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WATER PUMPS, TANKS, TESTS, WELLS, REPAIRS
WATER CONSERVATION MEASURES
WATER CONTAMINANT LEVELS
WATER FILTERS, HOME USE
WATER HAMMER NOISE DIAGNOSE & CURE
WATER ODORS, CAUSE CURE
WATER PUMP REPAIR GUIDE
WATER PRESSURE LOSS DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
WATER PUMP SHORT CYCLING
WATER SOFTENERS & CONDITIONERS
WATER TANK REPAIR PROCEDURES
WATER TANK: USES, TROUBLESHOOTING
WATER TESTS, CONTAMINANTS, TREATMENT
WATER TREATMENT EQUIPMENT CHOICES
WELLS CISTERNS & SPRINGS
WELL CHLORINATION & DISINFECTION
WELL FLOW RATE
WELL WATER PRESSURE DIAGNOSIS
WELL YIELD IMPROVEMENT
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
How & where to install a water pressure gauge to measure house or building water pressure: this article describes installing a water pressure gauge, starting with the best locations for installing a water pressure gauge on building water supply systems. We give step by step instructions for installing a water pressure measuring or monitoring gauge, and we include several alternative ways to measure water pressure if no gauge is present.
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Reader Question: how do I know if my pump and tank are properly adjusted to the right pressure?
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Temporary Measures of Water "Pressure"
You would have a clue that things are not right if you observe the water pump SHORT CYCLING, or if water pressure at the fixtures appears subjectively weak (WELL WATER PRESSURE DIAGNOSIS) when you simply observe water flow at a faucet (my photo at left).
Even without installing a water pressure gauge permanently on the pump or tank or tank tee, you can of course measure water pressure using an ordinary tire-pressure gauge - if there is a schrader valve on the water pressure tank. Depending on where this valve is mounted it may be sensing air pressure (at the top or upper portion of a water pressure tank) or it may be sensing water pressure (if the valve is mounted on a water pipe or on the water tank tee fitting). At below left we show a close-up of an air valve or pressure testing point on the tank tee at the bottom of a water tank. And at below right we show a nice tire pressure gauge in use measuring water pressure at one of these fittings.
You can also buy or make a simple water pressure test gauge that combines a water pressure gauge with a garden hose female fitting that lets you install the pressure gauge on a clothes washer hook-up in the home, at a laundry sink, or at an outdoor garden hose fitting connection (photo at left).
Watch out: many people confuse water pressure and water flow.
Someone may complain of poor water flow at a fixture (not many liters per minute of water are delivered) by calling that "water pressure" - which makes some sense in that a low flow rate means the water doesn't strike you very hard in the shower. For more explanation see WATER PRESSURE & FLOW MEASUREMENT
Install a Permanently-Mounted Water Pressure Gauge
But reading actual water pressure is such important and easy diagnostic tool for both private well and pump systems and also for MUNICIPAL WATER PRESSURE DIAGNOSIS too that installing a permanently-mounted pressure gauge is a good idea. If your water supply system has no water pressure gauge installed, adding one is the best bet. Water pressure gauges are not expensive. Typically around $10. U.S. For best accuracy buy a pressure gauge whose range covers your pump operating range but not much higher.
For example a pressure gauge that displays pressures between 0 psi and 100 psi is a good match for a home water system that typically operates in the 20 to 70 psi range. You'll be able to read water pressure more accurately than if you installed a 0-500 psi gauge whose scale will leave you peering always at just the scale's low end. (WATER PRESSURE GAUGE ACCURACY )
Where to Mount the Water Pressure Gauge
In our photograph at left you'll see the most common location for water pressure gauges on a private pump and well system - at a tank tee fitting at the water tank outlet. The tank tee includes a tapping intended to accept a 1/8" or 1/4" NPT threaded water pressure gauge.
Other water pressure gauge tappings may be present such as on the pressure tank itself on its top or side, or even on the water pump housing. Because vibration of the pump can jiggle the tank gauge needle making it hard to read, I prefer to see the pressure gauge mounted on the tank or on a tank tee rather than on the pump itself.
For municipal water supply systems it's common to install the water pressure gauge in line on a fitting close to the water pressure regulator, on the house-side of the regulator - photo below right. At below right we show a water pressure gauge installed at a water pressure booster pump outlet tee.
How to Install a New Water Pressure Indicator Gauge on a Water Tank or Pump
Watch out: before opening plumbing pipes or fittings to install a pressure gauge at an existing threaded tapping, turn off water equipment electrical power and remove pressure from the system. The well pump is turned off, pressure is drained from the system (you do not have to let all of the water out of the tank, just be prepared for a little spillage).
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