Question: Can I Improve My Water Pressure?

Question Can I Improve My Water Pressure

If you have poor water pressure, you are probably wondering if there are things you can do to improve it. Here are some things to look for.

From a Repair & Improvement Perspective

By Homeminders Expert - Jim Rooney

First, check to see if aerator screens or water-saving devices are clogged. Remove the heads from the affected faucets, and test the water flow. If that solves the problem, you can just replace the clogged pieces.

If low water pressure isn’t due to a system failure, such as broken or congested pipes, clogged water heaters, or a defective pressure tank, then the easiest solution is to install a water pressure booster. These self-monitoring systems cost upwards of $400, and ensure a steady stream of water that is unaffected by pressure and temperature fluctuations. They are particularly helpful in homes with old plumbing or multiple stories. Another possibility is that supply lines are too small; if so, you should increase their size.

From a Home Maintenance Perspective

By Homeminders Expert - Hector Seda

Sediment can build up in your water heater, reducing the flow of water over time—especially in areas with hard water. Drain your water heater every few months to remove this sediment, as well as extend your water heater’s life. Also remove and clean the filter screens on faucets and showerheads, as minerals can build up there as well. If this doesn’t solve your problem, consult with a plumber or maintenance professional to determine the cause of your problem.

From a Financial Perspective

By Homeminders Expert - Brian O'Connell

Plumbers can be expensive, so call the city first. Your low water pressure, or low water volume, might be due to an outdated water main or leaks in the underground lines serving your house. Your municipal water-works employees make house calls, are happy to answer your questions, and can determine—free of charge—if any of these problems are behind your low water volume. If the problem is on the city side, they are responsible for the repairs.

The city is responsible for the main line, not the line that runs to your house. If the line from the city tap is leaking, it’s your cost to fix it.

From a Conservation Perspective

By Homeminders Expert - Ray Kamada

If sufficient water pressure is an ongoing problem, and there is low water pressure (below 80 psi) from the water source, consider installing a water pressure booster system. They’re not only effective in increasing low water pressure, but are also very energy efficient and therefore a good, economical solution for home water pressure problems.

From a Plumbing Perspective

By Doityourself’s Plumbing Expert – Mark Vander Sande

If your piping is galvanized, there is a very good chance the pipes are full of rust and debris from age of the pipe. There is no solution to this other than to replace all the piping with copper, PEX, or CPVC.

If the pressure is low only at a certain place, but not the entire house, check the stops for that fixture, the shut off valve, and the supply tubes. If it’s at a faucet, turn off the stop and remove the supply tube from the faucet. If the tube is brass, remove it from the stop and check it to see if it’s clear.

Turn the stop on with a flexible supply tube into a bucket and see how the pressure is. If it’s not good, the stop may be clogged and need to be replaced. Turn the water off to the entire house and remove the valve stem from the stop. This is simple. Just past the handle of the stop, there is a valve stem and then a larger nut attached to the valve body. Remove this nut and unscrew the valve stem from the stop. There is a washer at the end of this valve stem and sometimes the washer comes loose from the stem and clogs the valve body. If there is no washer on the end of the valve stem, look in the stop with a flashlight and remove the washer. At this point, you can either replace the washer or put the old one back on, either with the screw that holds it to the stem or simply pop it back on if it’s plastic. I recommend replacing the valve to ensure this does not happen again.

If all these are good, the stop, the supply, or the faucet may have debris clogged internally. Remove the handles and the stems for the faucets and check for debris. With the handles and valve stems removed, turn the water on at the stop and see what kind of pressure there is. If it’s good, then clean or replace the valve stem. If it’s not good then you should replace the faucet.

If the pressure is low at a tub/shower faucet, depending on what style you have, single handle or double handle, the faucet stems need to be removed with the water off. Turn the water back on to check the pressure at the faucet without the stems or the cartridges in the valve body. If the pressure is good without the stems or cartridges, repeat the steps as explained above for a sink faucet.