When looking to fix low water pressure, your first step is to identify the cause of the problem. Have you had the experience of turning on the shower only to find it merely dripping rather than gushing? This can be very disheartening and frustrating, especially when you’re in a hurry. Luckily, there are many ways to solve this low-flow problem.
1. Get Rid of Mineral Deposits or Debris
Mineral deposits can build up in your fixtures. It’s most common in homes with old copper pipes. The most common parts to be affected are your showerheads and faucets. An easy fix is to clean your faucet’s aerator and valve by soaking them in vinegar. If this sounds complicated, or if you don’t have time to do it, you can enlist the help of a professional plumber.
2. Ensure Your Valve Is Sufficiently Open
Check your water shut-off valves. Sometimes a water pressure problem is nothing more than the main water valve has been accidentally turned too low. You may be able to solve the low-flow problem by simply turning the shutoff valve clockwise, ensuring it’s fully open. Doing so adjusts the pressure, resulting in the flow of water being restored to normal.
3. Check Your Pressure Regulator
Most homes rely on public water from the city’s main water supply. These homes have a regulator fitted, either at the meter or where the supply pipe meets your residential plumbing system. The regulator is a pressure-reducing valve that ensures municipal water doesn’t come through the pipes at high pressure. A defective regulator could cause a drop in your water pressure. Getting it replaced, therefore, could be the solution to your water woes.
4. Get Rid of Clogs
Very often, low-flow is caused by debris in the water. This can happen because of work on water pipes nearby that allows sand and gravel into the system, disintegrated plastic pipe that allows in bits of plastic, iron flakes from old pipes, or even algae. To determine whether or not this is the cause, you should remove the showerhead (or the aerator on a sink faucet) and examine it carefully. If the unit is clogged, simply clean it out, screw it back on, and go your merry way. If this doesn’t work, you may need to call in a plumber to unclog the water pipes.
5. Test the City’s Water Pressure
It may be that your whole city is experiencing low flow. To find out if this is the case, you will need a water pressure gauge to test your water pressure. You can easily get one from your nearest home improvement center.
To test the water pressure, you would turn off all the water in your house and anywhere it may be running in your yard. You would screw the water pressure test gauge onto an outside faucet with a hose connection, which should come with the gauge. Turn on the water and check the pressure. It should be about 60 (PSI). If it’s below 50 PSI, it’s too low. Over 80 PSI is too high. If your water pressure regularly tests low, you might want to consider having your water pipes replaced with a larger size.
6. Check For and Fix Your Leaks
Check around for leaks. Look under your house and under sinks, behind toilets, and behind your water heater. If you don’t see any leaks, turn off your main water valve and check your water meter. Take note of the reading. Check it again in a couple of hours to see if it has changed. If it has, you know you have a hidden water leak that is taxing your water pressure. In this case, you will probably need to call a professional to locate and repair the leak.
7. Install a Water Pressure Booster Pump
If your city’s water pressure is too low to give your home water the pressure it needs, you should consider installing a water pressure booster. Especially if your household water supply has to travel uphill or travel a great distance from the municipal water source, the chances of your neighborhood having low pressure are higher. A water pressure booster pump is the only way to fix low water pressure in such cases.
8. Get Professional Help
One of the easiest ways to fix low water pressure is to get professional help. At KC’s 23 1/2 Hour Plumbing, we’re always on standby to help you with all your plumbing issues. So, go ahead and give us a call at 760-327-8718. We’ll be happy to help.