Low water pressure may not seem like a big issue until you have to live with it, but it can make for an awkward, uncomfortable shower and a long stressful experience washing the dishes. Sinks and tubs can fill slowly, and even a dishwasher can run at minimal efficiency. Low water pressure can have a lot of potential causes and can feel like a daunting issue to take on.
With our handy guide, you can pinpoint and remedy the specific cause and get your water running at full pressure.
In most homes, water pressure is controlled by two major shutoff valves: the water meter valve, which is located on the city supply line serving your home, and the home shutoff valve which is located on the line inside your home. If you’ve had any work done on your home recently, these valves may be the culprit. If the handle on the valve is parallel to the pipe, that means that it’s open—anything else means that it’s either been fully or partially closed off.
The most common cause of water pressure issues is a clogged pipe. This is especially likely if you’re seeing the pressure issues concentrated to a single room or region. Debris like dirt, sand, and grime can build up over time – especially if you have old or weak pipes. If you identify the area, you can potentially clear the pipe with simple household cleaners, but this may require a professional cleaning.
A faulty pressure regulator is also a common cause of water pressure issues. This valve is responsible for ensuring that your water pressure remains at a safe, manageable level for your plumbing system. As regulators get older, they can cause your pressure to either spike or drop unexpectedly. If this is the case, your pressure issues would be felt across the entire home.
You can test the water pressure of your home by attaching a water pressure gauge to an outdoor hose spigot; if your water pressure is less than 52 pounds per square inch or greater than 75, your regulator is probably the culprit. You can replace it yourself, but a professional installation is recommended.
A more serious cause would be actual corrosion to your pipes. When galvanized steel pipes wear out, internal corrosion will slowly seal off the pipe, killing your water pressure. This will happen extremely gradually, so it can be hard to notice until the pressure has finally hit an unacceptable low. The telltale signs will be an odd water taste and discoloration. If this is the case, you’ll need to completely replace your piping system.
Leaking pipes or plumbing fixtures can also drastically undermine your homes water pressure. This is easy enough to test; simply shut off all water taps in and outside of your home for an hour. Check the usage meter of your home at the beginning of the hour and again at the end. If your usage has still gone up, it means that you have a leak. You’ll need a professional inspection to identify the specific spot.
If you’ve noticed these or any other issues with your plumbing, we’re here to help. We have the expertise and experience to quickly and effectively resolve your plumbing issue and get your water pressure back in working order. Contact us today for a comprehensive inspection.