Most University Hills homes are fed by a high pressure watermain that delivers water at pressures in excess of the normal household range. In order to reduce this high pressure to normal pressure for household appliances, most homes had one or two pressure reduction (stepdown) devices installed on their main waterline at the time of construction. These valves are located in the garages of the single-family homes and townhomes, and outside the water heater closets of the condominiums.
The estimated life span of these valves ranges from approximately four to seven years, depending upon regional water quality. Typical household water pressure should fall in the 60 to 70 psi range. If your water pressure is above this, the stepdown valve(s) may need adjustment or replacement. Symptoms of excessive water pressure include very strong flow in showers or tubs, constantly running toilets and unusual creaking noises in the house when toilets are flushed or shower turned on. High water pressure can contribute to bursting of water lines not designed to handle the extra pressure (e.g., flexible washing machine lines, plastic sink feed lines, and automatic icemaker lines). It is the homeowner’s responsibility to see that the stepdown valves are kept in proper working order. Static water pressure can be measured by attaching a water pressure gauge to a hose bib on the watermain. Water pressure may fluctuate slightly during any routine day so make several tests. Also, be certain that no household water fixtures are operating when you test your pressure.
ICHA has a water pressure gauge, which can be loaned out to residents.