Water problems are really a bad experience and can be really frustrating, not to mention the expensive repairs that come along with it. Low water pressure in the whole house is one such problem.
Unlike clogged drains and pipes, or a major leak in your backyard pipeline, the loss in water pressure is not always easy to spot and repair. This can be a real problem, especially in areas where water shortages are common.
The fall in water pressure can have many causes, some of which are easily fixed, while others may require the help of a professional. In this article, I will brief you on the common causes of drops in water pressure and some ways to fix low water pressure in your home.
So if you are experiencing water pressure issues, then read on to find out what causes low water pressure in the whole house.
Table of Contents
- Diagnosing The Cause Of Low Water Pressure In Your House
- Common Reasons For Low Water Pressure & Ways To Fix Them
- Finding The Right Solutions For Your Low Water Pressure Problems
Diagnosing The Cause Of Low Water Pressure In Your House
The first thing you should do after experiencing low water pressure throughout your house is to diagnose the potential cause. Cause the problem may be with the local water supply, or it may be an issue with your piping and plumbing system.
Reasons For Low Water Pressure: Just Me Or The Whole Neighborhood?
When investigating the common causes of low water pressure, don’t just assume that it’s an issue in your home. In some cases, the problem may be with the local water main or other water lines in your neighborhood.
Check if others in your locality are also complaining about their home’s water pressure. If they are, then the problem is most likely with the water main. Maybe the main water supply to your area is leaked, or the water company may be carrying out some repair work which is reducing the water pressure.
In such a case, you should contact your water company and ask them to take a look at the water main.
If nobody else in your neighborhood is facing low water pressure issues, then the problem is probably specific to your home.
Loss Of Water Pressure In The Whole House: Is It Due To Too Many Appliances
Sometimes, the problem of low water pressure in the house may be caused by using a lot of water due to too many appliances being used at the same time.
Your water pressure may drop if somebody takes a shower while another person is running the washing machine and someone else is flushing the toilet. This happens because all these appliances are drawing a huge amount of water from the same source, which reduces the water pressure.
If you think this might be the problem, then try using one appliance at a time and see if that makes a difference. If it does, then you know what the problem is. The solution, in this case, is to either use the appliances one at a time or upgrade your water line so that it can handle the increased demand.
Low Water Pressure In One Faucet Or Many?
The last thing to consider when inspecting the issue of poor water pressure throughout the house is to find out if it’s happening with just one faucet or all the faucets in your home.
This will help you determine whether the problem lies in the water fixtures or somewhere else. If it’s just one faucet, then the aerator might be blocked, and you can clean it to see if that improves the water pressure.
If the problem is with all the faucets, then it’s probably an issue with your home’s water supply line or the pressure regulator.
Common Reasons For Low Water Pressure & Ways To Fix Them
Once you have made your initial diagnosis, it’s time to study the disease and do the treatment. In this section, I will discuss some of the most common reasons for low water pressure in your home and how you can fix the issue.
Loss of Water Pressure Due To Reasons Apart From Your Home
As I mentioned earlier, so many times, the culprit lies outside your home. I know you may not have control over the water main or other water lines in your locality, but there are a few things you can do to try and improve the water pressure. Let’s discuss a few common problems that may cause loss of water pressure and what you can do about them.
- Water Supplier Issue
Before turning valves and knocking pipes, check if your water pressure is low because of an issue with your water supplier.
There may be a problem with the water main, or the water company may be doing some repairs in your locality, which is affecting the water pressure. If this is the case, then there’s nothing you can do except wait for the repairs to be completed.
In the meantime, try to use less water or store some water, so you have enough to last until repairs are complete.
- New Regulations In The City
What if there’s no technical problem with the water main, but the water company has reduced the water pressure in your area because of new regulations?
In some cities, the government has put a limit on water usage. To make sure that everyone adheres to this limit, the water companies have reduced the water pressure so that people cannot use more water than the limit.
There’s nothing much your water provider can do rather than comply with the regulations. But you can install a water pressure booster system in your home, which will help increase water pressure. Though you can DIY, it’s better to call a professional to do it for you.
- Aging Infrastructure & Pipes
Another reason for low water pressure in your locality can be the aging infrastructure and pipes. Over time, these pipes get corroded and start leaking, which reduces the water pressure.
You should concern your municipality about this issue, and they will send someone to inspect the pipes. They will also schedule repairs if necessary.
In the meantime, you can try using less water or storing some water in advance so that you have enough to last until the repairs are done.
Loss of Water Pressure Due To Reasons Within Your Home
Now that we have discussed the reasons for low water pressure due to factors outside your home let’s look at some of the problems that may occur within your home and how you can solve them.
- The Main House Shutoff Valve Is Partially Open
The most prominent reason for low water pressure throughout your home is that the main house shutoff valve is not fully open. This happens a lot, especially if you have recently moved into a new house. Or you have had some repairs done in your home, and the plumber may have forgotten to open the valve fully.
To check if this is the reason for low water pressure in your home, locate the main shutoff valve. You will find it near the water meter or where the main water line enters your home. Once you have located it, turn it clockwise until it is fully open. If this doesn’t solve the problem, then the issue lies elsewhere, and you should check the other factors mentioned in this article.
- The Water Meter Valve Is Partially Open
If the main shutoff valve is fully open, but you still have low water pressure, then the problem may lie with the water meter valve. This valve is usually located on the wall of the house near the plumbing fixture.
The solution to this problem is the same as the previous one. Locate the valve and turn it clockwise until it is fully open.
How To Turn On Jammed Water Shutoff Valves?
Sometimes, the valve may be jammed, and you may not be able to open it. In this case, try the following:
Use some grease and a wrench
Apply some grease to the valve and the area around it. This will help loosen the valve. Then use a wrench to turn it clockwise until it is fully open.
Use a hammer
If the valve is still not budging, then you can try using a hammer. Gently tap the valve with the hammer until it starts to turn. Then use the wrench to finish opening it.
If none of these things work, then you may have to call a plumber to help you open the valve.
- The Pressure Regulator Is failing
Maybe or maybe not installed in your home, a pressure regulator is a valve that controls the water pressure coming into your home. It is usually installed where the main water line enters your house.
The pressure regulator is a control valve that reduces the water pressure before it enters your home. The main motto is to prevent water pressure from damaging your home’s pipes, fixtures, and appliances. The municipal water supply may have strong pressure of 100+ PSI, but the pressure regulator brings it down to a safe level, usually 40-60 PSI.
If the pressure regulator is not functioning properly, it will not be able to reduce the water pressure, but sometimes the effect can also be totally opposite. A broken pressure regulator can overcompensate and reduce the water pressure too much.
If you think that this may be the reason for low water pressure in your home, then you can try adjusting it yourself. But before you do anything, you must first confirm that this is the problem. If your home is equipped with a pressure regulator, this part is important for you.
How To Check If Water Pressure Regulator Is Failing Or Not?
The best way to do this is to ask your neighbor if they have the same problem. If they don’t, then it is probably your pressure regulator failing, and its pressure-reducing valve needs adjusting.
If you are still not sure, then you can check the water pressure with a pressure gauge. You can buy one from a hardware store or online.
Attach a water pressure gauge to any one of the outside water taps and turn it on. The water pressure should be between 40 and 60 psi. If it is not, then you will need to adjust the pressure regulator. It’s better to call a plumber to do this for you.
- The Pipes Are Clogged
If you notice low water pressure problems in your home, then maybe your pipeline is clogged. When your pipes are clogged, it will restrict the flow of water, and you will experience low water pressure. The most common cause of clogging and buildup is the deposition of minerals like magnesium and calcium. This process is called hard water buildup and is a very common problem.
The solution to this problem is to clean the pipes. You can try to fix this yourself by using a plumber’s snake or a plunger. But if the problem is severe, then you should contact a plumber.
You can also prevent this problem by using a water softener. This will reduce the amount of minerals in the water and prevent clogging. In addition, it will also extend the life of your pipes and appliances.
- The Pipes Are Corroded
Maybe you live in an older house, and the pipes are made of iron. Over time, these pipes can corrode and break down, which will result in loss of water flow and low water pressure.
Even galvanized steel water pipes are prone to corrosion over time. This is because the zinc coating on these pipes wears out, and the steel underneath is exposed to water and air. This causes the steel to rust and break down.
The only solution to this problem is to replace the pipes. This is a big job and, indeed, a huge investment. But it is the only way to solve the problem.
A local plumber or contractor may be able to give you a better estimate of the cost. But generally speaking, replacing the pipes will cost you several thousand dollars.
- A Water Pipe is Leaking
Major leaks are easier to spot and thus get repaired quite instantly. But sometimes, there may be small leaks in the pipes that go unnoticed for a long time. These small leaks can slowly erode the pipe and cause it to break down.
These leaking pipes cause the loss of water pressure in your home. The only way to solve this problem is to find the leaks and repair them.
You can do this yourself with the help of a water pipe leak detection kit. These are readily available online and at hardware stores. You can also do it by closely inspecting all the exposed pipes in your home for any water leaks.
Tips To Help You Locate Leaking Pipes
- Check the water meter: If there is a leak, the water meter will show it. To check this, turn off all the taps in your home and see if the water meter is still running. If it is, then there is a leak somewhere.
- Look for damp spots: Another way to find leaks is to look for damp spots on the floor or walls. These are usually indicative of a water leak.
- Check for mold: If there are any moldy spots in your home, it could be because of a water leak.
- Listen for the sound of running water: This is especially useful at night when everything is quiet. If you hear the sound of pooling water, then there is probably a leak somewhere.
Once you have located the leak, you can repair it yourself with a patch kit. But if the problem is severe, then you may have to call a plumber.
- The Faulty Fixtures & Faucets
Sometimes, the main reason for the loss in water pressure lies in your faucets and fixtures. Over time, these can become worn out and cause a drop in water pressure.
The most common issue is the accumulation of mineral deposits. This occurs because of the hard water in your vicinity and can gradually wear away at the fixtures. Furthermore, sediment can also accumulate over time and cause difficulties.
The aerator or the cartridge is always exposed to water and can also become clogged. This will cause a decrease in water pressure. Additionally, the washers and gaskets can also become worn out and need to be replaced.
You can solve all of these problems quite easily yourself. Start by cleaning the fixtures with vinegar. This will help to remove any mineral deposits that have built up over time.
If the aerator is clogged, you can simply unscrew it and clean it with vinegar. If that doesn’t work, you can buy a new one quite easily. Replacing the washers and gaskets is also a fairly easy task that you can do yourself.
If you have any doubts, you can always consult a plumber or a contractor. They will be able to help you figure out the problem and give you an estimate of the cost.
- The Faulty Water Softener System
If you have a water softener system installed in your home, then it may be causing the loss of water pressure. These systems are designed to remove the hard water in your area.
These systems work by removing the minerals from the water. Over time, they can become clogged and not work as efficiently. This will lead to a drop in water pressure.
Also, the debris from the hard water can build up and clog the system pipes. This will also cause a decrease in water pressure.
The only way to fix this problem is to have the system serviced by a professional. They will be able to clean it and make sure that it’s working properly.
If you live in an area with hard water, then it’s a good idea to have your water softener system serviced at least once a year. This will help to prevent any problems and keep your water pressure high.
- The Faulty Water Heater System
If you have low pressure only when you use hot water, then the problem may lie in your water heater system. The water supply system may be fine, but the hot water heater itself may be to blame.
There are a few different things that can go wrong with your water heater. The most common problem is a buildup of sediment. This happens because of the hard water in your area and can slowly erode away at the fixtures. In addition, sediment can also build up over time and cause problems.
If the sediment buildup is bad enough, it can clog the pipes and lead to a decrease in water pressure. You can clean out the sediment yourself, but it’s a fairly difficult task.
It’s best to call a professional to do it for you. They will be able to clean out the sediment and make sure that your water heater is working properly.
- A Clogged Water Filter
Another reason why you may have lowered water pressure is because of a clogged water filter. These filters are designed to remove impurities from the water.
But over time, they can become clogged with sediment and debris. This will cause a fall in water pressure.
If you suspect that your water filter is clogged, you can replace it yourself. It’s a fairly easy task that you can do in just a few minutes.
You can find replacement filters at your local hardware store or online. Be sure to get the right size filter for your system.
When To Call A Professional?
Low water pressure is not something that you should ignore. It can put you in hassles and inconvenience, as well as cause long-term damage to fixtures and appliances.
If you’ve tried all of the above solutions and nothing has worked, then it’s time to call a professional. It may be tempting to DIY, but in this case, it’s best to leave it to the experts.
A professional will be able to diagnose the problem and come up with a solution quickly. They will also be able to properly install any new fixtures or systems that you may need.
Finding The Right Solutions For Your Low Water Pressure Problems
Whether you have done it yourself or called a professional, there are a number of different solutions to your low water pressure problems. With the right solution, you can get your water pressure back to normal and avoid any future issues.
Some basic solutions to your low water pressure problem are:
Check all the faucets in your home to see if they are fully open. If not, open them up and see if that helps.
- If you have a water softener system, make sure that it is serviced regularly. This will help to prevent any sediment buildup.
- If you have a clogged water filter, replace it with a new one.
- If your water heater is to blame, then call a professional to clean out the sediment.
- If you’ve tried all of these solutions and nothing has worked, then it’s time to call a professional. They will be able to diagnose the problem and come up with a solution quickly.
I hope that this article has helped you to understand the different possible causes of low water pressure and how to fix them.