Low water pressure can present itself in various ways, all of which can cause significant inconveniences. Taps may take forever to fill your bathtub, or the showerhead may not spray water efficiently. Either way, your daily activities are slowed down.
Sometimes the issue comes from the municipal water supply. Homes on these lines are often limited to a maximum water pressure that is determined by the municipality; if you feel a sudden change in your water pressure after a visit from your water meter reader, you can call and ask if they adjusted your water pressure. In this case, the best way to deal with lower pressure to your home is to add showerheads and faucet heads that inject some air into your shower, which adds a bit of the pressure back in without needing to increase the water flow. This can be an economical way to lower your water bills anyway, as it gives you the pressure you crave without using as many gallons per hour.
If the water pressure is not caused by municipal settings, then it is probably due to something in the home. You can experience low water pressure in one area of the house or the whole house. When the whole house is affected, then it means that a bigger problem is at hand. When you notice a change in water pressure, the best thing to do is to contact a plumber to help you diagnose the cause. If there is leakage, then first terminate the water flow at the main valve.
So, what plumbing issues can bring about low water pressure?
1. Outdated Fixtures
An outdated fixture is one of the most common causes of low water pressure homes. Old galvanized steel water pipes can corrode so much that they significantly restrict the water flow. A build-up of mineral deposits such as sediments and limestone can obstruct the fixtures, preventing water from flowing freely.
This doesn’t only impact the water pressure, but it can also affect your water quality. Although the water pipes corrode on the inside, you’ll tell when it happens even without seeing the scale build-up. The build-up of materials inside your pipe can gradually close the line.
This problem takes years to develop. That’s why water pressure reduction is very gradual. However, if you move into a home with outdated steel pipes, the issue may start sooner.
2. Faulty Pressure Regulators
Pressure regulators are control valves that regulate the pressure in your piping system. They play a significant role in reducing the pressure to a safe level that won’t damage your pipes.
These appliances aren’t found in all homes, but a failing or clogged regulator can lead to low water pressure. You might also experience the opposite effect: a spike in water pressure.
Although you can replace a pressure regulator all by yourself, it’s in your best interest to have it checked out by a professional. A licensed technician can assess the situation and either fix the control valve or install a new one.
3. Water Valves
Generally, you have two main shut-off valves that control your home’s water flow, one at the meter and the other inside your home. If any of these valves are entirely or partially turned off, it will reduce your water pressure.
When your water is temporarily shut off then turned on again, one of the valves can accidentally remain partially closed. If you suspect that a closed water valve is the reason for low water pressure, then check both the main valves to ensure that they’re fully opened.
4. Clogged Water Pipes
What happens if you first turn on your faucet? Does the water spray out at normal pressure then immediately slow down with noticeably less pressure? If yes, then your water pipes might be clogged.
Generally, pipes become clogged over time as rust, mineral deposits and other debris builds up inside the lines. This, in turn, restricts the flow of water. Clogging often occurs in galvanized pipes. That’s why they’re no longer a common material for new pipes. However, it used to be the material of choice, and you can still find them in many homes.
Some of the clogging materials include sand, water minerals, pollutants and dirt. These materials can get into your water pipes via your sink, or through small pipe cracks. Clogging can happen often if your pipes are also closer to or above the ground.
5. You Share Pipelines
Shared pipelines are those that supply water to more than one house. This means that your water pressure will be reduced if your neighbor is washing a car or taking a shower. This is much more common in apartments than in homes with individual water supplies, but it can happen with a shared well line.
Here, changing your routine and experimenting with your timing might help.
6. Leaking Pipes
A pipe leak can significantly lower the water pressure in your home. While large leaks are easy to spot in your home, smaller leaks that are intermittent with the use of water that is not always on, like from a garden hose line or the drain of your washing machine, may be harder to notice until they become larger.
Leaking pipes are often hidden behind walls or inside floors. However, you can find leaks on intake pipes by checking your water meter. If nothing in your house is using water but your meter is running, you have a leak. This technique doesn’t work on the outlet pipes that drain sinks and appliances, however.
A professional plumber can help diagnose and solve the problem effectively.
7. Corroded Plumbing
It’s one thing to have a small section of piping that needs replacement. However, in worse cases, your home’s entire piping system can corrode, requiring a complete replacement service. This can significantly reduce the water pressure in your home as flakes of corrosion can clog joints in your plumbing.
Another thing to check is whether to enlarge the branch lines. If you’ve made changes to your home’s plumbing fixtures, then the branch lines might be too small. So, although corrosion isn’t the problem in such a case, you’ll still experience the same effect of reduced water pressure. This is because the narrow interior of the branch line limits the flow of water in the pipe.
Consult a Professional
Low water pressure issues should be dealt with by a professional. After all, you don’t want to worsen things with DIYs. When you want to check on your Anaheim, CA, plumbing system or encounter a plumbing problem, reach out to HomeX Plumbing & Rooter.
We offer comprehensive commercial, residential, and emergency plumbing services such as drain cleaning and plumbing repairs. We want to take care of all your needs, including, but not limited to, reduced water pressure in your home. We’ve received A+ ratings with the BBB, and we’re highly rated on Angie’s List.
Contact us today for more information on our services and learn more about how we can help you enjoy high water pressure all year round.