Did you turn your faucet on and only receive a thin trickle of water? Low water pressure can be a big annoyance, but it can also be a symptom of a dangerous plumbing issue. It is important to investigate low pressure right away and call for plumbing repairs if necessary.
What constitutes low water pressure? Your faucet doesn’t have to be slowed to a trickle for you to have low water pressure problems that should be addressed. The average faucet should have a pressure of no lower than 30 psi (pounds per square inch). The average homeowner prefers between 40 and 60 psi. If your pressure is below that, it could cause some minor inconveniences such as appliances failing to fill properly or the shower pressure being too soft.
We offer the best plumbing services around, with prompt, hassle free service. Even though some problems could be repaired on your own, we can take away the headache and ensure you and your family have the water pressure you need to carry on daily life.
But, before you call us for expert repair of your plumbing issue, there are a few things you should know about water pressure. Understanding the potential causes of low water pressure and doing some basic troubleshooting will make it much easier for a professional plumber to come in to diagnose and repair the problem.
What causes low water pressure?
The most common cause of low water pressure is leaking pipes. Even a small leak can change the water pressure in the system. As the water moves through the pipes and into your fixtures, the pressure decreases enough to be noticeable. But this isn’t the only cause of low water pressure.
Neighborhood water pressure issues
If your neighborhood frequently has water pressure issues, it could be that the city’s main for that area can’t support the demand from all the neighbors at once. If you want to improve your chances of getting better pressure, avoid taking showers or running appliances during peak times. A sudden drop in water pressure is an indicator of a problem with the city’s main water supply, such as a water main break.
High demand on water
Your household’s demand for water can have a lot to do with water pressure. Many homes are not designed to be able to supply water to more than one appliance at a time. You may also find that you are unable to run an appliance at the same time that you take a shower without losing water pressure. By spacing out your water usage throughout the day you will improve the average pressure.
You can also improve your water pressure while running appliances by upgrading your dishwasher or clothes washer to a more water and energy efficient model. Newer washers and dishwashers are designed to use as little water as possible, reducing pressure issues. If your water pressure is low only when using hot water, you probably need to upgrade your water heater.
Faulty or corroded fixtures
If the water pressure problem only appears with one plumbing fixture, it is a good indicator that the problem lies within the fixture itself. Sink faucets, tub faucets, and shower heads can get a build up of calcium and minerals from hard water. Faulty faucets will also corrode as they age, and the average sink faucet lasts just 15 to 20 years. Sometimes cleaning or replacing the plumbing fixture is all that is required.
Although it is pretty simple to replace some faucets, let us handle the work. If there is a complication we’ll already be on site to handle it, and you’ll be able to get back to your busy life without worrying about water pressure or a flooded room.
Pressure regulators and shut off valves
Most homes have a pressure regulator valve, and all homes have at least one shut off valve. When these valves fail it will usually cause a dramatic decrease in water pressure. The pressure regulator valve is installed where the water comes into your home, and it is designed to decrease the pressure coming from the main to a tolerable level. If the pressure regulator is set incorrectly or becomes locked, it could cause a dip in water pressure.
Shut off valves are important because they allow you to shut off water to different areas of your home in case of a plumbing emergency or home renovations. If a shut off valve is not staying fully open, it could decrease the water pressure. Often these valves, if stuck, should be replaced.
Clogged or corroded plumbing
If you have an older home and live in a neighborhood with hard water, your gradually decreasing water pressure could be the result of clogged or corroded plumbing. If the majority of the plumbing in your home is old or corroded, it could become more easily clogged and more difficult to repair. If the pipes are clogged with hard mineral deposits, you’re probably going to have to replace them.
What you can do to prevent low water pressure
Depending on the reason for low water pressure, there might be some basic things you can do to prevent it. The best things you can do to prevent low water pressure are:
- Avoid using water during peak times. Using water at times different from your neighbors will give you the best pressure possible from the main.
- Periodically check your water pressure, and inspect pressure and shut off valves to ensure they function properly.
- Keep your fixtures clean by using chemical cleaners that break up deposits left by hard water.
- If you consistently get low pressure coming into your home from the water main, you can purchase and install a water pressure booster pump.
While some of these are easily done on your own, contacting our experienced and professional plumbers gets the job done right as quickly as possible, saving you headaches and time.
What to do when you notice low water pressure
Before calling our experienced staff to schedule repair, there is some basic troubleshooting that you should do to try to find the cause of the decrease in water pressure.
- Check the pressure and shut off valves to ensure they are set correctly.
- Isolate the issue by testing different faucets and appliances in different parts of the house.
- If your entire home is affected and the decrease in water pressure was sudden, check with your water utility provider to determine if there is a water main break or other issue.
If the problem persists and is not caused by the city’s water supply, contact us right away so that we can diagnose the problem and determine the best means of repair. Plumbing issues that cause low water pressure can also be hazardous, and while repairing them is expensive it is also necessary. Our friendly and knowledgeable plumbers will take care of everything so that you don’t have to worry. Contact us today for immediate assistance.