A couple of factors are always in play whenever you have low hot water pressure. Ideally, both cold water and hot water passing through your hot water system must have the same pressure. A discrepancy in the two flow rates may be due to hot water system problems or issues with your home’s entire water supply system.
If you're wondering, "why is my hot water pressure low?" then one or more of the following situations is most likely the cause.
Please note: Playing with a hot water system can be dangerous. If you need to have it looked at please contact a licensed and trusted plumbing professional.
Accumulation of sediment and scale in your hot water system: Whether you use an electric or tankless gas hot water system, you are not free from sediment and scale buildup. When the interior of the tank corrodes, the corroding particles find their way down to the base of the tank, where they may be drawn gradually into the hot water pipes. In the pipes, they cause blockage and subsequently a drop in water pressure.
Bent water supply lines: You will most likely find an accordion-type copper water pipe in your tank-type hot water system, and these pipe types are known to bend easily. In cases of serious bends, water flow is impaired and subsequently a drop in water pressure.
Plumbing lines with several bends: The pressure of the hot water may be affected if it passes through a lot of bends before emerging from the faucet. With each bend or passage through each elbow, the pressure reduces slightly.
Partially-closed shutoff valve: Water flow can be reduced by a partially-closed shutoff valve, thus causing a reduction in pressure across the entire system of hot water supply in your home.
General low water pressure: It is possible for the entire house to experience a sharp drop in lower pressure. In such cases, both the cold and hot water supplies flow reluctantly. The fix is usually from the main water supply entering your home.
Wrong sizes of water supply lines: In a case where the size of the water supply lines is considerably smaller than that of the main water supply or vice versa, the water pressure will decrease, after all, water will tend to flow from the large pipe into a smaller pipe.
Partially closed shutoff valve of the direct water supply: Both the hot and cold water supply lines will experience a sharp drop in water pressure when the water main supply line is not 100% opened.
Faulty or wrong configuration of the pressure regulator: If your home has a pressure regulator and it is not set correctly to the optimum, there won't be adequate water pressure all through your home. On the other hand, a faulty or old regulator can be the reason why you have low hot water pressure.
Worn out fixture and/or high amount of accumulated scale in the fixture or faucet: A worn-out fixture or faucet will contain high amounts of scale, which in turn reduces the hot water pressure. The simple fix is to replace the affected faucets and perhaps avoid hard water.
Fixes For Low Hot Water Pressure
After identifying the extent of the problem; whether it is observed in just one shower, sink, bathtub or all the hot water fixtures present in your home, the next step is to narrow down what could have caused the reduced hot water pressure. Once you know the cause, apply one or more of the following fixes to get a lasting solution to the situation.
Accumulation of sediment and scale in your hot water system: For a relatively new hot water system, flushing and cleaning the sediment and scale from the tank’s interior will work. However, in cases of older systems, a complete hot water system replacement is the better option. Invite your plumber to determine the better option.
Plumbing lines with several bends: This can be solved by repiping the plumbing lines that lead to problematic faucets. However, if the issue affects the entire system, you can install a pressure regulator if you don’t have one yet. Your plumber can set the regulator to increase your hot water pressure.
Partially-closed shutoff valve: The simple fix here is to open the shutoff valve completely so that the water flows with no hindrance whatsoever.
General low water pressure: You can install a pressure regulator if you don’t have one yet, and ask your plumber to set the regulator to increase your hot water pressure.
Wrong sizes of water supply lines: Repiping is the first option here, which makes the supply lines bigger. This, in turn, reduces friction, while increasing the pressure. Note that the effect, i.e., the increase in pressure – can be considerably pronounced in some cases.
Partially closed shutoff valve of the direct water supply: Open the water main completely, so that water flows at the highest speed and pressure possible.
Faulty or wrong configuration of the pressure regulator: Start by checking the regulator’s setting; if the setting is correct and you still have reduced water pressure in the cold and hot water supply lines, you may consider replacing the regulator. However, if the pressure is only too low, all you need to do is to tune it properly to the normal pressure. It may be difficult to get the ideal setting of the regulator. Hence, it is best that you bring in your plumber.
Worn out fixture and/or high amount of accumulated scale in the fixture or faucet: If you have confirmed that the faucet or fixture is the reason for the drop, ask your plumber to replace them with new ones.
Lastly, considering that not everyone has the same plumbing configurations in their home, or the same issue causing reduced hot water pressure, it is important to observe the situation closely and find out the particular cause and the best solution for your plumbing system.
Whether you're looking for a fix or a total replacement, trust the best plumbers in Sydney at Fixed Today to the do the job for you. Contact the hot water system experts and get your hot water systems fixed today!