynamic pressure. They should be set to 50-60 PSI. Consult a professional to size and install the best regulator.
Use a Point-of-Use Regulator
For individual fixtures, install an under sink or showerhead regulator. Lower pressure at one problem area instead of the whole house.
Optimize Well Pump System
Adjust pressure switch, tank pre-charge, and pump output on well systems. Most pumps should be set to 50-60 PSI maximum.
Retrofit Plumbing with Proper Sized Pipes
In homes with 1/2” supply lines, re-plumbing with 3/4" or 1” pipes can lower pressure by increasing flow capacity.
Install a Whole House Water Softener
Water softeners like the AquaLux Water Softener remove mineral scales that reduce pipe diameters and drive up pressure.
Get Help from the Municipal Utility
If city water pressure is the issue, the utility can install devices to reduce pressure to neighborhoods or individual properties if requested.
Why Do Tampa Residents Face Water Pressure Problems?
Both high and low water pressure issues are common in Tampa homes because of:
Old Plumbing Infrastructure - Many Tampa homes still have outdated galvanized steel or cast iron plumbing from the 1950s-1970s prone to flow issues.
Hard Water - The local water supply comes from the Floridan Aquifer which provides very hard water. Mineral deposits accumulate and reduce pipe diameters.
Mix of City and Well Water - Tampa has varying pressure issues from city water services and private well pumps operating on different systems.
Elevation Changes - Homes in the area range from sea level to over 100 feet above, creating pressure differences.
Undersized Plumbing - As homes expand over decades, pipe sizes are often not increased to match demand.
Professional Water Pressure Solutions for Tampa Homes
For the best results in normalizing home water pressure, partner with a professional Tampa plumbing contractor that specializes in water treatment systems. They can:
Perform a comprehensive site evaluation of your plumbing system to identify pressure issues.
Recommend appropriate solutions for your specific situation from regulators to pipe retrofits.
Provide expert installation services on new pressure regulators, pumps, and home plumbing.
Adjust well pump systems to ideal pressure settings.
Programme smart water treatment systems that maintain consistent pressure.
Offer system maintenance and service plans to prevent future issues.
Provide discounted equipment costs and financing options to make necessary upgrades affordable.
As authorized dealers for brands like Fleck, Clack, and Grundfos, companies like Aqua-Wise Water Treatment Solutions have extensive experience tackling the area’s unique water pressure challenges. Their certified technicians can design the ideal water pressure solution for your home.
Benefits of Professional Water Pressure Control Systems
Upgrading to a professionally installed and maintained water pressure management system provides:
Consistent 50-60 PSI pressure throughout the home.
Protection of plumbing from damage caused by pressure spikes.
Ability to run multiple fixtures and appliances without pressure drops.
Elimination of leaks, drips, and banging pipes.
Greater efficiency and longevity of appliances like water heaters.
Optimization of water flow for washing, cleaning, and bathing.
Reduced water and energy costs from leaks and waste.
Comprehensive monitoring and control of your home's water system.
Modern smart pressure regulators can integrate with home automation systems to provide live pressure monitoring and automatic adjustments. This ensures optimal pressure is maintained at all times, regardless of usage patterns.
Signs It's Time to Call a Professional for Water Pressure Problems
Contact a water treatment professional if your Tampa home experiences:
Pressure consistently lower than 45 PSI or higher than 80 PSI
Inadequate pressure on upper floors or far fixtures
Noticeable pressure drops when using multiple fixtures
Leaks, drips, or banging/hammering pipes
Rusty water, mineral deposits, or strange odors
Frequent leaks or ruptures in plumbing and appliances
Rapidly declining well pump performance
The need to replace water heaters every 5-7 years
Uncontrollable pressure fluctuations
Poor performance of appliance like dishwashers
The water specialists at Aqua-Wise Water Treatment Solutions offer Tampa homeowners a free water pressure and quality inspection. Their analysis can diagnose issues and specify solutions to finally get your home's water pressure under control.