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How to use a water pressure gauge

Shop for Water Pressure Gauges
water pressure gauge wonkee donkee tools DIY guide how to use a water pressure gauge There are two chief functions of a water pressure gauge: to obtain a static water pressure measurement and to obtain a flow rate.

Obtaining a static water pressure measurement

turning off the tap, shut off the water supply, water pressure gauge

Step 1 – Switch off all taps

Firstly, switch off all taps and appliances so that there is no running water inside or outside the house. This includes taps, washing machines, dishwashers, sprinkler systems etc.

If you do not do this, then your measurement will be inaccurate.

Attach the water pressure gauge to the tap, taking a pressure reading

Step 2 – Attach water pressure gauge

Screw your water pressure gauge onto your outdoor tap, hose end, or appliance connection and hand tighten.

An outside tap is typically your first test point, as this the outlet closest to the mains water supply.

water pressure gauge brass connection adaptor

How do I attach it?

If your water pressure gauge did not come with a hose then it should still have a threaded fitting.

This fitting screws on to the gauge’s brass connection and, in turn, connects to the tap.

If you don’t have one of these fittings, you can pick one up very cheaply in any good plumbing store.

Turn on tap, garden tap, water pressure gauge

Step 3 – Turn on tap

Turn on the tap fully. This will force water into the gauge and move the needle.

Take a reading from the water pressure gauge

Step 4 – Note down reading

Note down the reading on the gauge. This measurement is known as “static water pressure”.

A typical static water pressure measurement for a domestic household supplied from a mains water supply should be between 2-4 bars (30-60 PSI).

I got a low reading, what does this mean?

Water pressure gauge, water supply diagram If you are getting a very low reading at this point, you may have a blockage or defect in your communication or supply pipe located between your house and the mains supply.

Alternatively, you may be in a low pressure area and may need to install a pump to raise the pressure of your water supply. Contact your water supplier for more information.

domestic water pump, increased water pressure, water pressure gauge

What is a pump?

A pump is a device that can increase your domestic water pressure. It is worth noting that there are some water by-laws that do not allow you to install certain pumps directly onto a mains supplied pipeline without first installing a reservoir tank for it to draw from.

Check with your water suppliers or contact a plumber for further information.

water pump and reservoir tanks wonke donkee tools DIY guide how to use a water pressure gauge

What is a reservoir tank?

A reservoir tank is a container that holds a surplus of water for the pump to draw from.

Reservoir tanks come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes depending on your needs.

I got a high reading, what does this mean?

Water pressure gauge with high pressure reading If you are getting a very high reading at this point then you may need to install a pressure regulator into your system to protect your household appliances and plumbing fixtures.
Water pressure gauge, pressure regulator

What is a pressure regulator?

A pressure regulator is a device that regulates your water pressure as it enters your household boundaries.

Many appliances will not function properly without the correct water pressure and high water pressure may even damage some appliances.

Turn off outside tap and remove water pressure gague

Step 5 – Turn off tap and remove water pressure gauge

Turn the tap off and remove the water pressure gauge. Job done!

Using a pressure gauge to obtain a flow rate

water pressure gauge, 1510F Mains Water Pressure Gauge Monument mains water pressure testing gauge with 3/4in BSP thread for fitting to taps. Maximum pressure 11 bar. To obtain a flow rate you will need: a water pressure gauge…
Stop watch, timer, clock, time, water pressure gauge …a timer or watch (that counts seconds)…
Bucket, 3 Gallon 14 Litre Bucket - Black General purpose bucket with hundreds of uses around the worksite, home and garden. Fitted with a strong wire handle and plastic carry grip. Standard-duty black builders bucket manufactured using recycled materials, Graduated markings in gallons and litres. …and a container of a known volume e.g. a 10 litre bucket.

You will also have need to carry out a simple calculation.

Water pressure gauge, 2 bar pressure reading Once you have obtained your static pressure measurement and noted it down, partially open a (different) tap until the pressure drops to a pre-determined amount, for example 3.0 bar.
time how long it takes to fill a bucket, bucket, container, water pressure , water flow Once the pressure is at this amount, turn on your outside tap fully and time how long it takes to fill your container. Take a note of this time.
Maths equation, obtaining a flow rate If, for example, it took 20 seconds to fill your 10 litre bucket then divide 10 litres by 20 seconds. 10 divided by 20 = 0.5
Water pressure gauge, water from tap, flow rate Once you have this figure, times it by 3,600 (the number of seconds in an hour).  0.5 x 3,600 = 1,800

This means you have a flow rate of 1,800 litres per hour at 3.0 bars of pressure.