Things can be incredibly slow in the house when the water pressure decreases. If your faucets are taking forever to fill your bathtub or sink, your washing machine is taking longer than necessary to run the cycles or your showerhead isn’t providing the spray you need to get done quickly, life can be difficult. If your water pressure is low, you may often wonder what the problem is. Keep reading to find out what’s lowering your water pressure and how you can solve it.
Your Pressure Regulator Is Failing
One of the biggest causes of low water pressure in homes is a failing pressure regulator. If your home has this device, then it may be the cause of your low water pressure. This device is fixed in plumbing systems to lower the water input pressure. This is important because the water getting into your home can easily damage your pipes.
If your pressure regulator malfunctions, it can cause a serious upward spike in your home’s water pressure or reduce it altogether. Although this device may seem easy to replace, you should not attempt to do it yourself. It’s always best to call a professional plumber to handle it safely.
Your Main Shut-Off Valve Is Not Fully Open
In some cases, your water pressure could be low because the shut-off valve is partially closed. The shut-off valve allows complete water flow into your home when it’s fully open. You need to locate this valve and ensure it is fully open. If it’s not in your basement, you can find it on an outside wall in your home’s utility area. When you find it, turn it counterclockwise as far as it can go if the handle is similar to the one you use to turn on a hose. However, if the handle resembles a lever, make sure the lever is parallel to the pipe. If it seems damaged in any way, do not attempt to fix it. Call a professional plumber to inspect and fix it as necessary.
Your Pipes Are Blocked
Many people think that clogs only build up in the drains; however, they can also affect the pipes. There are tiny bits of sand, dust, dirt and other substances that pass through your pipes together with the water. In many cases, these bits get stuck on the walls of the pipes, creating buildups.
Even small buildups in your pipes can lower your water pressure and slow things down in your house. The problem is that a clog can be anywhere; that’s why you need an experienced plumber to find it and clean it.
Your Pipes Are Corroded
If you’re using galvanized pipes, then you may experience low water pressure due to the corrosion that occurs in such pipes. Over time, galvanized iron pipes become corroded as water flows through them. As the corrosion accumulates, water flow is restricted, affecting the water pressure. Corrosion often builds up behind angle valves below the sinks, bath or showers.
Moreover, corrosion may accelerate if you add more plumbing fixtures to your home, such as a washing machine, an extra bathroom or sink. This is because your galvanized iron pipes have to work overtime by allowing more water to pass through them. A certified plumber can replace your pipes for you and enlarge the branch lines to accommodate all your fixtures. This will help restore the ideal water pressure in your home.
Your Plumbing Is Leaking
Have you recently noticed water behind your countertops or below the cabinets? Perhaps you’ve seen water stains on your walls or ceilings? All these are signs of leaks that need to be fixed immediately.
If there’s a leak anywhere in your plumbing system, you may likely have plumbing problems, including low water pressure. Leaks generally affect the flow of water and keep enough water from reaching your faucets.
Your Water Meter Valve Is Not Fully Open
Just like the shut-off valve, your water meter valve can be the reason behind your low water pressure. If it’s not opened fully, you will face water pressure issues. The valve is usually located beside the water meter; if it has a handle, it should be aligned with your water pipe or supply line. If it’s at an angle, then it makes sense why you’re not getting optimal water pressure in your house.
Unlike the shut-off valve, it’s not advisable to tinker with this valve because the water meter valve belongs to the water department. If you notice anything wrong with it, contact your water department to get help.
Your Fixtures Are Faulty
If you’re experiencing low water pressure in every plumbing fixture in your home, you can be assured that the issue is with your pipes or water supply. However, if you find out that it’s only a few fixtures that are being affected, you should consider the possibility that your fixtures are the ones with the problem. Faucets, showerheads and other fixtures can become clogged over time, leading to low water flow. For instance, many faucets have a component that can trap dirt, known as the aerator screen.
This component looks like a small mesh screen, and it’s located at the end of the faucets. Its job is to regulate water flow. If this component becomes clogged, your stream of water can reduce to a trickle. An experienced plumber will check all your faucets and fixtures and determine whether they are the problem.
Your Water Demand Is Too High
The water demand can either be too high in your home or within your neighborhood. For instance, during peak water usage periods, you’ll find many people following routines involving the use of a lot of water at the same time. This can lead to a drop in water pressure.
Similarly, if you have too many plumbing fixtures and you use many of them at the same time, you will also experience low water pressure. This is because drawing too much water from the main pipe can create too high a demand and make it difficult to get the right water pressure throughout your home. This problem is easy to avoid with a little coordination.
Your Water Supplier Is Experiencing a Problem
Before you start blaming your plumbing system, you should consider that your water supplier could be experiencing an issue. When your water pressure reduces, you should try to find out whether your neighbors are facing the same problem. If they are, don’t hesitate to call your water supplier to find out what’s going on.
No matter what you suspect the source of your problem to be, it’s important to call a plumbing expert to make a professional assessment. You may find that it’s a very small issue that can be solved in minutes.
If you’re ready to have your plumbing inspected and have any repairs conducted professionally, we’re the team to call. We offer personalized plumbing inspections, maintenance and installations throughout Monmouth County as well as Central and Northern New Jersey. Call Primary Service Group in Maplewood, NJ, to learn more about our services. We also install, maintain and repair heating and cooling systems.