Are you having a bad hair day? Believe it or not, the cause could be low water pressure.
The water pressure in your plumbing system is usually around 40 to 45 pounds per square inch, controlled via a pressure regulator, which can be adjusted from 25 to 75 psi. If your water pressure is lower than it should be it can cause a variety of issues. Faucets may not run as strong, showerheads may be weak, and washing machines may take longer to clean your clothes.
Troubleshooting Low Water Pressure
It is important to know why you have these problems. There may be simple ways to correct the water pressure or your plumbing may need to be repaired. Here are some reasons for low water pressure:
A Valve Is Restricting Water Flow
Two valves regulate water flow into your home. You can find the main shutoff valve near the main city supply pipe inside your house. To ensure normal water flow, you must fully open it. If someone leaves it partially closed after a repair, you may experience a drop in water pressure. Fortunately, you can easily adjust the valve by turning a wheel-like handle counterclockwise or a lever handle into a position parallel to the pipe direction.
The water meter valve is typically next to the water meter outside. Only personnel from the water meter company can use it. This valve is often closed during plumbing repairs, but a technician might forget to fully open it. If the issue persists after a repair, contact your local utility.
Faulty Pressure Regulator
If your plumbing system has a pressure regulator, the device’s failure can result in a decrease in water pressure. Its purpose is to safeguard your pipes by reducing input pressure. When the pressure regulator malfunctions, all fixtures will be affected simultaneously, often abruptly (in some cases, water pressure may surge, potentially causing damage). You can test it by attaching a water pressure gauge to the hose spigot outside your home. While you can replace the unit, it’s advisable to contact a plumber with experience in pressure regulator repair or installation.
Pipe Problems Causing Low Water Pressure
Your entire home water supply runs through pipes. A problem anywhere in the system can interrupt water flow, such as:
Clogged Pipes: A clog can build up anywhere in a pipe, just as it can under the drain. Even a small amount of buildup can reduce water pressure. This can be sediment, grease, hair, or calcium residue caused by hard water.
Corroded Pipes: While copper pipes can last for over 50 years, and brass up to 70, galvanized steel pipes may start corroding after only 20 years of use. Corrosion is most common in older homes. Most of the time, corrosion is on the inside; it is only visible by inspecting pipes with a camera.
Leaking Pipes: A pipe with a hole, crack, or rupture causes water to leak. Much of it might not be reaching faucets and fixtures. The issue manifests as low water pressure, if the water is running at all. Meanwhile, the leaking water can cause a flood, lead to mold, and cause major damage to your plumbing and home.
A Fixture Needs Repair: Sometimes, water pressure may be lower at a particular faucet. The cause can be a clogged aerator, stuck valve, or bad washer. Constant dripping is a sign that the washer needs to be replaced. Leaks at the base of a faucet or a problem with a valve or supply line can also cause changes in water pressure.
The Cause Is Outside Your Home
A low water pressure problem may not even originate inside your house. Instead, the issue could be with the water supply company and their equipment. In such cases, there’s nothing you can do to fix the problem. Most likely, the supplier is diligently working to restore service. On another note, a potential cause could be a change in municipal water regulations. While your water supplier must comply, you have the option to have a water pressure booster system installed to compensate.
Contact HomeX To Fix Low Water Pressure
If your water pressure has fallen, our plumbing professionals can quickly find the cause. Our team is equipped with the latest tools and repair methods and can fix any problem, no matter how big or small. For service in Anaheim and surrounding areas, call 714-924-3746 today!