Low Water Pressure Explained

From mineral build up in your showerhead to closed plumbing valves, we take a look at why your shower may not be running at full capacity

Tuesday, Jan 8, 2013  |  Updated 5:55 PM EDT
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Low Water Pressure Explained

There are numerous causes for lower water pressure in your shower.

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This article is sponsored by Michael & Son, the leading full-service plumbing, electrical, HVAC and remodeling company serving the Washington D.C. area for over 30 years. Learn more about Michael & Son at MichaelandSon.com.

Hopping in the shower and watching the water dribble out is a frustrating way to start your day. But if you've been in your place for a long time, it can be an annoying reality. You see, water pressure tends to decrease over the years.

However, instead of walking out of the bathroom feeling like you're still coated in shampoo and soap, there are ways to tackle the problem. But before you call the experts for an overhaul, let's give you a checklist of what to look for so that you can help diagnose the problem.

Mineral Build Up

Sediment and mineral deposits can build up over time and cause clogs in plumbing, especially showerheads. Mix vinegar and baking soda and use a tooth brush to scrub out the deposits. If the deposits are really stubborn, try filling a bag with the mixture and rubber band it to the shower head. Leave it over night and then run the shower for a few minutes. This usually clears up any build up and allows for better water pressure.

Cracked and Damaged Pipes

If you have cracked or damaged pipes in your home water can seep out and cause low water pressure. The most common reason for damaged pipes is usually because of cold weather. You can check for damage to your plumbing by performing the following test: Shut down the main water valve and note the reading on the meter. Wait a couple of hours and then check the meter again. If the meter shows an increase, you have a leak and need a plumber.

Tank Placement
The placement of your water tank plays a roll in what kind of water pressure your home will have. A tank set lower than the home will usually have water pressure issues.

Pressure Regulators
The pressure regulator is a bell shaped device usually found in the front of your home. If the regulator is broken or faulty, you’ll need to call a pro.

Plumbing Valves

In order for water to flow correctly, the valves must be open to their full capacity. Check to make sure each valve is turned all the way to the “on” position.

If you are experiencing low water pressure, it’s most likely caused by one of the above reasons. Besides removing the mineral deposits and checking the valves, most of the repairs will require a professional. Call Michael & Son Services and set up an appointment with one of our trained, friendly plumbers and we’ll have your water pressure problems fixed in no time.

For more home improvement and home safety tips from Michael & Son, click here.

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