As you rush through the day, the last thing you need is slowly trickling water that takes ages to fill even a bucket. Before installing a water pressure booster to resolve the issue, troubleshoot the problem first. Here are quick fixes for common issues.
Check the Scope of the Problem
To solve the problem permanently, it’s best to know the root cause of it. So check the water pressure all throughout the house. Are you having problems with the water pressure in your faucet or shower? Or is the water pressure less than desirable all throughout the house?
If you’re having problems with one specific faucet, check first its aerator. Most faucets come with aerators, which are small mesh screen screwed at the tip of the spout. This small part of the faucet filters out dirt and other debris, as well as break up the raging flow of water into smaller streams to prevent splashing.
A clogged aerator could be the cause of the problem. To inspect, simply unscrew the aerator and turn the faucet on. If the water pressure is back to normal, just clean the aerator before screwing it back. Or better still, replace it with a new one. If you’re still experiencing low water pressure even without the aerator, you may have to remove the faucet head and remove hard water deposits that may be obstructing the flow of water. If that didn’t resolve the issue, the issue may be with the supply line or supply valve.
If the problem is limited to a particular shower, try to remove the showerhead by unscrewing it counter-clockwise. Showerheads have perforated nozzles to filter out debris and to break up water flow into several streams so that you’re using less water. Check and clean this nozzle from hard water deposits by immersing it in a solution of vinegar and water. Vinegar’s acidity is effective in dissolving calcium carbonate, which makes up most of the limescale deposits. If this quick fix didn’t solve the problem, you may have to change the showerhead.
Hot Water Taps
If you’re experiencing low water pressure problems only with your hot water taps, the cause is most likely your water heater. Check if there are mineral deposits clogging your water heater. Flush the water heater tank or call a plumber to take care of the problem. If limescale is such a pervasive problem, you might consider having a water softener.
If that’s not the cause of the problem, your water heater pipe could be too small or there might be some leak somewhere in the tank or the valve.
Low Water Pressure All Throughout the House
If the problem is not confined to one faucet or a particular shower, check these common causes of the problem.
Shutoff Valves and Pipes
To eliminate the obvious, check the shutoff valve if it’s fully open. The entire problem could be resolved with just a simple act of turning that handle to its maximum. This valve is usually located near your water meter.
If you still have the problem after doing this, check the pipes for leaks. If you can’t find any leaks, you can rule it out by turning off all the taps. If the dial on your water meter still spins after turning all water outlets off, you have a leak. To be sure, record the current reading on the meter and come back after an hour. If the meter reading changed substantially and no one’s using the water, it’s time to schedule an appointment with a plumber. Not only will leaky pipes lower your water pressure, but it could also cause extensive damage to your house.
Another common problem is clogged pipes. To troubleshoot, check the water pressure using a pressure gauge. Connect the pressure gauge to the water spigot outside. A reading of less than 40 psi means that the city water department delivers water in your home at low pressure. If the reading is normal (above 40 psi), there could be an obstruction in your pipe or you could be using small pipes. Whichever’s the case, you should contact a professional to assess your system and fix the problem at its root.
Whole House Filters
If you have a whole house filter installed, it may be causing low water pressure in your home. Whole house water filters are designed to capture minerals and sediments to prevent them from making their way into your taps, ensuring your family’s safety. However, over time, this filter could get clogged up with limescale, rust, or sediments, which could obstruct the flow of water in the entire house. To solve this problem, you can remove the old filter and replace it with a new one.
Or if you want to be more economical, you can clean the old filter. If the filter is having rust buildup, use oxalic acid safely to clean it. If it’s mostly a limescale buildup, vinegar and water solution can take care of the problem.
Water Pressure Booster
If the city is delivering water at low pressure and it’s unlikely that they’ll remedy the problem right away, you might consider having a water pressure booster installed. Using a pressure tank and an electric pump, the pressure booster will use water coming from the city’s supply line and deliver it to your home at increased pressure. You can easily adjust the pressure using the dial on top of the booster. Water pressure of 45-55 psi is ideal as anything lower could be a test of patience and high pressure could damage your pipes and fixtures.
If you’re getting water from a private well and none of the obvious fixes are working, your well pump could be the cause of your problem. In this case, you will have to contact an inspector to perform a well flow analysis to check if the pump needs some adjustments or repairs.
For more information regarding water flow testing, please contact a WIN Home Inspection expert near you by clicking here, or call (800) 309-6753 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our experts will contact you promptly.