If the shower stream in the morning is barely a trickle, the dishwasher or washing machine takes awhile to cycle through, or your sink won’t fill up so you can do the dishes, you’re probably feeling frustrated and losing your patience. These are all signs of low water pressure and there are a few things you can try to fix it.
Clean the Fixtures
Sometimes the low water pressure in the house may only be coming from one fixture, rather than throughout the whole house. There may be a mineral build-up in that fixture. A mineral build-up can look like an off white or blue-green crust on the area. This can be fixed with a rag and some white vinegar. Wrap the vinegar-soaked rag on the faucet or drain and let sit for at least an hour, then rinse off the area.
If there are more fixtures in the house that are experiencing the low water pressure, then it might not be as simple as a rag with vinegar.
Check Water Meter Valves
The low water pressure in the house might be a valve that’s not open all the way. Sometimes when there has been recent work on the house’s pipes the valves are shut off during that process and they may not have been reopened all the way.
To locate that valve, you need to find your water meter. Check for metal plates in your driveway or yard, under sinks or in above ground pipes outside of your house. The valve is called a shut off valve. This valve can look like a rubber-covered valve tab that is usually a bright color, or it’s a flower shaped knob. If it’s the tab shaped valve, then it needs to be parallel with the pipe. If it’s the flower-shaped valve than turn to the left.
Check the Pressure Regulator
There is a part on the pipes that regulate the water pressure in the house called the pressure regulator. The pressure regulator makes sure that the pressure of the water is not so high that it could damage your pipes. If this part breaks than this could explain the loss of pressure and sometimes excessive water pressure. To replace or fix this part it’s best to call an Expert plumber.
Check Old Pipes
Older homes have lots of history and charm, but they can also have older pipes. Old pipes can corrode over time and cause buildup that would affect the water pressure in the house. The corroded pipes will need to be replaced, especially if the pipes are older and are made with steel. Replacing or repairing pipes can be rather expensive. You can often save money by choosing PEX tubing for the replacement, rather than copper pipes. To make sure that this replacement is done smoothly and correctly, call Experts in Your Home.
But What if You have Too Much Water Pressure?
If you’re experiencing the opposite of low water pressure then you will need to call in an Expert plumber to reduce your water flow. Too much water pressure in the pipes could cause damage. The water pressure is recommended to be at 52 to 75 pounds per square inch and if it gets above 80 psi than your pipes are at risk for damage that could lead to more expensive problems throughout your home.
If you've searched and none of these tips relate to your water pressure problem, or if this sounds like more than you want to try to fix on your own, call a plumber at Experts in Your Home – we do more than you think!