There’s nothing more frustrating than coming home after a long, hard day, heading in for a nice, relaxing shower, and realizing that your water pressure is woefully low. Low water pressure in your home is both frustrating and inefficient. It takes longer for the dishwasher to run cycles, for the washing machine to fill, and using your sinks becomes an irritating hassle. So, what causes low water pressure?
- Faucets and Fixtures
If your low pressure issue is in a specific area of your home, it’s very likely that it’s due to an issue with the faucet or fixture.If, for example, you notice that your shower has lost pressure, but your bathroom sink is running fine, the showerhead is probably clogged or corroded. These issues are usually simple to fix.Replacing faucet aerators, cleaning showerheads to remove limescale, and buying replacement fixture are all quick, easy ways to get your water pressure back up to speed.Keep in mind, though, that blockages in faucets and fixtures will likely come back over time because they are usually caused by the presence of hard minerals in your water, which will continue to build up even after they’ve been cleared.
- Clogged Pipes
Clogged pipes are one of the most common reasons for general low water pressure in a home.Just like fixtures, pipes can become blocked by a buildup up of minerals from hard water.Limescale can build up along the sides of your pipes, constricting the diameter and leaving less room for water to flow.This type of buildup happens very slowly over time. Typically, by the time you’ve noticed that your water pressure is low from a blocked pipe, it will need to be repaired by a professional.
- Closed Valves
Residences that are connected to city water supplies have two valves: the main shut-off to the home and the valve at the water meter.If, for some reason, either of these valves is partially closed, your home’s water pressure will decrease.This is not a terribly common cause of water pressure problems, but it can happen.It’s particularly something to consider if you notice a decrease in pressure after utility work or repairs to the home have been done because the water meter valve should only be operated by the city.It’s easy to check by yourself that the main shut off valve is fully open, but you’ll need to call the city if you suspect the water meter valve has been left partially closed.
- Corroded Plumbing
If your home has an older plumbing system with galvanized iron pipes, corrosion can become an issue.These pipes are not only susceptible to the same limescale buildup as other, but they can also become constricted by corrosion.Depending on the makeup of your city’s water, the water may be slightly acidic or slightly alkaline.Both of these things can cause corrosion.Additionally, high levels of total dissolved solids and sediment in the water will cause wear and tear on the pipe over time.
- Water Heater
If you notice that your water pressure is only low when you’re using hot water, the issue may be your water heater. The problem could be that your water heater isn’t able to produce enough hot water to meet the needs of your home, which can reduce the pressure of your hot water.