Having reliable water pressure is the difference between a robust, refreshing shower… and shivering under a dripping stream. Between clean dishes and a dishwasher messy with soap scum. Between consistent quality of life and general malaise. Long story short: having reliable water pressure is pretty important.
When your home water pressure is low, it’s frustrating and headache-inducing. Luckily, low water pressure isn’t something you just have to deal with. All water pressure problems have a source, which means they all have a solution, too. Here are the four most common causes of low water pressure – and how to fix them.
1. There might be something wrong with your water valve.
Each home has two main water shut-off valves that control the flow of water into your home. The first is the water meter valve. The water meter valve is outdoors on the street-side. It’s used by city and utility workers, not homeowners. The other is your main shut-off valve. The main shut-off valve is also outdoors, but it’s closer to your home, where the water main line enters.
Both of these valves have levers that, in some cases, could malfunction. Such a malfunction is often the cause of water pressure problems. Locate and check the lever on your main shut-off valve. If the lever isn’t parallel to the pipe, then it’s not completely open and should be fixed. Same goes for the water meter valve.
2. You’ve got clogs in your pipes.
Over time, any variety of pipe will age to the point of needing replacement. Corrosion leads to scale which leads to buildup which leads to clogs. This is more likely to happen with older pipes than newer ones, but it always happens eventually. Corrosion clogs restrict water flow through your pipes, forcing your water to work harder to get to you. The pressure you should benefit from is applied to pushing past clogs instead, leaving you with low water pressure.
The answer to this problem is whole home repiping. Replace old pipes with a newer variety that will resist corrosion more effectively.
3. Your pressure regulator isn’t working properly.
The pressure regulator is a control valve that manages the pressure within your plumbing system. It makes sure your water isn’t damaging your pipes as it travels through them. When a pressure regulator fails, it can cause sudden spikes or reductions in water pressure.
When your pressure regulator fails, you’ll notice the effect in all your home fixtures, and it’ll happen suddenly. If you aren’t getting enough water pressure all of a sudden, the most likely cause is regulator failure. Call a professional to replace the failed mechanisms.
4. You have a faulty fixture.
Is your showerhead overwhelmed with limescale? Are your faucets old and corroded? Something as simple as replacing an out-of-date fixture can frequently fix problems you haven’t been able to solve otherwise.
If you find yourself in need of help fixing your home’s low water pressure, never hesitate to call the expert plumbing technicians at Ben Franklin Plumbing.