Low water pressure is a common problem faced by many homeowners. Taking a shower, doing your laundry, washing dishes, and watering the lawn are all dependent on having strong and steady water pressure. When that pressure drops, or is less than desirable to begin with, it extends the time necessary to complete these tasks. Before calling a professional plumber, there are a few steps you can take that could solve the problem and save you money.
Low Faucet Pressure
Many household fixtures utilize aerators or screens to filter the water as it passes through the fixture. They help to prevent sand, dirt, and other debris from entering your water supply. For example, a faucet's aerator is located on the end of its spout. Unscrew the aerator counterclockwise to remove. After removing the aerator, turn on the faucet. If the water pressure has increased, you have a dirty or faulty aerator. A simple cleaning of the aerator should do the trick, however, it is sometimes necessary to replace the aerator. Most home improvement centers or hardware stores carry a wide selection. Other faucet components that can cause low water pressure are a clogged fixture, a faulty supply valve, or a clogged supply line.
Low Shower Pressure
If you are experiencing low showerhead pressure, it could be clogged. Showerheads incorporate a screen to filter out sediment before it enters the fixture. This prevents the sediment from clogging the main body of the showerhead. Unscrew the showerhead counterclockwise to remove. Look inside the threaded end of the showerhead to inspect the screen. Clean the screen thoroughly and reinstall the showerhead. If you still experience low water pressure, it may be time to replace the shower head.
Low Pressure Throughout
When your whole house is experiencing low water pressure, there are a couple of scenarios that can cause the problem.
⦁ Dirty Whole House Filters: Many households utilize whole house filters to trap sediment before it enters the home. Over time, the trapped sediment can restrict water flow through the filters, which in turn can reduce household water pressure. Clean or change any whole house water filters.
⦁ Leaking Pipes or Supply Lines: A leaking pipe will not only cause low water pressure, but can also cause extensive damage to walls, flooring, and substrates. Inspect any visible plumbing for leaks and make any applicable repairs. Identifying a leaking pipe concealed within a wall is more difficult. Visually inspect walls where plumbing pipes might be present for moisture or dampness and mold or mildew growth. If you suspect a leak, don't hesitate, call a plumber to come as soon as possible to limit water damage.
⦁ Corrosion Buildup in Plumbing: A dated plumbing system — one that utilizes galvanized pipes to deliver water throughout your home — could cause a low water pressure problem. Galvanized pipes are notorious for restricting water flow as they age. Unfortunately, unless you possess a very strong skill set in home plumbing, it will be necessary to call a professional plumber to replace the pipes in question.
Some of these scenarios are an easy fix, but if in doubt about how to handle water pressure situations, contact a professional plumbing service.