Water Pressure

Overview
Water pressure varies among Padre Dam’s customers, due to the mountainous terrain and elevation changes within our 85-square-mile service area.

Most customers receive their water by gravity feed from a reservoir tank at a higher elevation. Padre Dam reduces and enhances water pressure within our system, but when we cannot provide acceptable water pressure at the tap, because of elevation and topographical challenges, customers install their own pumps or pressure regulators.

What To Do About Low Water Pressure
If you are having problems with low water pressure, determine whether it is occurring in a single fixture, in all fixtures, or in the irrigation system.

Mineral deposits from hard water are a common cause of low water pressure, clogging faucets, shower heads, clothes washers and irrigation parts. The deposits can be easily removed by periodically soaking hoses, filters, aerators or fixtures in vinegar.

Undetected leaks also cause a drop in water pressure. To check for a leak anywhere on your property, turn off all running water inside and outside your home, including ice-makers, water purification systems and pool pumps. Locate your meter box and look at the triangle on the meter face. If the triangle is still spinning, you have a leak.

Water pressure issues on the customer side of the water meter are the customer’s responsibility. We recommend calling a plumber for any large repairs.

What To Do About High Water Pressure
In areas where water pressure may be high enough to damage household fixtures and appliances, building codes require the installation of a pressure regulator.

If you don’t know whether you have a pressure regulator, it is usually located in front of a home or in the garage, on the same inlet pipe as an outside hose bib. It looks like a small dome with a screw on the top.

Many residents only become aware that they have a pressure regulator when it fails and the resulting high water pressure causes damage inside their home.
Water pressure is created by the physical weight of water moving through Padre Dam’s water mains, from our reservoir tank to your tap. 

California Plumbing Code 
“Water pressure at the point of use must be no less than 15 psi and no more than 80 psi. If the pressure exceeds 80 psi, a pressure regulator is required.” 

45-65 psi 
Normal indoor water pressure 

What affects water pressure? 
  • The elevation and location of your home relative to the reservoir tank that provides your water
  • Time of day
  • Simultaneous water use throughout your home and landscape
  • Mineral deposits constricting water flow inside pipes and hoses
  • Not turning the shuttle valve on your water softener back on after exchanging cylinders
  • Closure of any valve between your water meter and your tap
  • The working condition of your water pressure regulator (Is it adjusted correctly? Are mineral deposits causing blockage?)
  • A water leak on your property
  • Construction, power outage or firefighting near your home
  • Any modifications to your plumbing or to your connection to Padre Dam’s system