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A Homeowner’s Guide to Understanding Water Pressure: Problems and Fixes
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A Homeowner’s Guide to Understanding Water Pressure: Problems and Fixes

October 25, 2023

From apartment blocks to townhouses and single storey homes, all Melbourne properties are vulnerable to water pressure problems. This is why it’s so important to know how to identify and act on it early.

Water Pressure from Shower Tap

Noticed an issue with your household water pressure? Whether it’s affecting your shower or taps, low or high water pressure is not only a serious inconvenience, but could be a sign of larger problems with your overall plumbing system.

From apartment blocks to townhouses and single storey homes, all Melbourne properties are vulnerable to water pressure problems. This is why it’s so important to know how to identify and act on it early.

As one of Melbourne’s leading plumbing companies, we’re here to provide an in-depth guide to help you understand the ins and outs of household water pressure. From tips and tricks to causes, problems and solutions, we’ll cover everything you need to know, including the best time to reach out to the professionals.  If you need help with blocked drains in Melbourne give us a call.


What are the things a homeowner should be aware of regarding water pressure?


First and foremost, let’s understand what water pressure really is. It’s the force that pushes water through your pipes, enabling it to reach all corners of your home, from the basement laundry to the upstairs bathroom. 

The factors affecting water pressure are many and varied, from leaky or blocked pipes to the time of day or even your home’s geographical location. For instance, homes located at higher elevation or at the end of a supply line may experience lower pressure.

Beyond the inconvenience of low or high water flow, fluctuations in pressure may also represent a serious threat to the health of your plumbing system.


What is the optimal water pressure in homes around Melbourne?


Optimal water pressure varies depending on the type of home and its location. For Melbourne homes, the ideal water pressure typically ranges between 40 and 60 psi (pounds per square inch). Notably, a pressure below 40 psi is considered low and may lead to ineffective water flow, while a pressure above 60 psi can cause damage to your pipes and appliances.


Factors Affecting Water Pressure in Residential Homes


Low water pressure can be caused by a variety of factors. Leaky pipes, for instance, can divert water away from its intended destination, reducing pressure. Blocked pipes will also restrict the flow of water and affect the pressure level.

The time of day is another factor that may result in higher or lower pressure. During peak usage times—first thing in the morning or early evening—demand for water is high, which can lead to lower pressure. Similarly, your geographical location may be a factor, particularly if you live in a region that experiences frequent water shortages or if your home is located at a higher elevation.




Hilly suburbs, such as Nunawading, Kew and Balwyn may be particularly vulnerable to water pressure disruption and supply issues. If you live in Melbourne, the Yarra Valley Water website has a useful live map of current faults and outages. This allows you to compare your situation with current issues to determine whether the water pressure concern is more widespread or specific to your property.

Regional areas or more isolated suburbs may also be afflicted by water pressure problems, largely because of a lack of access to the supply network. As water travels from catchments and reservoirs through pipes to your property, valleys and hills are particularly prone to instances of higher water pressure.


How do you check the water pressure at your home?



The DIY Route


If you’re experiencing low water pressure in your home, we understand that this can be a frustrating issue, particularly when it’s affecting your showers and dishwashing. But don’t despair – there are some DIY solutions to increase the water pressure in your home.

Firstly, check your main water valve. It’s often located near the water meter and should be fully open for maximum water pressure. If it’s only partially open, this could be the cause of your low water pressure problem. Simply turn it anti-clockwise to open it completely.

Next, you could consider installing a water pressure booster. These devices are designed to increase the water pressure in your home by boosting the pressure of the water coming into your home. They can be a cost-effective solution, particularly if your home is located in an area with low water pressure.

Even if you are able to resolve the issue temporarily, we would still recommend getting your plumbing system checked by a professional. 


Turn to the Pros


If water pressure has become a serious issue, contacting local plumbers is by far the best approach. Licenced plumbers have the tools, techniques and know-how to both uncover the root cause and find a viable solution. Getting professional advice and assistance will also prevent further problems such as substantial property damage.

Remember, low water pressure could stem from a multitude of sources—clogged pipes, faulty pressure regulators, or even city supply issues. A licensed plumber has the training and experience to pinpoint the problem accurately, ultimately saving you time and potential missteps in the long run.

Need to get your water pressure checked? We are the go to source for a qualified plumber in Oakleigh, Broadmeadows or Albert Park.


Low Water Pressure Issues in Melbourne


How to Identify Low Water Pressure Problems and How to React


How can you properly identify low water pressure issues? Start by actively observing your home’s water flow. Are all the faucets affected or is it more isolated? Is the problem constant or does it occur at specific times of the day? Does the pressure drop when multiple faucets are on? These are all areas to keep an eye on.

Another way to approach this problem is with a simple step-by-step process

  1. Bring a 10 litre bucket
  2. Make sure that the stop tap on the water meter is completely open. 
  3. Time how long it takes to fill up the bucket with water. 
  4. If it fills in 30 seconds or takes any longer, there may be a water pressure issue on your property (after the water meter). In these cases, you should call a local plumber straight away.

Tap Water Pressure

Whatever the source, fixing water pressure issues requires a nuanced approach. If clogged pipes are the culprit, cleaning or replacing them can restore normal water pressure. For leaky pipes, repair is necessary to stop water wastage and increase pressure. If your pressure regulator is at fault, you may need a professional to replace it. In cases where geographic location is causing the issue, installing a pressure booster system could be the solution.


High Water Pressure Problems


How to Identify High Water Pressure Problems and How to React


While low water pressure is certainly a nuisance, excessively high water pressure can actually lead to more serious problems and potentially damage your entire plumbing system. Unfortunately, high water pressure is generally harder to detect than low pressure. However, there are some signs to look out for, including running toilets, banging pipes, leaky fixtures, unusual loud noises or a sudden increase in your water bill. 

Identifying and addressing high water pressure is equally important to protect the health of your plumbing system. 


Other Causes of High Water Pressure


High water pressure often stems from the municipal water supplier. They pump water at high pressures to cater to various community needs such as fire hydrants and high-rise buildings. If your home isn’t equipped with a pressure reducing valve, it can lead to high water pressure and consequent issues.

Another possible cause could be thermal expansion inside your water heater. When water is heated, it expands, and without room to flex, it increases pressure on your home’s plumbing system. This usually happens in homes with a closed plumbing system. If this is the case, it may be a good time to upgrade to a newer, more efficient and eco-friendly unit. 


How to Fix High Water Pressure Issues


While DIY solutions tend to provide a quick fix for minor water pressure issues, persistent problems are an indication of more serious underlying issues. If this applies to you, reach out to professional plumbers ASAP. 

Remember, consistent high water pressure is a serious issue and one of the leading causes of major plumbing damage. If unchecked, it can and will lead to pipe damage, burst pipes, and other expensive repairs.

With $0 call out fees and all work guaranteed, we have licensed plumbers in Box Hill, Balaclava and many other areas of Melbourne. Get in touch with us now for all of your water pressure issues. 


How to Decrease Water Pressure DIY Solutions


Are there viable DIY solutions to hot water pressure? Luckily, the answer is yes. One way is to install water-saving fixtures. More and more Melbournians are already embracing this approach, both in existing homes and new builds.

From low-flow showerheads to faucets, these fixtures limit the amount of water flowing through your pipes, which reduces the pressure. They also have the added benefit of conserving water and offering an eco-friendly bonus that shouldn’t be underestimated.

Another viable option is what is known as a hot water pressure limiter. This device is specifically designed to regulate household water pressure. Once installed, any water that enters the water main automatically flows at a psi level that is safe for use. If your home is particularly prone to pressure fluctuations, this could be a wise investment.


Leaking Water Meter

Preventive Measures to Avoid Water Pressure Issues in Melbourne

Investing in smart home technology is an innovative solution to water pressure issues. For instance, smart water monitors are able to track your home’s water usage, detect leaks in real time, and even automatically shut off the water supply if a major leak is detected. These devices can be easily integrated into your existing smart home system and provide a seamless user-friendly experience.


Stay on Top of Water Pressure Issues with MCN Plumbing

Water pressure issues can range from a mere annoyance in the form of weak showers, to serious plumbing nightmares like pipe leaks or ruptures. High water pressure can be just as problematic as low pressure, as it puts excessive strain on your plumbing system, leading to accelerated wear and tear. 

The key is to be proactive. Keep a close eye on your water pressure using a home pressure gauge or a smart home device. If you notice any inconsistencies or drastic changes, it’s time to call in a professional.

Welcome to MCN Plumbing, Melbourne’s home for fully qualified plumbers, same day services and guaranteed solutions. Whether you need help with blocked drains in Burwood or low water pressure in St Kilda, we’ve got you covered. 

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