Plumbing Issues; How to Fix Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure is one of the most troublesome plumbing issues. It affects not only you in the shower but your overall quality of living. Tasks become inefficient and frustrating.
While you may have dealt with leaking faucets and clogged pipes before, what should you do when the amount of water coming into your house at a time is little? Several factors can cause your home's water pressure to drop. Identifying the causes is the best way to establish the best cause of action.
Here is a guide on the common causes of low water pressure and how to address the issue.
1. The Main House Shutoff Valve and Water Meter Valve are Not Open All the Way
If you have low water pressure, the first place to look is the shutoff valve and find out if it is fully open. Shutoff valves are used to stop water flow in an emergency to prevent water damage. However, the shutoff valve should be open all the way to allow the full flow of water and adequate pressure.
Ensure it is turned clockwise up to the end, or the lever is parallel to the pipe, depending on the handle type.
The water meter valve is responsible for controlling your house water intake, and if it is not fully open, you will get low pressure. Most of the time, however, you will not interact with the valve directly as it belongs to the water company.
The best action is to call the water company to check if the valves were not opened entirely after the works. Most of the valves are placed underground and difficult to reach.
2. Your Supplier is Experiencing Issues
Sometimes low water pressure issues do not originate from your plumbing system. However, you can only rule out the possibility by confirming if your neighbors are experiencing the same problem.
Due to ongoing construction, some of the supplier issues that may affect your water pressure are the breakage of supply pipes. When pipes break, some water will be lost, and only part of it reaches your home with low pressure.
More so, if repairs are being done at a water treatment plant, the volume of water into cities can be reduced, causing a drop in water pressure. Droughts also cause water restrictions and the rationing of water.
One good sign that the low pressure could be a supplier issue is the sudden water pressure drop in the house. In such instances, calling your water supplier's customer care line is recommended to find out if there are issues and alert them of the low pressure for intervention.
3. Clogged and Frozen Pipes
Debris can build up inside the pipes and cause clogging over time. This can cause a significant drop in water pressure.
If the water pressure in the laundry and kitchen is okay but low in the shower, it could signify clogged pipes. Note that clogging can take place anywhere, and it may be hard to confirm the location yourself. Call a plumber with experience with the issue to ascertain the blockage and location.
If you live in cold areas, your pipes might get frozen, with ice occupying most of the space in the pipes. This can limit the volume of water flowing through at a time, causing a pressure drop. In extreme cases, homeowners have no water running out of their taps.
There are several techniques for thawing frozen pipes. For instance, pipe insulation can help reduce freezing. Applying heat to the frozen pipes by wrapping hot towels around them or using a hair dryer to heat them can melt the ice.
Letting the water run can help the ice melt gradually in the pipes; unfortunately, this method can cause wastage. If you cannot find the freezing point or melt the ice, call an experienced plumber.
4. Broken Fixtures
A drop in water pressure could signify that you should maintain some of your fixtures. Older fixtures may have dirt and corrosion, causing clogging and reducing the amount of water passing. Corroded washers sometimes affect water flow and require cleaning or replacement.
When you have low water pressure on specific faucets, the issue could be in the particular fixture. The solution is to clean the fixtures if they have dirt and rust. The other option is to replace the entire fixture.
Fixtures with removable aerators are even easier to deal with as you remove them, remove build-up, and improve your water pressure.
5. A Broken Pressure Regulator
A failing water pressure regulator will cause pressure issues. The devices are installed to standardize water pressure in homes. However, not all homes have them, but if you do, it is essential to check if it is in good working condition.
A broken or failing pressure regulator cannot take pressure readings correctly and may reduce water flow unexpectedly. Fortunately, you can check the device's condition by attaching a pressure gauge near the regulator and checking the reading.
Compare the pressure rating of the water pressure gauge and your regulator. If there is a big difference in reading between the two devices, your pressure regulator is broken. Installing the water pressure regulator is a breeze. You won't have to call a plumber.
Sometimes you can experience low water pressure when the water demand in your home is high. For instance, if all the water fixtures in your home are running simultaneously, the water pressure will drop.
This should not be a major cause for concern. Coordinating water usage in your household can address it.
Get Assistance with Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure results from many factors, some are within your control, and others are not. There are many inexpensive ways of addressing a drop in water pressure in your home without replacing all the fixtures or re-piping your home.
Turn to Comfortec for plumbing inspection and maintenance if you are experiencing low water pressure.
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