Good water pressure is one of the necessities of modern living. Few people know how that pressure is created, but everyone knows when the pressure is low.
We’ll take a look at the best water pressure gauge for home uses. A pressure test gauge is a device that can provide vital information if there is a water issue.
An accurate water pressure gauge is required if you have questions on the performance of a household appliance such as a dishwater, washing machine, or even an ice maker in your refrigerator.
A residential water pressure gauge isn’t standard on most homes since the local municipality controls the pressure you receive. But, an inline water pressure gauge can tell you if that pressure is too high for your appliances, or if it’s too low.
You need an accurate water pressure gauge to have the data you need to get your water pressure increased by the municipality if it is too low.
- What is a Water Pressure Gauge?
- Why Do You Need One?
- Water Pressure Gauge Types
- Best Water Pressure Gauge Reviews
What is a Water Pressure Gauge?
Water flows at varying pressure through city pipes to your home. A water pressure gauge is a device that can measure that pressure. Water, as air, is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI)
The PSI of the water supply in your home should be between 40 and 60 PSI. Cities routinely deliver water at ranges from 50 to 85 PSI.
A water pressure gauge allows you to determine what that pressure is and if it varies throughout the day.
Why Do You Need One?
Water pressure gauges were once standard on all homes, but as technology advanced and cities were able to better monitor flow, they began to disappear from homes. Most homes do not have a water pressure gauge today.
Many appliances have PSI requirements to operate correctly. If the PSI is exceeded and the dishwasher or washing machine is damaged by too much water pressure, it will void the warranty since you didn’t meet the manufacturer’s requirements for using the device.
A water pressure gauge lets you know if your PSI is within range, it also lets you know if your pressure drops during peak periods of the day.
Checking the Water Pressure
Once an accurate water pressure gauge is installed, it’s a simple process just to read the dial occasionally.
Most residential water pressure gauges are installed near the entry point of the city water supply into a home. An inline water pressure gauge must be plumbed into the pipes as they enter the home.
Water damage is one of the most destructive forces short of a major fire that a home can experience. Broken pipes, leaky faucets, even broken seals on appliances can pour water into a home, destroying carpet, creating mold, and cost thousands of dollars to repair.
Often high water pressure creates this issue by breaking weak areas of plumbing. If you check a water pressure gauge periodically, you can prevent most or all of these issues by becoming aware of sudden pressure increases.
Water Pressure Gauge Types
A piston gauge uses a spring or a counter-balanced weight to measure the pressure of a fluid. As the water pushes against the spring or weight, it moves the needle indicating PSI.
Liquid Column (manometer)
Gravity does the calibration with a manometer. It is a U-shaped tube that must be calibrated so the water levels on both sides of the tube are equal.
Once it is calibrated, incoming water will raise the level on one side of the tube, and the resulting rising column of water can be used to measure PSI.
A McLeod gauge uses compressed gas with mercury as a measurement system. This gauge is very slow in comparison with the others listed here but is very accurate.
It is not suitable for a constant “real-time” measurement but is a valuable tool for calibrating other gauges or long-term measurements.
One of the oldest pressure gauges, dating back to the 1840s the Bourdon gauge uses the principle of metal memory.
Under pressure, a flattened tube will try to regain its original shape. By connecting this process to a measurement needle, the Bourdon gauge can generate accurate pressure readings.
A sealed diaphragm separates two halves of a circular gauge. One side of the diaphragm has a fluid or gas set at a pre-determined pressure, the other is open to the outside.
When water flows into the open side, it pushes against the diaphragm, raising the gas or fluid pressure on the test side. This is a fast gauge with good accuracy.
Best Water Pressure Gauge Reviews
1. Flow Doctor Water Pressure Gauge Kit
This is a moderately priced pressure gauge useful in a variety of settings. It will accurately measure water pressure from 0 to 200 PSI and comes with a convenient 3/4-inch female garden hose threaded adapter.
The kit includes five other adapters for use with different-sized threaded fittings. There are many different water connections in your home. With the standard 3/4-inch garden hose connection and the five included adapters, you’ll be able to measure almost any sized connection.
The standard interface can be connected to garden hoses, spigots, and washing machine outlets. If you have an RV and are going to connect it to the water supply at an RV park this is a great device to have in your camper. Testing the water pressure before you hook up is always a good idea.
A1/2-inch pipe adapter is one of the more useful adapters included with this product. You can test the pressure in underground sprinkler systems using this adapter or hook to a bathroom faucet, tub, or shower connection.
A stop valve adapter can measure pressure in dishwashers, ice makers, and other smaller diameter connections.
A pair of Tubin adapters,1/4-inch, and 3/8-inch work with very small connections such as aquarium filters, drip irrigation tubes, water purifiers, and even drinking fountains.
Keep In Mind
The gauge is constructed with a black steel case and copper attachment that reduces corrosion in long use. A four-unit readout, clear, easy to read dial, with precise markings, makes this gauge a good addition to any home or RV.
2. Renator M11-0660R Water Pressure Regulator Valve
This dual function device will measure water pressure and regulate it if necessary. The solid brass fitting is designed to be threaded onto a standard 3/4-inch spigot.
It’s a simple process to thread the device to any standard hose spigot. The control valve on the spigot continues to adjust the water flow through the gauge.
The control dial on the gauge allows you to reduce pressure as necessary with just a twist of the dial. The gauge is accurate from 0 to 160 PSI.
The device is listed as lead-free. Testing indicated that the average lead content of the unit was only .13%. The standard for being listed as lead-free is .25% lead.
The gauge is oil filed to reduce friction and increase the life of the gauge.
Weighing in at a solid 1.45 pounds, this gauge is built for the long haul. It can be a permanent attachment to a home, outside spigot, or RV, or it can be easily attached and removed with just a wrench.
Many users put this gauge on an outside faucet connected to a garden hose and used it to water garden plants. The dial easily adjusted the water pressure for a constant flow to plants in very dry, desert climates, eliminating the need for an irrigation timer.
Keep In Mind
It is one of the most widely used water pressure gauges on the market with 8,000 customer reviews(While writing the article). It received an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars, making it one of the more popular gauges on the consumer market.(While writing the article)
3. CARBO Instruments 2- 1/2″ Pressure Gauge
This is the least expensive gauge of the four we’ve reviewed here. It is a basic Bourdon style gauge with one 3/4-inch attached adapter.
The readout is in both inches and metric units, indicating PSI/Bar simultaneous.
There are two needles inside the dial on the gauge. The black one is the live measurement gauge, providing quick readouts of the actual pressure at the moment. The other needle is red and it can be set by hand with an external brass knurl as a set point.
The red needle setpoint feature is handy if you’re trying to get long-term data and need to know if the pressure is higher or lower than the last time you checked the device.
The most common use for this device in homes was to monitor water pressure constantly. The black needle is sensitive enough to register the drop in home water pressure from a toilet being flushed in another room. The black needle is so sensitive that it jumps vigorously at times, pushing the red needle higher than the max water pressure should indicate.
RV users praised the device for its low cost and ease of connection when testing the water pressure at RV parks prior to connecting the water supply.
The gauge is lightweight steel with a brass connection.
Keep In Mind
It was rated 4.3 out of 5 stars in over 750 customer reviews. It was rated high for ease of use and received a good rating of 4.2 for readability. (While writing the article)
Many customers were not happy with the quality of the gauge, but at a price, many others stated that it did its purpose well, for a very low cost.
4. Measureman 2-1/2″ Dial Size, Glycerin Filled Pressure Gauge
This is the only gauge we are reviewing that does not come with a standard 3/4-inch female hose adapter fitting.
This gauge has a 1/4-inch threaded pipe fitting (NPT) and is designed to be placed permanently in a water supply line.
Special tools are needed for attaching this gauge. You must purchase an inline connector with a female 1/4-inch threaded pipe fitting or drill and tap an existing brass fitting to hold this gauge.
Whether you purchase the adapter or fabricate your own with the drill and tap procedure, you will need to wrap the fitting with Teflon tape to ensure a leak-free connection.
This gauge is corrosion-resistant in all water applications.
The product is available in four different mount styles. The lower mount is the standard with the stem directly below the dial. A back mount and lead-free mounts are also available.
The gauge comes in 14 different PSI measurement ranges. The standard gauge measures pressure from 0 to 100 PSI, with a lightweight gauge that ranges from 0 to 10 PSI.
Useful in very high PSI industrial environments, the gauge comes in models that measure 0-1000, 0-3000, and the very high 0-5000 PSI ranges.
Keep In Mind
The device has an all-steel case, and brass wetted parts.
The dial is filled with glycerin to reduce friction and is designed to last for years of use.
The readout is printed in black letters for standard PSI measurement and red for metric kPa measurement.
Knowledge is power; knowing what the PSI is of the water flowing into your home provides a little bit of knowledge and a lot of security for the homeowner.
Easy-to-read water pressure gauges are a useful tool in the home and RV. You can select the easy-to-connect garden hose style adapter or attach a permanent gauge for long-term use.
The choice is yours.