Low water pressure can occur for a number of reasons. The most common is when you have multiple plumbing fixtures running at the same time, i.e. outside hose, shower and/or dishwasher, which lowers your water pressure to each fixture. There are other problems, however, that can cause low water pressure.
Below is a list of typical problems that can lead to low water pressure:
Pressure Regulators. The water pressure regulator is a bell-shaped device generally found below the front hose connection of your home. The regulators are typically preset by the manufacturer at about 45 – 60 psi, and in most cases, don’t need to be adjusted. Sometimes a pressure regulator goes bad and needs to be replaced. This is something a professional plumber should be called in to take care of, doing this incorrectly can lead to even more water flow problems. A licensed plumber can easily fix and replace a pressure regulator at a reasonable cost.
Home Valves. Sometimes valves are partially or completely turned off by accident. There are two main vales that you should make certain are in the “on” position and the water valve inside your home and the main water valve located outside your home. The main valve is located at the meter box and the home valve is located near the hose bib, which is the exterior water hose faucet at the front of the residence. Even if slightly turned from the “on” position, these valves can cause a decrease in water flow.
Water Leaks. Any damage to the pipe that results in a leak, whether large or small, will result in a lower water pressure. The issue here is how to determine if you have a leak or not. Read the meter and not your bill. To do this, you should shut off all water taps inside and outside your home. Read the meter after doing this and return two hours later. If your water usage has increased, changes are you have a leak and need to contact a plumber as soon as possible.
Peak Periods. Although you might not realize it, most of us operate during the same hours during the day. So, low water pressure could be the result of the majority of your neighborhood using the shower at the same time every morning or watering the lawn at the same time every evening. If that’s the case, you might look at altering your schedule a bit.
Mineral Deposits. In older homes or homes built with galvanized iron pipes, mineral deposits are unavoidable over time and it doesn’t help that not water and horizontal pipe speed up the process. But if you believe the problem to be a result of mineral deposits, the best thing to do is get a reputable plumber to the house for an estimate so you can gauge the extent of repairs that may need to be made.
Hire a Pro. The bottom line when you need to increase water pressure is that you can check the simple things yourself. By checking the valves and monitoring water usage amounts and schedules you can either eliminate the problem or identify the need to call in reinforcements. When it comes to the bigger issues like pipe erosion, blockage, or leaks, it’s best to consult a professional. The last thing you want to do is to make any problem bigger than it already is, so call in a professional plumber and leave your worries behind!