When people think of water problems at home, the most common is when water does not reach the faucets and taps. However, low water pressure is another common problem that you might deal with, which affects how water comes out of your faucets and taps.
That affects all the functions you use water for. The average water pressure inside homes should be between 40 and 55 PSI. To fix an issue with low water pressure, you need to understand what the cause is.
Some of the most common causes of low water pressure in your home include the following.
Issues With the Water Supplier
Suppose you are getting water from a municipal or any other water provider. In that case, they might be experiencing problems with their systems that could cause a drop in water pressure.
Before checking any pipes and taps in your home, ask around and see if your neighbors have the same problem. Contact the water provider and ask them about the issue if they do.
Sometimes, it might be a fixable issue, but other times, it could be because of new water regulations in the city. If that’s the case, you might have to buy a water pressure booster system and have a plumber install it.
Before the installation, the plumber will inspect the age and size of your pumps to determine the type of booster you need and how to install it.
Clogs could happen at any part of the pipe, and even small clogs are enough to lower your water pressure. Clogs can happen for different reasons, like debris in the water or soil.
Call a plumber and have them determine where the clog is and what is causing the clog. The plumber can either clean the pipes or replace them, depending on the damage.
Pipes, mostly galvanized steel pipes, usually have an expiration date, which is around 20 years, after which they start corroding. Copper pipes usually start corroding after around 50 years, and brass after 40-70 years.
If you just moved into a new house, ask when it was built and if there have been recent pipe replacements. Corrosion mainly happens in older houses, but it could also happen faster if you add new fixtures in the house but don't enlarge the branch lines.
When corrosion occurs, it causes build-up on the sides of the pipes, disrupting water flow. It also causes leaks in the pipe, which eventually causes low water pressure. Unlike clogs, you can only fix corroded pipes by having a plumber replace them.
Plumbers have the right skills and equipment to identify the portion of pipes that is corroded and replace them without causing damage to other pipes.
They might use sound equipment to detect the point of the pipes where the water pressure changes. That way, you do not have to dig up the whole compound looking for the clogged pipes.
Apart from causing low water pressure, leaking pipes could cause a lot of damage to your home, like damaging floors and walls and causing mold growth.
Leaks in pipes could happen because of various reasons, one of which is corrosion. If the leak is small, it might not affect the water pressure. However, if the leaks are significant, they cause water to flow out of the pipe or get misdirected.
That leaves little water flowing into your fixtures with little pressure. If you spot where the leak is, you can manage to stop it for a short time using duct tape, but you will need to call the professionals soon to repair or replace the pipes.
Two different valves could shut off the water supply or reduce its pressure around the home. They could either be fully closed or half-open.
The main house shutoff valve is the first one you should check. It is usually located outside the house where the main city supply pipes get into your home.
Most shutoff valves are usually wheel type, and to open it fully, you have to turn it counterclockwise and ensure that you turn it as far as it goes. Give it a quarter clockwise turn to prevent it from getting stuck or getting a leak. If it has a handle resembling a lever, you need to ensure it’s parallel to the pipe.
The water meter valve is the next valve you should look at. They are usually installed by the water supply company and can be hard to reach, especially if they are underground.
If you have had any renovation or home improvement projects done recently and then noticed a drop in your water pressure, it could be that the contractors did not open it all the way after they finished working. Therefore, you need to contact the water company and have them look at it.
Damaged Pressure Regulator
Not all homes have a water pressure regulator, but some homes have them depending on the water supplier and the size of the pipes.
If you have a water pressure regulator, it could fail and let through a low PSI. To test it, get a water pressure gauge and attach it to the outside hose spigot, the one near the pressure regulator.
The gauge will give you a water pressure reading immediately after turning the water on. If the reading is lower than the one on the pressure regulator, it means it’s broken. Call a plumber to install a new pressure regulator to avoid damaging the pipes.
If you notice that some of your fixtures are working perfectly, but some are experiencing low water pressure, the problem is mostly with the fixtures. The first thing you should check is the aerators. These are designed to help reduce water volume in the fixture without affecting the pressure.
If the aerators are clogged, it could cause low water pressure in the fixture. Clean the fixture and put it back to see if the water pressure is back to normal. If not, you will have to replace them.
High Water Demand
Having many taps or fixtures open simultaneously could cause the pressure to fall in some or all of the operating fixtures. If that’s the case, you have to turn some off.
The shared pipeline runs into several houses. Therefore, when your neighbor turns on the water at their house, it could affect the water pressure in your house.
You can fix this by having a plumber replace the pipes such that the water flows into one home and the other pipeline can go to the other home.
If you are experiencing low water pressure in your Columbus, OH home, Apex Plumbing, Heating, and Air Pros is here to help. With the right skill set, experience, and equipment, we can make sure you're getting the right water pressure in your home.
We offer free and accurate price estimates before we start working and give all our clients a 5-start satisfaction guarantee. We also have a service and product warranty that allows us to repair any issues before the end of the warranty period.
Some of the plumbing services we provide include:
- Burst pipe repair
- Drains and sewer
- Sump pump installation
- Leaky pipes and running toilets repair
- Leak detection
- Water heater repair
Reach out to us today to schedule an appointment with one of our plumbing experts.