Low water pressure can make your showers unsatisfying and your appliances inefficient. Troubleshooting low water pressure involves checking the outlets where water pressure is a problem and diagnosing the potential causes of low water pressure. This guide helps to show you where to start when troubleshooting low water pressure.
Check the Pressure at All the Outlets in the Home
Collect the water released from each outlet in your home for one minute and gauge the volume. This gives you the flow rate per minute. Calculating the flow rate at each outlet can help you establish whether low water pressure is affecting just one outlet, or is a widespread problem throughout your home. If water pressure is low only with your hot water supply this could indicate a problem with your water heater.
Is Low Water Pressure Affecting Just One Fixture or is it Throughout the Entire House?
The causes of low water pressure can differ depending on whether just one or a few outlets are affected or your whole house is affected. Low-water pressure in just one outlet, faucet, or appliance may indicate a blockage close to the outlet, or you may have low flow fixtures or faucets installed. The California standards for shower heads advise that they must be low flow, and many households have aerators or low flow faucets installed as well. Older style low flow faucets, shower heads and aerators often produce lower pressure and may not be satisfying to use. Upgrading to the latest low-flow fixtures can often improve water pressure in these outlets
Check the Valves Supplying your Main Water
There are two main valves that control the water supply to your home – on the street side, the water meter valve; and on the homeowner’s side, the main shut off valve. In some cases, these valves may be partially closed, and this can reduce the flow of water to your home and the overall home water pressure. Check that these valves are fully open to ensure that the maximum mains water supply is reaching your home.
Do You Have a Pressure Regulating Valve?
The pressure regulating valve is a bell-shaped valve, usually located on your mains water line where it enters your home. Valve failure or incorrect settings can make the water pressure in your home too low. To increase water pressure, you can tighten the screw on the valve by turning it clockwise. This may help to restore stronger water pressure to your home.
Check for Signs of Leaking Around your Home
One of the most serious causes of low water pressure is failing or leaking pipes supplying water to your home. Water pressure may also be reduced through leaks from appliances and outlets in your home. Check for signs of water leaks in the basement or near fixtures in your home.
If you’re aware you have old pipes or you notice changes in your water supply such as rust colored water or debris, you may need to replace your plumbing system. Call your local plumber for the professional diagnosis and the right fix.
Low water pressure can often be easily fixed but it’s important to troubleshoot the problem correctly. If you have continued issues with low water pressure or plumbing system, call Magnificent Plumbing & Rooter your local plumber for expert service!