Low water pressure is an inconvenience many people experience at one time or another. The solution to your low water pressure partially lies in recognizing the cause of the pressure drop. Therefore, review the following considerations when diagnosing the cause of your low water pressure.
Consider How Many Fixtures Are Affected
Test multiple fixtures or faucets the first time you notice low water pressure. If the low pressure has affected all the fixtures, the problem is probably outside the house. For example, you might experience whole-house low pressure if:
- Your water company experiences supply problems
- Your municipality changes water supply regulations and lowers the water pressure
- You have not correctly adjusted the main house shutoff valve, or the valve has malfunctioned
- The water meter valve, which your water company owns, malfunctions
- The main line that supplies your house with water starts to leak
If only one fixture has low pressure, the problem is probably with the fixture or the pipe supplying it with water.
Consider Whether the Problem Was Sudden
Water pressure loss can be sudden or gradual, each with different causes. For example, a sudden loss of water pressure points to a catastrophic problem. Here are some examples of accidents that can cause sudden loss of water pressure:
- An excavator working outside your house damages the main supply line and causes a serious leakage
- The water pipe supplying your kitchen tap bursts
- Your water company experiences a problem that forces it to reduce water pressure
Gradual loss of water pressure usually arises because of the accumulation of plumbing problems. For example, metal pipes corrode over time, and the more they corrode, the more rust deposits constrict the pipes. Similarly, water minerals can accumulate within your pipes or on fixtures (such as showerheads), gradually decreasing water pressure.
Consider Whether the Issue Is Recurrent
If you experience recurrent low water pressure, either you applied the wrong solutions in the past, or the problem's cause keeps reoccurring. For example, low water pressure due to corrosion should disappear once you replace or clean the affected pipe. If the issue reoccurs, the problem might not have been corrosion the last time.
Recurrent low water pressure may also point to an aging plumbing system. This diagnosis is even more likely if the problem keeps popping up in different house parts. Say the problem has affected two bathrooms and the kitchen sink within the same year. It might be that the pipes are of the same approximate age range and have collected clogs, such as sediments, over the years.
Consider the Current Season
Some causes of low water pressure are more common in some seasons than others. For example, low winter temperatures can freeze pipes, blocking and lowering water pressure. In addition, freezing temperatures can burst water pipes, lowering the water volume flowing to your taps and fixtures.
Consider Whether It Affects Both Hot and Cold Water Pipes
If only the hot water has low pressure, the problem is probably not with the pipes but with the water heating system. For example, you might have low hot water pressure if the hot water valve, which controls hot water flow, malfunctions or clogs. Sediments from hard water can cause such blockages.
Low hot water pressure is also possible due to a leaking water heater, especially at the outlet-tank connection. An aging water heater that has suffered wear and tear over the years (for example, due to temperature fluctuations and water acidity) can leak and reduce water pressure.
Contact PlumbRite to diagnose and fix your low water pressure if you cannot identify a simple solution, such as a valve adjustment. We have over 20 years of experience in the plumbing industry and can confidently say that no job is too difficult for us to handle.
Additional Service Areas
La Vista, NE