Imagine you’re 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 hot and cold water. It is hard to ignore a low-pressure hot shower, especially if you are used to your shower head working with particularly strong shower pressure. If the other taps in your home are working perfectly fine, it can be confusing what causes low water pressure in your shower.
Behind a low-pressure shower lies an issue with your plumbing system. It may be an easy fix or a much larger problem; whatever the cause, you need to investigate it quickly as you risk damaging your house and the rest of the plumbing system.
Ignoring a plumbing problem such as low water pressure can further damage or indicate 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 several reasons why you would have difficulty having a shower that doesn’t provide an adequate water flow.
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 take the showerhead apart carefully. By removing the flow restrictor, you open 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 have issues with the pressure in the shower, it may be a problem with the main water valves and the shower valve. 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 opening all the ways. If you turn these valves counterclockwise, you can increase water flow and improve water supply through the pipes.
Check your water pipes for any obstruction or failure in the pipe, such as cracks or rust. Healthy pipes installed correctly can improve water supply flow throughout your home.
Hearing noisy banging inside your wall may indicate leaking pipes, clogged pipes, loose pipes, or need replacement.
How do I fix low water pressure in my shower head?
Finding why your shower pressure is low is the first step in fixing your low-pressure shower problem.
Clean your shower head
Showerheads can easily 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
You can also check the flow restrictor from dismantling your shower head and remove or replace it with a newer model.
By inspecting the shut-off valve, you can ensure that the water supply to your bathroom taps and shower is not restricted. 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 appropriately inspected by a professional plumber.
Call a plumber
An experienced plumbing team will find the best solution to increasing the pressure in your shower and improving your showering experience. A good local plumber will be able to service all fittings and fixtures around your bathroom to ensure all plumbing and water lines are 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 showerheads.