How to Measure Water Pressure Without the Utility-Provided Gauge

Water pressure gauges attached to home water lines can malfunction. In an emergency or a disaster scenario, they may cease to function. Or perhaps you need a physics project based on the real world. Here are two methods for measuring home water pressure independent of the utility company's water pressure gauge.

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Without sufficient water pressure, water will not flow to houses and buildings.

Method 1

Step 1

Attach the water hose to the outdoor water spigot. Turn on the water spigot so water courses through the attached water hose.

Step 2

Raise the end of the garden hose as high as possible. Continue raising it until the water stops coming out.

Step 3

Measure that elevation from the water faucet. The elevation is the pressure in water-feet.

Step 4

Divide that elevation by 2.31. (The approximate conversion of water-feet to pounds per square inch of 2.31 comes from 144 square inches to a square foot divided by the density of water at 62.4 pounds per square foot. The result of this is 2.307692308, or a rounded-up 2.31. This converts the water-feet into pounds per square inch.) The result is the approximate water pressure.

Method 2

Step 5

Acquire a pressure gauge that screws onto a water faucet.

Step 6

Attach the pressure gauge to the water faucet.

Step 7

Turn on the water.

Step 8

Measure the reading on the attached pressure gauge.