Living in a residential property with low water pressure can be frustrating and inconvenient. Your showerhead might not spray efficiently, the taps may take a long time to fill the bathtub, your washing machine may take forever to get a fill, and your dishwasher’s performance can be negatively affected.
Many people don’t know that water pressure issues are easy to solve if you first identify the root cause of the problem. Instead, many live with the low water pressure problem, risking major plumbing issues in the long run. Many reasons can cause reduced water pressure, and every situation is unique. Here are the most common reasons for low water pressure in your home and practical tips to fix the problem.
1. Partially-Opened Water Meter Valve
A partially-opened water meter valve can cause low water pressure in your home because it restricts water flow into your plumbing system. This valve is located near the main supply line and controls the amount of water entering your residential property. If the valve is partially open, the water flowing into your residence will be reduced, leading to low water pressure in your plumbing fixtures.
In addition to lowering water pressure, a valve that’s not fully open can also cause other problems with your home’s plumbing. For instance, it can cause a water hammer, a loud banging sound that occurs when water flows through your pipes and stops abruptly. Over time, water hammers can significantly damage your pipes and plumbing fixtures.
To prevent reduced water pressure and other plumbing problems, ensure the water valve is fully opened. If you are experiencing reduced water pressure or any other plumbing issue, having a licensed plumber check your system might be helpful to identify the root cause of the issue.
2. Leaking Pipes
A leaking pipe can significantly reduce water pressure in your residential property. While big water leaks are easy to locate, smaller leakages may be more difficult to spot until they become bigger. In many cases, leaking pipes are hidden inside floors or behind walls. However, checking the water meter can reveal leakages on your intake pipes.
If your meter runs while nothing in your home is using water, you have a leakage. Nonetheless, this method doesn’t work for the outlet piping that drains appliances and sinks. A plumbing expert can help diagnose the problem and fix it effectively.
3. A Partially-Open Shutoff Valve
Another cause of reduced water pressure is a partially-open shutoff valve. The water shutoff valve is located near the appliance or plumbing fixture it controls, such as a sink, toilet, dishwasher, or washing machine. If the valve isn’t fully opened, it can restrict water flow to the appliance or fixture, leading to low water pressure. That can be noticeable, especially if the shutoff valve controls fixtures at a higher level than your main water supply, like a second-story bathroom.
Apart from lowering water pressure, a shutoff valve that’s not fully open can also cause other plumbing problems, such as leakages that can cause damage to your home. It can also damage the appliance or fixtures it controls, leading to expensive repairs. It’s important to ensure that all your shutoff valves are fully opened to avoid all these problems.
4. Broken Water Pressure Regulator
A water pressure regulator is a device that’s installed in your plumbing system near the main water supply line. It’s designed to control and reduce the pressure of the water flowing into your home to a comfortable and safe level. When the pressure regulator is broken or not working properly, it might reduce water pressure in your residence. For example, if the pressure regulator setting is very low, it can cause lower water pressure throughout your residential property. As a result, there will be slower water flow and longer waiting times for heated water to reach your home’s faucets, among other issues.
If you think the pressure regulator could be the reason for the water pressure issue, it’s good to call your local plumber to inspect it. The professional can adjust the settings to meet your home’s demands if the regulator is set incorrectly. To avoid reduced water pressure caused by a broken or malfunctioning pressure regulator, ensure an experienced plumber inspects the regulator.
5. Corroded Plumbing
Corrosion occurs when metal plumbing pipes, valves, or fittings start to break down due to constant exposure to air, water, and chemicals. Over time, corrosion can lead to many plumbing issues, including reduced water pressure. As your pipes corrode, their inside diameter can narrow, lowering water flow through the pipes. As a result, your entire plumbing system will have low water pressure. In some cases, the corrosion can cause blockages or leaks in your plumbing, which can further lower water pressure and also cause other plumbing issues.
The best way to avoid water pressure issues caused by corroded piping is by having your entire plumbing system inspected and maintained regularly by a plumbing professional. Regular inspection can help identify corroded areas and allow for repairs before the corrosion worsens. Sometimes, your plumber might recommend replacing some pipes or the entire plumbing system to avoid further corrosion and improve your home’s water pressure.
6. Clogged Water Pipes
The other cause of reduced water pressure in homes is clogged water pipes. Clogs in the plumbing system can reduce the pressure of the water flowing in your home by restricting water flow. As water flows through your pipes, sediment, minerals, and other debris can accumulate along the inside of the pipes. With time, the buildups can restrict water flow, making it hard to flow through your pipes and lowering the water pressure.
If the clogs are severe enough, they can completely block water flow, causing the water pressure to reduce significantly. In some instances, the buildup might occur in a particular segment of the pipes, causing reduced water pressure in specific parts of your home. The best way to solve water pressure problems caused by clogged pipes is by scheduling plumbing maintenance. During maintenance calls, your plumber will flush your pipes and clean your drains to break down any buildup to keep your pipes clear.
7. Municipal Water Problems
Sometimes, your water pressure issues may have nothing to do with your pipes or home. It can be municipal water problems, such as main water breaks, high water demands, or water treatment issues. A water main break can occur for many reasons, including accidental damage, extreme weather conditions, and aging infrastructure. When a water main breaks, it can lead to reduced water pressure or a complete loss of water service in the affected area.
When there is a high water demand in your area, like during a heat wave, the municipal water system might struggle to keep up, leading to reduce water pressure in homes. Issues with the municipal water treatment process can also reduce water pressure.
Talk to the Plumbing Professionals Today!
If you are experiencing reduced water pressure in your residential property, don’t hesitate to talk to our plumbers at We Care Plumbing, Heating, & Air. These professionals will inspect your plumbing to identify the cause of the problem and take the necessary steps to fix the problem.
We also offer additional home services like air conditioning, air quality, humidity control, duct cleaning, zoning, heating, and air infiltration services throughout Orange County, CA, and the surrounding regions. Contact our team today to book your service appointment.
Author Bio: Rusty Cochran
Rusty Cochran is the President of We Care Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning. We Care began humbly, operating in his family’s living room. Under Rusty’s strong leadership, We Care has grown from 2 employees to over 200 employees. We Care Plumbing, Heating and Air has gained recognition across the HVAC industry, receiving numerous awards and certifications, including being named the ACCA Contractor of the Year, The Map Presidential Award several times, Angie’s List Super Service Award, NATE certification, and multiple Dave Lennox Awards. LinkedIn Profile