You don’t need to be an expert to realize when low water pressure is a problem in your home. The following tips can help you solve the problem of low water pressure and get back to normal.
1. Determine If Too Much Water Is Being Used at the Same Time
The average person uses 80-100 gallons of water per day. If most of this use occurs simultaneously, it may be the cause of low water pressure in your home. Using too much water at once is the most common reason for reduced water pressure, and it's also the most easily remedied.
Take note of when reduced water pressure occurs throughout your day. Do you not have enough water pressure to wash the dishes while someone else is taking a shower? Staggering the times of these activities may very likely solve your issue.
You might also experience this if you live in a multi-family building where parts of your plumbing may be shared. A plumber may be able to help, but talking to your neighbor could be in easy short-term fix.
2. Report Problems with Municipal Water
Municipal malfunctions could also be a cause of low water pressure in your home. Contact your water company if reduced pressure started recently. These are often temporary problems, but in some cases, reduced pressure may be by design.
Consider buying a pressure gauge from a home improvement shop and testing an outdoor spigot on your house. If the pressure is under 40 psi, it is likely that the city is delivering low pressure from the water supply. Check with the utility provider to see if they have a way to evaluate and maybe increase the flow to the home. The ideal psi is about 45-65 PSI.
3. Make Sure Main Valves are Fully Open
If you recently had a plumbing repair at your home, your main water valves may not be fully open. You’ll need to find your water meter valve and/or main home shut off valve, which is typically located in an underground box in your yard, on an outside wall of your home, or situated in the basement or garage.
You'll see the valve handle – which is likely just a metal tab – parallel with the water line. The main shutoff valve – which is usually in the home where the supply pipe enters – is another potential cause of concern. Round gate valves need to be fully turned counterclockwise, and ball valves should be fully open as indicated by a parallel position to the pipe. You can also check the gate valves under any sinks that may have been adjusted during recent repairs or remodeling.
The fix is often as simple as turning a knob to fully open.
4. Identify Old Galvanized Pipes
The type of plumbing in your home could also impact water pressure. Older Galvanized pipes can fill with rust and sediment over long periods of time leading to low water flow.
Galvanized pipes are silver colored, and you can test for related plumbing issues by running all of the water in a bathroom at the same time and flushing the toilet. If you have a significant amount of pressure drop you may have an issue with the galvanized plumbing. A qualified plumber can help you with options for optimum flow.
5. Track Down Leaks in Plumbing
Leaks in your plumbing are another potential cause of low water pressure. Start by turning off all the faucets in and around your home. Note the reading on your water meter at this point, and don’t use any water for two hours. Once this time has passed, check the meter reading again to see if it has increased. If it has risen, there could be a plumbing leak somewhere in your home.
Many of these problems will need to be fixed by a plumber, but this guide on how to locate and fix leaks will help you handle simple plumbing fixes.
Don’t Ignore the Causes of Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure isn’t a problem that will fix itself over time. In fact, the issue may get progressively worse until it’s rectified. Don’t let what could be an easy fix evolve into a major household dilemma.
If you’re still having trouble identifying the cause of low water pressure in your home, consider contacting an expert from WIN Home Inspection to come out. Experienced professionals can identify many common problems in the household. Click here to find a local professional, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 309-6753.