Low water pressure is a common issue in many homes. This is something that no one wants to experience because it can be a big inconvenience in your everyday life. Low water pressure can make it difficult to bathe, wash dishes, or do anything else around your house. If you don’t feel like your water pressure is where it should be, many things can be causing it.
One of the main reasons for low water pressure is leaky pipes. Leaks allow water to flow where it isn’t supposed to. This leads to less water going in the right direction. You can identify a leak by moisture or the sound of dripping water. This isn’t always the case, though. Some leaks require more attention to identify. You can tell if you leak your water meter. To do this, shut off all the water in your home and check your usage on your water meter. If there is increased usage showing up a few hours after you set it, this could mean your leak.
The majority of homes will have two shut-off valves, the main shut-off, and a water meter valve. If one of these is closed, it could lead to low water pressure.
To open the valve, locate it by your water meter. This is usually located on an exterior wall of your home, your basement, garage, or in an underground box. You can tell if the valve is open when it is parallel to the water pipe. For a gate valve (which looks like a wheel) spin it counterclockwise to open it. For a ball valve (a lever) pull the lever to make it parallel.
Buildup in Pipes
If your pipe has a blockage, this will create problems with your water flow. Steel pipes are prone to corrosion as they age. This corrosion will cause buildup in your pipes. Metal pipes have a long lifespan of up to 100 years, but they eventually rust or break down. This will leave buildup in the pipes. Other than pipes becoming old and breaking down, debris and minerals can also leave buildup in your pipes. Water will leave minerals in your pipes as it is making their way through the system.
The low water pressure could be from the amount of water usage in your home. Some homes are not able to handle the high demand for water usage. If multiple people in your home are taking showers and you are using the sink to wash dishes, you may have lower water pressure than normal. If your water pressure is fine otherwise, then the amount of water being used at once may be the problem.
Failing Pressure Regulator
You don’t want your water pressure to be too low, but you also don’t want it to be too high. Pressure regulators are responsible for maintaining the water pressure to ensure it is the proper pressure. If you notice the pressure in your home has suddenly dropped, this is a common sign of a failed pressure regulator.
To test your pressure regulator, hook up a water pressure gauge to an outdoor spigot. If the pressure is below 52 to 75 pounds per square inch, that is a clear sign that you have a broken pressure regulator. If this is the case, we recommend calling a professional to fix it for you.
Faulty Faucets and Fixtures
Not all low water pressure issues are happening throughout your home. Sometimes the low pressure is only an issue on one fixture. This most likely means that the fixture itself is going bad or has a clog.
There are many ways to clear your fixtures of clogs. The issue for a shower head or faucet may just be that it needs a good cleaning! Vinegar does a great job of cleaning appliances. Use vinegar and water to remove the hard water buildup from the end of the shower head or faucet. This will help remove any gunk that might be causing low water pressure. If this didn’t help, you may need to replace the fixture altogether or a part within it.
If you have low water pressure, there is no need to worry! From leaky pipes to a faulty appliance, a plumber can take care of the problem. Low water pressure is a big inconvenience, so it is vital to know the causes and how to fix them.