Top Tips For Solving Problems With Low Water Pressure
You’re sure to have had the experience of turning on the shower only to find it merely dripping rather than gushing. This can be very disheartening and frustrating, especially when you’re in a hurry. Happily, there are a number of ways to solve this low-flow problem. Read on to learn how.
The first thing you should do is to try and identify what’s causing the low-flow problem.
Low water Pressure
Perhaps water is leaking in another location and causing pressure to be low in the shower.
Maybe there is a mineral deposit build-up in the showerhead.
Perhaps there is debris in the water, or maybe the entire area is experiencing low water pressure for some reason or your main water stop valve simply isn’t fully on.
When you identify the cause, you can easily plan your next step.
Check your water valves. Sometimes a water pressure problem is nothing more than a main water stop valve that has been accidentally turned too low. You may be able to repair your low-flow problem by simply turning the valve clockwise!
Very often, low-flow is caused by debris in the water.
This can happen because of work on water pipes nearby that allows sand and gravel into the system, disintegrated plastic pipe that allows in bits of plastic, iron flakes from old pipes or even algae. To determine whether or not this is the cause, you should remove the shower head (or the aerator on a sink tap) and have a look.
If the unit is clogged, simply clean it out, screw it back on and go your merry way. If this doesn’t work, you may need to call in a local plumber to unclog the water pipes.
It may be that your whole area is experiencing low flow.
To find out if this is the case, you will need a test gauge for water pressure, which you can from most home improvement store.
To test the water pressure, you would turn off all the water in your house and anywhere it may be running in your home. You need to screw the water pressure test gauge onto an outside tap with a hose connection (which should come with the gauge). Turn on the water and check the pressure.
It should be about 60 pounds per square inch (PSI). Below 50 PSI is too low. Over 80 PSI is too high. If your water pressure regularly tests low, you might want to consider having your water pipes replaced with a larger size.
Check around for leaks. Look around for any signs of water leakage, and then check under sinks, behind toilets and behind your water heater.
If you don’t see any leaks, turn off your main water valve and check your water meter. Take note of the reading. Check it again in a couple of hours to see if it has changed. If it has, you know you have a hidden water leak that is taxing your water pressure. In this case, you will probably need to call a professional local plumber to locate and repair the leak.
If your water supply to your bathroom is feed through tanks you can add a booster pump to increase the water pressure, but these tend to be noisy, especially if taking a shower in the night.
If your bathroom is tank feed, then you could convert to high pressure, this would mean replacing your hot water tank with an unvented tank. You must have a decent incoming water pressure though; otherwise you will just be wasting money and your time.
The best tip I can give you is to call in your local plumber and ask for his advise on how to improve the water pressure problem. If he is a good type of person he won’t even charge you for the visit. Just make him a nice cup of tea.
When you follow the tips presented here, you can easily locate and identify most types of water pressure problems. You will also be able to address quite a few of them and rule out causes on those that need professional attention.