If you’ve ever gotten into the shower only to find that it’s more of a drizzle, you know how inconvenient low water pressure can be. The average home’s water pressure should be between 40 and 50 psi (pounds per square inch), but sometimes your pressure will be lower. What’s causing the problem, and how can you fix it?
Here’s what may be causing low water pressure:
- Using too many appliances at once: When you run a busy household, you have to do a certain amount of planning. Running major appliances like the dishwasher or washing machine while someone is showering can lead to low water pressure (not to mention unpleasantly-cold showers). If you’ve noticed low water pressure recently, the first thing to check is how much demand you’re putting on your system at one time. If the pressure goes back to normal after a load is finished or someone turns off the shower, that indicates you need to plan showers, laundry, dishes and watering your lawn at different times.
- Main shutoff valve is partially closed: Sometimes the main water shutoff valve isn’t completely open. This often happens right after you’ve shut off the water to work on the plumbing. Check both the water meter valve as well as your home valve. There are two types: ball valves and gate valves. Ball valves are clearly open or shut, but gate valves turn like a screw. They may need several turns to fully open or shut.
- Malfunctioning pressure regulator: Not every home has a pressure regulator. If yours does, it may be malfunctioning, causing the water pressure to be much lower than it should be. Adjust with a screwdriver to fix the pressure: counterclockwise to loosen and decrease water pressure; clockwise to tighten and increase water pressure. You may need to replace the pressure regulator entirely. If you’re unable to fix your water pressure with the pressure regulator, call a plumber as soon as possible. Don’t attempt to fix this yourself.
- Debris buildup: Clogged pipes may also be the reason your water pressure isn’t what it used to be. Turn on one of the faucets in your home. If the water comes out normally at first, then dwindles, a clogged pipe is probably to blame. You’ll need a plumber to assist with this issue.
- Faulty fixtures: Sometimes low water pressure only occurs with one fixture, such as your dishwasher. Water line leaks, mineral scale buildup and even tree roots can contribute to the problem. Test each faucet and fixture, one at a time, to determine whether the problem exists throughout your whole house. If it’s just one fixture or appliance, you can replace that without the help of a plumber.
- Corroded pipes: Finally, your pipes may be corroded. They last around 40 to 100 years. Depending on your home’s age, it might be time to upgrade your plumbing.
When you need help solving your low water pressure problems, get in touch with the team at Moody & McClendon Plumbing Inc. to schedule a service appointment.
Categorised in: Plumbing Repair