Most homeowners don’t spend much time thinking about water pressure – that is, until they don’t have any. At that point, the frustrations associated with flushing a toilet, filling a sink, or even taking a shower can have a negative impact on your day-to-day life. Below are some of the most common causes of low water pressure.
There are two main valves that allow water to flow through your home. The first is located at the water meter itself, and the second is located near the area of your home where the water lines first enter. If either of these valves are not fully opened, it can cause problems with your water pressure. Similarly, if you are experiencing low pressure in only one fixture or part of your home, it’s worth checking the individual water valves that control those fixtures. For example, if the issue exists only with the hot water, check the hot water valve next to your water heater and make sure it’s fully open.
Some homes and businesses have additional fixtures called pressure regulators that are designed to do exactly what their name suggests – regulate the water pressure in your home to keep it within acceptable limits. When the regulator fails, it can lead to low water pressure. You may even notice extremely high water pressure one day, then low water pressure the next if the regulator is the culprit.
In some cases, and especially during the summer months, homeowners might experience low water pressure due to excessive demand for water. Only so much water can flow through water lines at once, so if you’re filling your pool, doing a load of laundry, taking a bath, and filling the sink to do dishes all at the same time, you’re sure to experience variable pressure at these different fixtures. There’s no real fix for this other than to be mindful of the number of taps you open at the same time.
If the low water pressure occurs at only one fixture, then the problem likely lies with that fixture. This is especially common in showerheads found in homes with hard water; the minerals build up on the inside of the showerhead and, over time, prevent ample flow. The best way to avoid this is to clean your fixtures regularly and consider investing in a whole-home water softening system.
Clogged or corroded water lines can also cause low water pressure. Corrosion is more common in homes that are still fed by metal water lines, but clogs can occur virtually anywhere and at any time. In this case, the best course of action is to call a professional plumber who can diagnose and find the source of the clog or corrosion, then replace the section of the water line that is affected.
Low water pressure is a frustrating issue, especially when it drops so low that everyday tasks take far too long to complete. If you are experiencing any of these issues and you can’t pinpoint the cause, contact a local plumber right away in order to find the source of the problem and repair it quickly.