How to Use a Water Pressure Gauge

Written by shelley moore
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A water pressure gauge is relatively inexpensive and easy to use. The gauge has several uses, including measuring well pressure and pressure in irrigation and sprinkler systems. It also can indicate leaks in indoor plumbing or outdoor watering systems, or loss of pressure due to lime or other deposits in pipes. Water pressure gauges usually have stainless steel or brass threads, along with a rubber washer for a pressure fit. They are available in economy models as well as high-precision types.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


    Using a Water Pressure Gauge

  1. 1

    Make sure no water is running in the house or from outside faucets before using the gauge, or the measurement will be inaccurate.

  2. 2

    Screw the gauge onto the hose end, outdoor faucet or washing machine connection. Turn the water on all the way, and check the reading on the gauge. Then turn the water off and remove the gauge.

  3. 3

    Check for loss of pressure in the system by taking a measurement near the water source, which may be at the water meter if you have city water, or at the well pressure tank if your residence or business is rural. Use the faucet located closest to this area of the plumbing to check the pressure there. Any significant difference between that measurement and the first one indicates a leak or a possible deposit build-up in the pipes. You also can check for leaks in a sprinkler system by comparing the pressure near the source to pressure at the end of the system, and any points along the way.

Tips and warnings

  • You can purchase a water pressure gauge from a hardware store, home improvement store, or an online retail store. An economy model such as the Rain Bird gauge costs around £5 as of 2009, and more expensive types are available from Toro, Ashcroft, Mireur and other brands. Water pressure gauges measure pressure in pounds per square inch, and for most uses, a 0 to 200 PSI gauge is suitable.
  • Choose the standard 3/4-inch female hose thread adaptor model designed for attaching to outdoor faucets. This is the most prevalent type and will be the easiest size to find.

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