How to Solve Low Water Pressure Problems

Low water pressure can be a problem that makes the most routine tasks difficult.  Ever shower, wash dishes or try to fill a glass with water and the fixture only manages to trickle?  If you’ve battled with low water pressure, you understand the inconvenience it can cause.  Luckily, there are a number of methods to troubleshoot low water pressure in and around your house.

Locating the cause of low water pressure

If you already know which fixture is affected, we’ll get to that later.  The trick to finding the best solution for low water pressure is to determine what exactly is causing it.  Pressure issues may not be secluded to one fixture, and even if they appear so, the problem could be more deep-rooted than you’d expect.  This is why low water pressure is a plumbing repair that should be addressed by a plumber.  Here are several factors that can lead to low pressure:

  • Preset or malfunctioning pressure regulator
  • Inadvertently closed water valves
  • Pipe damage resulting in water leaks
  • High demand on water supply
  • Mineral deposits or other debris in pipes

The next step is to identify where low pressure is a problem.  Is it isolated to a certain fixture or when multiple fixtures are in use?  Do you experience low pressure regularly or at certain times of day?  If you can identify the symptoms with answers to these questions, you can begin to troubleshoot some methods to solve low pressure. Here are some of the symptoms you might be faced with:

Whole-house low pressure

If it’s a neighborhood-wide problem, the solution might be to install a water pressure booster.  This will improve water pressure as it travels from the main line into your home.  If it’s only afflicting your home, the problem is likely a pressure reducing valve.  These are installed to control residential water pressure.  A plumber can assist by increasing pressure limits on the regulator.  Another possibility is a water leak in the main line.  Inspect your home for evidence of leaks, and act immediately—contact Robinson’s Plumbing—in the event you find one.

Whole-bathroom low pressure

If your entire bathroom is plagued by low pressure the problem may be either a blockage or leak in the main line that supplies water to the fixtures.  Depending on how your plumbing lines are configured this could be affecting other rooms as well.   Troubleshooting total bathroom low pressure can be as simple as reopening a valve that was closed during a repair, or releasing air blockages from pipes by running all faucets and flushing toilets simultaneously. Minerals and buildup may also be clogging the hot water output on your water heater.  

Fixture-Specific pressure problems

Low pressure in bathroom fixtures is a common residential plumbing problem.  Let’s look specifically at faucets and showerheads…

Low pressure in faucets is typically caused by a clogged aerator.  This is easily checked by unscrewing the nozzle and looking for signs of a clog.  The aerator may need to be replaced (which is very inexpensive) or cleaned.  Before you screw the aerator back on, run the faucet to make sure you’ve identified the issue.  Low pressure that continues in absence of the aerator can indicate a clog somewhere in the line leading to the sink.   Clogs deep in the line are best handled by a professional plumber.

Low shower pressure can be a number of things.  First, check for an obstruction or issue with the showerhead.  You can do so by removing the showerhead from the shower arm and running the water.  If the flow is fine in absence of the showerhead, there might be a clog that could be remedied by cleaning the debris out of the showerhead restrictor.   You may also want to clean the showerhead nozzle, as minerals and buildup can accumulate on the individual holes.  If you’ve noticed differing flow from each hole in the showerhead, buildup is likely the problem.

Increase pressure, improve comfort

Whether your low water pressure issues only present themselves in a particular room or plumbing fixture, or worse yet, if they affect your home’s entire plumbing system, you shouldn’t have to live with it.  Although there are many home maintenance tips here to help you troubleshoot low water pressure, it never hurts to trust in a professional who can quickly identify the cause and implement the right solution.  Robinson’s Plumbing can handle everything from low shower pressure to drain clogs, water heater maintenance and installations and much more.

For more tips on dealing with low water pressure, or to schedule a service call, contact Robinson’s Plumbing today.