How Do I Fix Low Water Pressure in My House?
Low water pressure has several potential causes.
Learn the simple steps to get your water flowing again!
Although it’s not a critical problem, low water pressure can be an annoying inconvenience in everyday life. After all, it’s hard to enjoy your morning when you’re stuck waiting for your shower to get all the shampoo out of your hair!
But we have good news for you: You don’t have to settle for that pathetic trickle anymore. In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know to combat all the possible causes of low water pressure in a home. By the time we’re done, you’ll be on your way to enjoying a steady flow of refreshing water again!
Keep reading to learn:
- The various causes of low water pressure in a house
- The potential health effects linked to decreased water pressure
- How to keep the pressure as high as it should be
- How Angel Water can help you fix this problem
What Causes Low Water Pressure in the Home?
The average home needs at least 40 pounds per square inch (psi) of water pressure for water-using appliances to work properly. The best water pressure for enjoyable showers and sinks is between 50-70 psi. However, for one reason or another, the pressure can drop below 40 psi occasionally, leaving homeowners scratching their heads.
There’s no one-size-fits-all cause for low water pressure in a home. Several different root problems can bring it about. So, the first step to fixing the issue is to take an orderly and methodical approach in finding the true source of the pressure drop.
Start by determining the scope of the problem. Is the pressure poor throughout your home or just at certain fixtures? Is it low all the time or only when you turn on the hot water? Has the pressure always been this bad, or did it just recently decline? The answers to these questions will pinpoint the items you should check and lead you to the best solutions.
Here’s an overview of the different types of low water pressure you can experience and their causes.
What Causes Low Water Pressure in the Whole House?
If every water fixture in your home has low pressure, there are a few simple things to check. First, you should check with your neighbors to see if they are experiencing the same issue. If they are, then the issue is not with your home but with the system at large. In this case, your best course of action is to report the issue to your water utility and try to get them to fix the issue. If going this route doesn’t work, then the best solution is to invest in a water pressure boosting system.
However, if your home is the only one experiencing the problem, the valves that supply water to your home may be the culprits. Homes with city water usually have two of these valves: a water meter valve and the main shutoff valve. When either valve gets partially closed, it can drastically decrease the water pressure in the home. So, opening them all the way should fix the problem.
Your system may also have a faulty pressure regulator. You can test this by attaching a water pressure gauge to a hose spigot and then running the water. Check to see if the reading on the pressure gauge matches the reading on your pressure regulator. If the reading is lower than what the pressure regulator says it should be, then you likely need a new pressure regulator. A licensed plumber will gladly install a new one for you.
What Causes Low Water Pressure in Only One Faucet?
When there’s low pressure in your bathroom or kitchen sink, the problem likely resides with the fixtures themselves or your pipes.
Often, when the issue resides with the fixtures themselves, excess mineral buildup is clogging an aerator. You can fix this issue by soaking the fixture in a mixture of vinegar and water until it’s clean. Or, if the problem is beyond cleaning, you can purchase a replacement aerator at a local hardware store.
However, if cleaning or replacing the part doesn’t increase the water pressure, then you’re likely dealing with a clog or damage to your pipes. Clogs often form over time as hard water flows through the pipes and leaves behind excess minerals. Water can also corrode the pipes over time if it’s overly acidic.
Clogs or corrosion could require extensive pipe replacement by a licensed plumber if not taken care of quickly. For this reason, it’s better to prevent these problems before they even start. You can do this by investing in a water softener or ionized water filter. You can learn more about each of these solutions in the “How to Increase Water Pressure in Your Home” section below.
Why Do I Have Low Pressure in the Shower?
You may only experience low water pressure in the shower. The first thing to check in this case is the showerhead.
A low-flow showerhead can save you money by conserving water. However, some low-flow heads are too effective at doing this and don’t let enough water through for you to rinse. So, if you do have a low-flow showerhead, you may want to swap it out for another to see if this helps.
Limescale residue may also be clogging your showerhead. This residue builds up on the showerhead over time in homes with hard water. The best way to clean a showerhead with mineral buildup is to soak it in a mixture of vinegar and water. You’ll also want to invest in a salt-based water softener to keep the limescale from returning.
If you fix your showerhead and still experience low water pressure in your shower, then the source of the problem is in your pipes. It could be that mineral buildup from hard water has created a blockage in the pipes that supply water to your shower. Alternatively, your water could also be slightly acidic, which can wear away at the pipes and cause leaks. Either way, you should contact a plumber to inspect your plumbing system and diagnose the issue.
What Causes Low Hot Water Pressure?
Maybe your water pressure is fine normally and only decreases when you turn the water temperature up. Low hot water pressure is usually a symptom of a malfunctioning water heater.
Water heater clogs often form in homes with hard water. This is because hard water leaves behind excess calcium and magnesium minerals as it flows through the water heater, clogging up the system over time. Hard water can also clog up other appliances like dishwashers and washing machines in a similar manner.
The best way to unclog a water heater with mineral buildup is to flush the tank. If this doesn’t work, consult a licensed plumber.
Why is There Sudden Low Water Pressure in My House?
A few different things can cause a sudden drop in water pressure throughout the home. The first thing to check in this instance is the main shutoff valve. It could be that someone accidentally bumped it and partially closed it, so make sure it’s fully open.
If your main shutoff valve isn’t the issue, the problem could be a leak in your water main. To check this, turn off all faucets in your home and check the readout on your water meter. Make note of the readout and then wait a half hour without using any of the faucets in your home and check your water meter again. If the readout has changed, then you likely have a leak in your water main. You should contact a plumber right away to fix this issue because it can get expensive if you let it go on for too long.
A sudden drop can also occur when a water company does nearby maintenance work. So, you should contact your local water utility to see if this is the case.
Why is My Well Water Pressure Low?
Homes with well water can also encounter low water pressure throughout the home. This often happens because well water is extremely hard and leaves behind hardness minerals on the well screen. Over time, these minerals can build up and decrease the water pressure. Fortunately, a professional can easily clean out the well and fix this problem.
Can Low Water Pressure Be Harmful to My Health?
Low water pressure is an annoying and costly problem for a home. But did you know it can also be detrimental to your health? This happens when a decline in the quality of your water causes the drop in pressure. Two types of water can do this: hard water and acidic water.
Hard water is extremely common in regions with a lot of limescale in the ground, such as Northern Illinois and Southeast Florida. The water collects this limescale and leaves it behind in plumbing pipes, which causes clogs that decrease the water pressure. But not only does hard water leave limescale behind on plumbing pipes, it also sheds it on the skin and hair when a person showers. Skin becomes dry and itchy and hair becomes thin and brittle as a result.
Acidic water can also cause low water pressure in a home by wearing away at plumbing pipes, making them leak. Drinking this type of water has all sorts of potentially dangerous side effects, including diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, organ damage and more.
How to Increase the Water Pressure in Your Home
You may have noticed a common theme emerging as we discussed all those sources of low water pressure: hard water. Indeed, because it tends to leave behind minerals as it flows, hard water is notorious for creating clogs and dropping water pressure in homes.
Get an NSF 44-Certified Water Softener
Because of this, the best way to prevent low water pressure is by investing in a quality water softener. A water softener will keep hardness minerals out of your water and thus out of your pipes.
But how do you know if a water softener will give you the protection you need? A good rule of thumb is to look for a water softener that is NSF 44-certified. Water softeners with this certification have gone through extensive testing to make sure they will do what the manufacturer claims they’ll do.
Invest in an Ionized Water Filter
Of course, hard water isn’t the only thing that can cause low water pressure. As we mentioned above, highly acidic water can gradually corrode your pipes, leading to leaks and low pressure.
The best way to make sure acidic water won’t cause this problem for you is first to get your water’s pH tested. A low pH indicates the water is too acidic. If your water test reveals acidic water, you can invest in an ionized water filter to decrease the acidity and prevent pipe corrosion.
Get Expert Help Increasing the Water Pressure in Your Home
You don’t have to live with low water pressure in your home anymore! By following the steps in this post and contacting the right professionals for help, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying the water in your home again.
If you need help with any of the steps we listed above, the Angel Water team would be happy to help. At Angel Water, we only employ licensed plumbers who are certified to give you the best possible service. We also sell and service the NSF-certified equipment you need to supply the best water to your home.
We serve residents in Barrington, IL, the greater Chicagoland region and West Palm Beach County, FL. You can contact us today or visit one of our locations to get the help you need.Tell Us How We Can Help!
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