Low water pressure is a common issue in many older homes. Instead of getting the usual strong water stream, you may get only a trickle of water out of your showerhead or sink faucets. This can make it difficult to wash, shower, and perform other household tasks. Here's how you can get to the bottom of your home's water pressure woes.
Tackling the Problem at a Single Fixture
If you're lucky, your low water pressure woes may be limited to just a single faucet or shower head. If you're dealing with a sink faucet, start by checking the aerator. In many cases, a clog in the aerator can cause flow restrictions that mimic symptoms of low water pressure. Clean or replace the aerator and then check the water flow at the faucet.
You'll also want to check the hot and cold water supply valves underneath the sink. Make sure these valves are opened all the way by turning them counterclockwise as far as possible. If the supply valves are already wide open, you'll want to check the supply line attached to the valve. Close the valve, disconnect the line, and make sure there aren't any blockages inside the line.
If you're dealing with a shower head, remove it and make sure the rubber or brass restrictor located inside hasn't become dislodged. Also check for any signs of mineral buildup within the shower head.
Tackling Municipal Water Pressure Issues
If you can't pin down your low water pressure problems to a single water fixture, then you may be dealing with a house-wide issue. First, you should make sure your problems aren't linked to municipal water supply issues:
- Check with your neighbors and see whether they're experiencing the same problems. If the problem is widespread, then there's likely a water main leak that's reducing the water pressure.
- If the problem seems limited to your home, check for signs of a water leak near the main water shutoff valve. Signs include saturated ground near the supply line, water accumulating in the basement level of your home, and the sound of running water from outside the basement wall.
- Have your plumber check the water pressure regulator if your municipal water supply comes with one. The regulator may need adjustment to accommodate for recent changes in water pressure.
Problems with your municipality's water distribution or pumping system may also result in widespread low water pressure. To overcome these issues, you may need to have a water pressure booster installed inside your home.
Tackling House-Wide Low Water Pressure
After ruling out water issues caused by your municipality or local water provider, you should turn your focus on identifying and solving low water pressure issues within your home. Here are a few common causes of house-wide low water pressure:
- Faulty water pressure regulator. A malfunctioning water pressure regulator can create low water pressure issues throughout your home. You should have your plumber check and, if necessary, replace the faulty component.
- Mineral buildup within the water pipes. Minerals and sediment can accumulate and create blockages within the pipes. Fortunately, your plumber can pinpoint and clear these blockages using a variety of special tools.
- Water leaks within your home. One way to check for water leaks involves shutting off your water supply for a couple of hours. Check the water meter right after shutting off the water, and then check the meter again in two hours. If the water meter reading increases within that time, then there's a good chance you have a water leak somewhere in your home.
Water pressure issues can be aggravating to deal with. If you need help tackling your plumbing problems, don't hesitate to contact the pros at Sparrow & Sons today.