We know that fluctuations in shower water pressure can be a hassle. Not only because they can make your experience under the shower less comfortable than what it should be. A problem with low shower water pressure is something you should not underestimate. Experiencing such kinds of issues can be an indication of something more severe going on than what you might imagine. We are talking about cracked water pipes or leaking, which most of the time require professional intervention if you want to prevent a more costly disaster in the long term.
But how to deal with low water pressure? We’ve prepared a guide with everything you need to know when you feel the pressure is lowering. Keep reading to find out how to diagnose the problem and to identify what the causes could be.
Diagnosing Low Shower Water Pressure
Before starting making conjectures, you should first check how much pressure is coming from the showerhead. The common measure should be about 45 to 55 psi (pounds per square inch). To test the pressure, you should get a pressure gauge and hook up to an outside spigot close to the main water supply line. Alternatively, you can hook it to the washing machine’s cold water line.
The issue is real when you notice water pressure being less than 40 psi. If that’s the case, the problem might be rather severe and should be taken care of as soon as possible.
The problem might be hiding somewhere in the house and might lead to a home disaster, which is why you must identify the cause of low water pressure as soon as possible.
1 – Pressure Regulator Device
When your shower head pressure has suddenly dropped, chances are the cause is your home’s water pressure regulator. Such a device should be set to maintain water pressure between 4o and 50 psi. If there are any sudden issues with the pressure, the regulator might be malfunctioning.
Such a problem needs the help of a trained plumber: doing it yourself, in this case, will only bring you more problems. For example, if in your attempt to solve the issue, you install the water pressure regulator improperly, you’ll have to deal with expensive drain reparations.
2 – Home Water Valves
Another reason for an abrupt change in water pressure might be an accidental shut off of your home water valves. Typically located in a home’s water meter box, they control all the water in your home. This is usually referred to as a minor issue, which you can deal with yourself. Simply locate the valve and make sure it is on. Most of the time, the problem is a slight turn in the valve towards the off, which can significantly alter the water pressure in your house.
3 – Usage During Peak Periods
Low water pressure from shower heads is often caused by something that you cannot solve in your home or your plumbing system. If you tend to shower during peak periods, that is to say, during the times when most people use water, you might experience lower performance in the water pressure. Showering early in the morning or late at night raises the chances of lower pressure due to high water use in your building or neighborhood.
You can test the water pressure at low-use periods, for example before work hours or during rush hours. If you notice higher water pressure during such periods, try to shower outside peak periods.
4 – Mineral Accumulations
If your home is older or has an outdated plumbing system, the cause for low water pressure might be mineral accumulation. The issue tends to develop over time and the reality is that you won’t be able to do much on your own in such a situation. Avoiding mineral deposits is rather hard and removing the deposits within the pipes by yourself is even more challenging. That is why, if you believe your water system is old and galvanized, you should contact an expert plumber to repair or replace your pipes.
5 – Pipe Leaks
If you feel the low water pressure isn’t caused by any of the previously mentioned causes, chances are the problem is related to pipe leaking or fracturing. With leaks, less and less water will be able to reach your shower head and other fixtures. In such cases, you must contact a trained professional to help you solve the issue using the best possible solution for your damaged plumbing.
What You Can Do
When you are having problems with water pressure, the first thing you should do is try to identify the root of the problem. Sometimes solving low water pressure problems might be an easy and simple fix, such as when the cause is an accidental turning off of the water valves. However, other times, the issue might be more challenging to solve, as it might have to do with the integrity of your home’s plumbing pipes. If you managed to locate the problem, and you find out it is a bigger problem than what you can handle, you must contact an expert.
Professional plumbers will find a solution to your low-pressure problem and will locate the cause with no trouble. Don’t be afraid of calling technicians, as the issue with low pressure in your home might be the early signal of a plumbing disaster that will cost you much more in the future if you don’t take immediate action as soon as you notice something is off.
What are you waiting for? If you are experiencing problems with water pressure, use this article as a guide and call a professional plumber for a solution!
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** All information contained in the above article is for informational purposes only. If you are not a licensed plumbing professional we recommend that you do not attempt plumbing repairs by yourself.