If your water pressure in your shower or other plumbing fixtures is low, it can be extremely frustrating not having enough water flow through to properly rinse off and bathe at home. Finding out why can be challenging.
Diagnostic and troubleshooting low water pressure issues isn’t difficult; here are a few things you should check.
1. Check the Valve
If your shower’s water pressure drops unexpectedly, the first thing to check is its valve. In warmer climates this might be found outside your home on an exterior wall; otherwise in an underground box between house and street; or within your utility space such as basement or attached garage.
When the valve is fully open, a strong stream of water should come pouring from your shower head. If it remains partially closed, this could indicate that there’s an issue somewhere within your plumbing system causing low pressure levels – this could indicate leakage somewhere or another factor at play causing reduced water pressure in your system.
One potential cause of low water pressure can be mineral deposits accumulating on faucets and showerheads, making them inaccessible. You can remove these fixtures and soak them for some time in white vinegar to loosen any build-up that occurs.
2. Check the Faucet
If your shower does not produce sufficient water pressure, there may be numerous causes; one of them being mineral deposits in pipes.
Clogged water supply lines reduce the flow of water, meaning less will reach your faucets and fixtures. If this is the case for your home, contact a plumbing expert immediately so they can inspect and repair its pipes before they corrode or break.
Another possibility is that your house’s main water shutoff valve could be partially closed. To check, turn on multiple faucets and observe how your meter register indicates flow rates.
If the pressure remains low, take a closer look at your faucet itself. A leaky seat washer or O-ring could be to blame; usually these issues are easily remedied with replacement parts; but for more serious leaks it might be worthwhile consulting a plumber as they have access to video inspection technology to assess damage and suggest suitable repairs.
3. Check the Water Heater
If your shower water pressure is erratic, this could be a sign of trouble with your water heater. Build-up in its tank can slow or even stop its flow of water altogether.
If this is the case for you, contact a plumber immediately and have them flush your water heater to eliminate build-up. Hopefully this should resolve the issue on its own.
Once again, it’s important to check your main shutoff valve, which controls water entering your home. It is possible that previous owners did not utilize their bathrooms often enough and therefore closed off this valve as an energy savings measure.
Mineral deposits may build up in older homes over time and reduce water pressure. While there are DIY repairs you can perform to address this, calling in an experienced plumbing expert would likely be your best course. Once mineral deposits have accumulated in your pipes it can be very challenging to clear them yourself without professional help.
4. Check the Water Line
If your shower’s water pressure is low, you could possibly solve it by inspecting its water line. This pipe provides clean and safe drinking water to your home from its main source in the street.
Leaks in your main water line can have a serious effect on water pressure. Checking the basement or garage where it enters can reveal visual indicators of any possible leaks, while attaching a pressure gauge to an outside spigot will allow you to test for leaks directly.
Minor leaks may be easy to miss, but if you notice slow drips or cracks in your pipes that could lead to lower pressure. It is vital that leaks be detected early so they can be repaired before further damage occurs.