Do you often have to start the day with a feeble shower?
Or wash the pile of dishes in the kitchen sink with a trickling faucet? We understand how frustrating the effects of low water pressure can be.
If you suddenly have no water pressure in the entire house, that could be caused by a glitch in the water supply system. But if it only involves the entire bathroom and not the whole house, there may be a problem with only one fixture.
Leaving these fixtures unattended for too long can aggravate the problem further and cause substantial damage to your plumbing system. You shouldn’t delay taking the proper steps if you notice reduced water pressure in one or more parts of the house.
But then again, how will you proceed? How do you identify the real issue? Don’t worry; we’ve compiled this detailed guide to answer all your queries.
So, without further ado, let’s get straight to the deets.
Causes Of Low Water Pressure
Test if you have a problem with your water pressure using a water pressure gauge. Several plumbing issues in your home can lead to a sudden drop in water pressure. While some might be specific to a smaller area, such as the bathroom, the problem might originate from the central plumbing system.
That said, here are the five most common issues that can reduce water pressure around the house:
- Faulty plumbing fixture(s) or water fixtures
- Blocked/leaking water supply pipes
- Damaged pipe due to pipe corrosion
- A partially-closed main shutoff valve
- Faulty water heater
- Faulty Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV) or pressure regulator
Now, you’ll have to figure out the issue plaguing your home and tackle it accordingly.
5 Things To Do When You Suddenly Lose Water Pressure
Now that you know the possible causes of low water pressure, there are a few tips to deal with them:
1. Clean or Replace The Fixtures
Are you noticing the problem only in a particular plumbing faucet or fixture? In that case, your home’s water pressure needs immediate attention.
As a result of years of regular use, plumbing fixtures such as aerators develop scale deposits that may hinder the normal flow of water. The aerator is a small mesh screen placed on the faucet opening to break the water into several streams by filling the air.
Scale deposits are caused by the minerals present in the water and might eventually break off. The build-up may then block the water supply. So, you’ll need to inspect such fixtures for scale deposits and remove them wherever necessary. The next step would be to test the water pressure to see any improvement.
If the issue persists, that could mean the fixture itself is faulty. In the case of faucets, the fault may lie in the cartridge that regulates the flow of water. It can either get blocked due to excessive mineral build-up or turn defective with age.
As such, you’ll have to replace the cartridge or the faucet itself in case the cartridge isn’t available. Replacing the cartridge will require disassembling and reassembling the faucet, which you might choose to complete by yourself or hiring a plumber.
2. Get The Water Supply Pipes Examined
Do all the plumbing fixtures in your kitchen or bathroom have low water pressure? If you have checked the water shut-off valve and the water meter valve, and the pressure is still low, then it is time to review the faucets and hoses. The problem might lie with one or more water supply pipes.
In homes with older pipelines, the main pipe feeding a specific area might be blocked or corroded by scale deposits. When pipes corrode, a chunk of scale or rust breaks off and blocks a narrow portion of the pipe or water lines. The damage and the debris build-up block water flow. In such cases, you may have to replace the pipe.
Or else, a leak in the pipe might cause the water to divert from the fixtures, ultimately leading to a reduction in water pressure. You’ll need a pipe leakage repair to solve such an issue.
Either way, you’ll have to hire a plumber to examine the plumbing pipes, identify whether there are water leaks or corroded pipes, and address them accordingly. After all, pipe replacement and intensive repairs are skilled jobs that are best left to professionals.
3. Check The Main Shut-Off Valve
The main shut-off valve of your home controls the water flow throughout the plumbing system. So, if the valve closes partially after someone mistakenly bumps it, the water flow throughout the house will suddenly drop.
You must locate the valve to determine whether it is partially closed. Most homes can find these valves in the basement or interior storage space. However, homes with water meters installed will have several valves, so it is probably best to call a plumber to locate the main shut-off valve.
After you’ve found the valve, check whether the handle is entirely parallel to the pipe where it’s fixed. If the handle is not appropriately aligned, you may face a decreased water flow running through your home’s appliances and faucets.
But if the handle is positioned just as it should be, you can rest assured that the culprit of lowered water pressure in your home is somewhere else.
4. Get The Water Heater Serviced
If you’re experiencing reduced water pressure levels only with the home water heater and not your cold water supply, it indicates an issue with the appliance. Hot water low pressure can be due to a greater demand for hot water at one time than can be supplied by your hot water system. All the faucets connected to the heater will dispense hot water with low pressure. The best way out of this issue is to contact a qualified plumber for assistance.
Also, remember to get the appliance regularly serviced by a trained technician. Keeping your water heater in tip-top condition is the best preventative measure for such issues and others.
5. Get The PRV Examined
A pressure-reducing valve (PRV) isn’t used in all residences, but if it’s in your home, the chances are that it’s malfunctioning and causing reduced water pressure.
The PRV regulates the speed and pressure of the water reaching your home from the municipal water supply system. Its function is to ensure that the water entering your home doesn’t cause any damage to the plumbing system.
However, if this valve is faulty or needs replacement, it may drop water pressure throughout the home. You must call a plumber to examine it if none of the earlier steps yields substantial results.
On a side note, you should replace a PRV every 12 years to make sure it’s operating the right way.
How To Deal With Low Water Pressure
These are just a few ways to deal with reduced water pressure in your home. We hope you’ll be able to take proper steps the next time such an issue crops up. And if in doubt, reach out to our team. We are happy to assist you.
But before we sign off, here’s one last tip: ask your neighbours if they face similar water pressure problems. If the problem is not isolated to a single room, there’s likely an issue with the municipal water supply. Also, maintenance activities on the local water supply system may lead to a drop in water pressure.
In such situations, you should consider reaching out to the municipal authority. Ensure they know the issue and stay updated on their steps to resolve it.
It’s time to bid goodbye, but we’ll return with more informative guides soon. So, stay tuned!