If your water heater won't turn on or your faucets are supplying weak streams of water, you might have low water pressure. Problems with water pressure can occur all of a sudden or build up gradually over time, and they can affect the whole house or only one or two water fixtures. Fortunately, you can troubleshoot your low water flow headache to find out what's causing the problem.
Sudden Loss of Water Pressure
If your water pressure was fine yesterday but is low today, check your neighborhood for work affecting your local water supply. Water company or other utility workers digging up the road near your home could be the cause of your low water pressure. The workers might be fixing the problem that's causing the low pressure, or they might have turned off the supply temporarily for other reasons.
If no agency workers are in sight, a major leak in your home or yard could be causing your water pressure problem. Turn off all appliances that use water, then check your water meter. If the dial is still spinning, you're losing water somewhere. A leak large enough to affect your water pressure is serious. Turn off your mains water supply and call a plumber.
Whole House Water Pressure Problems
Your house water passes through several devices before it reaches your water fixtures. A problem with your pipes, your shut-off valve, pressure reducing valve or water softener can reduce your water pressure.
- Pipes: Sediment and mineral deposits build up in water pipes over time, resulting in low water pressure. Clogged pipes are more common in older houses.
- Shut-off valve: Your mains shut-off valve controls the water supply to your home. If the valve is partially turned, your home water pressure drops.
- Pressure reducing valve (PRV): Your local water supply's pressure can waver, and pressure-reducing valves in homes prevent bursts in pressure from affecting household plumbing. Check that your PRV is correctly set, or it can make the water pressure too low.
- Water softeners: A poorly maintained water softener can also affect household water pressure. Turn off the device temporarily. If your water pressure improves, your water softener probably has a fault.
A faucet that delivers only a dribble of water is probably blocked. Faucets usually contain aerators or filters, and when rust particles or other debris clog them, the water flow rate is reduced. In areas with hard water, limescale deposits can have the same effect.
Low water pressure is annoying at best, and a big inconvenience at worst. When you determine the cause of your water pressure problems, you're well on the road to fixing them.
For answers to your water pressure questions, contact the Pink Plumber today!