A relaxing shower can quickly turn into a frustrating one if you are experiencing low water pressure. In your own house or in a house you are working on, you might have run into this annoying issue before. Is it the pipes? Is it a leak? The bad news is that there might be more reasons for this problem than you’d expect. Let’s talk about the different causes of low water pressure and what you can do to fix it.
Plumbing leaks can divert water from your faucet which causes low water pressure. Hopefully, if you have a leak, you can clearly identify where it is coming from by looking for water and moisture. If there is no obvious leak, try shutting off all water taps, record the water meter, and then check it again in a few hours. If it shows usage during that time, it’s time to call a professional to detect where the leak is coming from. Once the leak is fixed, your water pressure should go back to normal.
When pipes are clogged by debris like rust and minerals, this can cause poor water pressure. Older pipes are prone to issues like corrosion and build up. Metal pipes usually have a lifespan of 100 years, so if you have an older home, it might be time to replace them.
If your low water pressure is not caused by a leak, you might want to check the valves first. Most houses have two shutoff valves, a water meter and a main shutoff valve. Check to make sure both are fully open to allow the best amount of water flow.
Broken Pressure Regulator
This one is pretty simple. A pressure regulator balances the water flow in a house. If there is a sudden drop in pressure, it could mean that the pressure regulator has broken and it needs repaired or replaced.
If you have an old fixture, make sure it’s not clogged and that it is tightly attached to your faucet. Fixtures themselves can also produce buildup that causes low water pressure. If it’s not an issue of build up, check to see if it needs a new aerator.
Check Your Well
If your home uses a well pump, it might be time for some maintenance if you are experiencing low water pressure. Some homes receive water from a city’s municipal water supply while other homes have their own well system that is drilled into the ground. You might not be using the best type of pump for the depth of your well. No matter what type of pump and well you are using, they all might require maintenance from time to time to keep up with the water demands in your household.
A Bigger Problem
It might not be you. If you are still experiencing low water pressure, contact your neighbors to see if they are having the same problem. If they are, it could be an issue within your city’s municipal water system because citywide systems are also subject to clogs, corrosions, and leaks. You can typically get in touch with your city online or through a 311 or 411 hotline number which is different in every city.
Overall, low water pressure is annoying and the list of possible causes is pretty long. If you are a builder or subcontractor, you can systematically go through these issues to get to the root of the problem. If you are a homeowner, you can try some of these solutions to improve your water pressure but know when to call a professional to get to the root of the issue.