When you’re hot and sweaty and looking forward to a nice, refreshing shower to cool off, there’s nothing more frustrating than stepping into a weak spray and realizing there’s a problem with your water pressure. Even more aggravating is that poor water pressure can have a variety of causes, so it can be challenging to pinpoint the problem. This guide walks you through several common causes of low water pressure and tips for how to troubleshoot them.
Problem: Clogged pipes
Over time, debris and mineral deposits can build up in your pipes, clogging faucets or showerheads and preventing full water flow. Check faucets around your home to determine if the problem is fixture-specific or house-wide. If it is just one or two faucets, the problem is most likely caused by clogged pipes or faucet heads.
What to do: Clean out the debris
Remove affected faucet heads and showerheads and soak them in a water-vinegar solution to clean them. You can purchase plumbing chemicals to pour down the drain that will flush out clogged piping. If that doesn’t work but you still think there might be mineral or debris build-up, contact a plumber.
Problem: PRV or water shut-off valve
If your water pressure problem isn’t concentrated to one or two fixtures, it may be caused by an issue with your pressure reducing valve (PRV) or water shut-off valve. Together, these control water flow throughout your home.
What to do: Check the valves
The PRV is located on the water line where it enters the house. Try adjusting the screw on the valve one way or another to see whether water pressure is affected. Turning it clockwise should increase pressure and counterclockwise should decrease pressure. If the valve is broken, it will need replacing. Near the PRV you should find the water shut-off valve. Turn the valve so it is completely open, and then check to see if water pressure has returned to normal.
Problem: Plumbing leak
If you have a leaky faucet or toilet, water pressure will be low because not all the water will be flowing where it should. Not only is low water pressure annoying, but you may find yourself with a very high water bill!
What to do: Check the service meter
Turn off all the taps in your home, and then check the reading on your service meter. After an hour, check it again. If the number is different, you have a leak. If you can locate the leak yourself, you can try a DIY fix. Otherwise, you’ll want to call your plumber to help you find and repair the leak.
If you’re still having problems with low water pressure after trying these troubleshooting tips, contact Bonfe today and we’ll send one of our expert plumbers to help you locate the source of the problem.