How to Change the Water Pressure on a Tap

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Taps, or faucets, are essentially switches. You open them to turn the water supply "on" and close them to turn it "off." They are thus not designed to regulate water pressure (beyond how much you decide to open it) but to deliver water at a constant pressure. To change the pressure of the water coming out of your taps, you will need to change the general pressure in the water system, or alternatively insert a pressure regulating valve in the pipes providing the water to the tap.

Things You'll Need

  • Pressure regulating valve
  • Pipe cutter
  • Consider pressure when choosing the taps you wish to install. Although the water pressure in taps depends on the pressure in the system's plumbing, different taps emit water at different pressures. A tap with a thinner spout will emit a more concentrated, higher-pressure stream, while a wider one will provide a broader, softer stream. Once installed, the only way to change the water pressure a tap emits using only the tap is to replace the tap itself. Make sure that all of the taps you install are suitable for the water system you have in your home.

  • Check your home's water system. If you suspect that there is a problem with your home's water pressure, check its plumbing thoroughly. Check that the boiler, cistern, water softener, etc., are functioning properly. Check pipes and taps for buildup of sediment, lime scale deposited by hard water, air pockets and/or leaks. Hot and cold water systems usually run at slightly different pressures since cold water is connected directly to the mains while hot water comes from the boiler, so they need to be checked individually. Try to detect and isolate changes in pressure in the system — if a single tap runs at a markedly different pressure from all the others, then the problem most likely lies in that tap or the piping leading up to it.

  • Adjust your water pressure regulator. If you are sure that your water system is functioning normally and you want to change the overall water pressure, then you should adjust the pressure regulating valve. This is usually found on the inlet pipe, after the valve connected to the mains. The valve can be adjusted by tightening or loosening the regulating nut according to whether you want the water to be at a lower or higher pressure, respectively.

  • Install a pressure regulating valve. If you want to adjust the pressure to a particular tap you can install a valve in the pipe feeding that tap. Switch off the water supply. Use a pipe cutter to cut out a length of the pipe the same length as the valve. Attach each end of the valve to the pipes, slipping the pipes into the olives (brass fittings wider in the middle than the edge, which along with the nuts make the seal water tight) and tightening the compression nuts as much as possible. You can now regulate the water pressure of the tap by adjusting the regulating nut.

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References

  • Photo Credit faucet image by Lynne Davis from Fotolia.com
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