Imagine your coming home from a long day and all you are looking forward to is a long relaxing shower. You turn on the shower taps and to your surprise, the water flow is weak and you are left with nothing but a trickle of water. It is hard to ignore a low-pressure hot shower, especially if you are used to your showerhead working with particularly strong pressure. If the other taps in your home are working perfectly fine, it can be confusing as to why this issue is presenting in one area.
Behind a low-pressure shower lies an issue with your plumbing system. It may be an easy fix or it could be a much larger problem, whatever the cause, you need to investigate it quite quickly as you risk damaging your house and the rest of the plumbing system.
Ignoring a plumbing problem such as low water pressure can create further damage or be an indication of a leak in the main water line. It may be time to get a professional licensed plumber to find the cause and provide you with a permanent solution to improve your plumbing.
What causes low water pressure in the shower?
There are a number of reasons why you would be having difficulty in having a shower that doesn’t provide an adequate flow of water.
Water-saving shower heads
Some older style properties could have a flow restrictor device attached. This is to make sure the water flow doesn't exceed a certain amount and it is also used as a water-saving device that is great for the environment and your wallet, but not so great in giving you a high-pressure shower experience. Check the head to inspect the condition of the shower saving device. You may need to replace it.
You can easily take your shower head apart and remove the water-saving device. All you need is a pair of pliers to carefully take the showerhead apart. By removing the flow restrictor, you are opening up the pressure in your shower. You may need to buy a newer low flow device and see which type will work for your needs.
Over time, your shower head can become clogged up with mineral deposits, soap and other gunky material. This can create a barrier between the water and the holes in the showerhead. This is a problem as the pressure in the shower can be compromised.
This can be easily fixed by simply cleaning the heads of the shower. First, start by unscrewing the showerhead and taking apart the different compartments. Inspect the showerhead and remove any debris from the water holes. You can use a toothpick, pin or toothbrush to do this. It is also recommended to soak the head in a bowl of vinegar overnight. The flow of water should increase after a good clean.
Water main valve
If you are having issues with the pressure in the shower, it may be a problem with the main water valves and the shower valve. Both of these control the pressure and flow of hot water and cold water supply lines throughout your property.
You can inspect the main valve by locating it near your water meter. Alternatively, you can find the shower valve in the basement, crawl space or access panel behind your shower.
Low water pressure could be caused by the valves being shut or not open all of the ways. If you turn these valves counterclockwise, you can increase the flow of water and improve the supply of water through the pipes.
Check your water pipes for any obstruction or failure in the pipe such as cracks or rust. Healthy pipes that are installed correctly can improve the flow of water supply throughout your home.
Hearing noisy banging inside your wall may be an indication that your water pipes are loose, have a crack or are in need of replacement.
How do I fix low water pressure in my shower head?
Finding the reasons as to why your shower pressure is low is the first step in fixing your low-pressure shower problem.
Clean your shower head
Showerheads are easy to take apart and clean small mineral deposits and any soap and scum. It could take some time and a few tries but you will increase the lifespan of your shower and get your water pressure stronger.
Remove Flow restrictor
From dismantling your showerhead you can also check the flow restrictor and remove or replace it with a newer model.
By inspecting the shut-off valve, you can make sure that the water supply to your bathroom taps and shower are not restricted. Simply turn the valve anti-clockwise to open it.
The condition of your water pipes is crucial for strong water pressure. Failing this, hot and cold water pipes can cause low pressure and other major plumbing problems like leaks if not inspected properly by a professional plumber.
Call a plumber
An experienced plumbing team will find the best solution in increasing the pressure in your shower and improving your showering experience. A good plumber will be able to service all fittings and fixtures around your bathroom to ensure all plumbing is working in the best condition.
If you need help with any plumbing issues for showers, taps, toilets and other issues, use a reputable team that is fully licensed and has experience in repairing faulty or low flow shower heads.