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Water pressure is the flow strength of water within your water pipes. It can be measured in the imperial measure of PSI (pounds per square inch) or the more widely accepted metric measure of kPa (Kilopascals). If you think about a balloon, how much air (pressure) should you put in it? If you don’t blow enough air in your pressure will be too low and the balloon will be limp, but if you blow too much air in then the pressure is too high and–POP! Similarly, if the water pressure in your pipes is too low then you aren’t going to be getting the best performance from your shower, taps, toilets–basically anything connected to your taps. Worse though is if your water pressure is too high–because then you run the risk of something going POP! And you don’t want that to happen in your home.

The most common source of high water pressure is from the water supply. The water company sets the pressure to meet their own needs, such as delivering to fire hydrants, higher volume of residences, high elevation buildings, and other reasons. This water pressure is oft en well over 800kPa, and too often over 1000 kPa. However, the maximum recommended pressure for a residence is 500 kPa which is a requirement to meet the Australian Standards AS/NZS 3500 2003. This recommendation is also what manufacturers set as the maximum pressure to meet warranty requirements.

500 kPa should be more than enough to run your home, and you are unlikely to see any impact on the performance of your shower. Even if you were to run two showers at the same time, the change should be barely noticeable

In a best case scenario–nothing. But even if nothing does happen, if an appliance connected to your water supply should stop working then the manufacturer may void the warranty if the water pressure is too high. In the worst case scenario, you may end up with a burst pipe and a flooded home.

Unfortunately, PLV’s – like any mechanical device – don’t last forever. If think you are experiencing symptoms of high water pressure and you already have a PLV, it’s worth having us test your water pressure, to see if the PLV is operating properly.

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