There is probably nothing more irritating than taking a shower with low water pressure. This can be the result of many different plumbing issues, which highlights the importance of a proper diagnosis. By identifying the root cause of your low water pressure, you will be able to correct your plumbing issues more quickly and prevent costly future incidents.
When examining the water pressure in your home, make sure to note whether the pressure is affecting the entire home or just specific areas. This will be helpful to pinpoint the issues you are experiencing.
This is a common cause of reduced water pressure as dirt and sediment build up in pipes over time. The amount of build-up is worse if your home is older or if well water is your primary source. In extreme cases, the dirt and sediment will decrease the diameter of your pipes, preventing water from moving through at a faster speed. Depending on how many pipes are affected, this could be causing trouble for the whole home or just specific areas, such as the bathroom or kitchen. When clogged pipes are left untreated, they will burst in some cases. To solve this issue, contact a plumbing professional who will assess the state of your pipes and remove clogs. If your pipes are old, they may require replacement as the only long-term solution.
If you are only experiencing reduced water pressure for a few taps in your home, it’s probably an issue with the individual aerator. An aerator is a device that is designed to disperse the water stream to reduce splashing. Over time, aerators become clogged with sediments as the holes used to disperse the water are very fine. To fix this, simply unscrew the aerator with a pair of pliers, clean the aerator with warm water, and reassemble. If you aren’t the best at reassembling items, take a picture of the aerator prior to taking it apart so that you have visual instructions when you are putting it back together.
If it’s your shower head that is experiencing low pressure, you will need to take a similar approach. Remove the shower head by unscrewing it and cleanse it in a mixture of vinegar and water. This powerful solution will be able clean within the areas of the nozzle. When making the solution, use three parts water to one part vinegar and let the nozzle soak for several hours.
Check Exterior Water Pressure
If water pressure is an issue throughout your house, it’s time to properly measure it so that you are able to evaluate if you need professional help. To test water pressure, you will need to purchase a water pressure gauge at your local hardware store. Attach the pressure gauge to an exterior valve, such as an outdoor tap. If the gauge reads less than 40 psi, you have low water pressure. Ideal pressure is between 45-55 psi, with anywhere over 80 psi being a concern. Values over 80 psi are damaging to pipes and appliances and lead to excessive energy use.
If your exterior water pressure is low, the next step is checking for a leak. To do this, you will need to shut off the water supply to your house and look at the water meter. If after the water has been shut off, your meter is still spinning, you most likely have a leak. In this event, you should contact a certified plumbing professional to come assess the situation.
The professionals at Priority Plumbing offer same-day service and lifetime warranty on all installations. To learn more about our plumbing services, call 416-762-8662 today!