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
Why you have these problems is important to know. 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 control the flow of water into your home. The main shutoff valve is usually near the main city supply pipe inside your house. It must be fully open for water to flow normally. If it has been left partially closed after a repair, for example, you may notice a drop in water pressure. Fortunately, the valve can be easily adjusted 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 located outside next to the water meter. Only water meter company personnel have the authority to use it. The valve is often closed during plumbing repairs, but a technician may forget to fully open it. Contact your local utility if the issue continues after a repair is completed.
Faulty Pressure Regulator
If you have a pressure regulator in your plumbing system, water pressure can lower if the device starts to fail. It is designed to protect your pipes by reducing input pressure. When the pressure regulator fails, all fixtures will be affected at once, quite suddenly (in some cases, water pressure may spike and potentially cause damage). You can test it by connecting a water pressure gauge to the hose spigot outside your home. Although you can replace the unit, it’s best to call a plumber experienced 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. The water supply company could be having an issue with their equipment. There’s nothing you can do to fix the problem. Most likely, the supplier is hard at work to restore service. Another possible cause is a change in municipal water regulations. Your water supplier must comply; however, you could have a water pressure booster system installed to compensate.
Contact Home X 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 714-422-0090 today!