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How to Inspect the Water Pressure in a Home

Posted by: Kaplan Real Estate Education

Updated: September 1, 2018

How to Inspect the Water Pressure in a Home

Water pressure is one the aspects that homeowners are most sensitive to. You do not want to get a complaint shortly after a home inspection was completed that your clients were dissatisfied with the water pressure in their home. Expert instructor, Doug Hastings, will give you his tips on how to inspect the water pressure during a home inspection. Get guidance from a professional on what to look for and how to measure adequate water pressure.


Video Transcript

What we're gonna do now is we're gonna turn the water on, cold water that is, to full boar.  We're gonna kill two birds with one stone.  I'm gonna check water pressure and we're pushing that water hard.  We're tapping it at it's source and we're gonna head on upstairs.  So we'll now go to every faucet in the home individually we'll run the cold.  We'll shut it off.  We'll run the hot.  We'll shut it off.  Each test we'll look at the stream of water that comes out.  When we get up to those rooms I'll show the type of stream that we're looking for to determine whether or not water pressure is where we would like to see it for our clients. 

You're probably wondering why I left my flashlight alongside the water that was left running.  Well what we don't want to do is forget to come back and turn the water off.  It's amazing how many times people will try to distract you with questions as you're working upstairs and if you left that water running too long you may very well come back to an overflowing laundry tub.  Not a good thing. 

The other thing that I would like to point out is what were we doing when we were up there?  What did this test mean?  Well when I run the cold faucet when I got this faucet downstairs running we define as home inspectors if I had a stream of water that was a pencil thickness wide we would put it on our report and we would call it minimal water pressure.  If the stream of water exceeded a pencil thickness we would call that functional water pressure or adequate water flow.  If we got less than a pencil thickness of water we would define that as a defect called low water flow.  You'd be amazed at how many times you'll actually find that you get no water flow.  I like to have the customers with me.  I think it's a good idea.  There's nothing more sensitive than a shower.  If you're gonna get a complaint in the first few days that the people have moved into the house it would probably be that somebody flushed the toilet or turned on the clothes washer when they were taking a shower and either they got a big jolt of cold or a big jolt of hot water.  So important test, let them also be the judge.  That doesn't mean that you have to agree with them but none the less let them feel what type of water pressure that they're gonna get. 

We did a set of steps.  That's the last time that we're gonna do that set of steps until I am 100% done in the basement.  What we again don't want to do is be running up and down steps.  Selfish reason one is we're gonna get too tired.  The second one is more important and that is that we're probably going to look confused, disoriented, and not as professional as we want to.