What is more frustrating than slow or low water pressure problems when you turn on the sink or shower? The first thing to do, and where AAA Home Services can especially help, is to diagnose the problem.
5 Primary Causes of Low Water Pressure Problems
- Dirty sink or line aerators. This is the easiest fix and one you can likely do on your own. Your sinks and showers have a small screen on their tip called an aerator. These are designed to mix air into the flow on low-flow fixtures, but they also eventually clog with debris and hard water deposits. Remove them, clean them out thoroughly and reinstall and see if your flow is better.
- Debris in water pipes from your water main. Over time, sediment can build up, or if you have a water main crack, dirt can enter the main line. AAA Home Plumbers can flush your lines to remove this build-up.
- Leaks in your system. You will lose pressure if you have leaks in your system somewhere.
- Mineral deposit build-up or corrosion in your pipes. Common in older pipes in older homes, AAA can clean these pipes with safe chemicals to get them running free again.
- Water supply issues. If your neighbors report the same issue, it’s time to check with the water company.
Low water pressure issues can manifest in several different ways in your home – dishwasher cycles running longer than normal, bathtubs taking too long to fill, or weak water streams coming from the shower head. All of these water pressure issues can be frustrating and time consuming, but a professional can help you narrow down the cause and get your days back to normal speed.
The first step to fixing low water pressure is to determine whether the issue is affecting just one fixture or the entire house. If only one water source is experiencing low water pressure issues, then the problem can usually be fixed at, or close to, the source.
When your bathtub fills quickly, but your shower head is only putting out a low, soft stream, the likely culprit is hard water deposits clogging the shower head. A clogged shower head can be fixed by cleaning or replacing the existing shower head.
If you are experiencing low water pressure from a single sink faucet, the problem may be the aerator. Aerators are installed in sink faucets to add air to water flow, breaking up the steady stream and saving up to 30% on water usage. When the aerator becomes clogged with grit or mineral build-up, the flow is further restricted and prevents proper water flow, creating very low water pressure in your kitchen or bathroom sink. Aerators can often be removed and cleaned by hand. If the sink continues to provide a weak stream after the aerator has been cleaned, the issue may be with the faucet itself or the connected pipe lines.
Toilet bowls that refill slowly after being flushed are a common water pressure issue, and can often be fixed by replacing the fill valve on the toilet.
When you are experiencing low water pressure throughout your home, rather than just a single source, it is important to narrow down the cause. When the issue is widespread, it likely stems back to a regulator, valve, or main water pipe.
If a decrease in water pressure occurs after your home has undergone repairs, you may want to check to make sure your water meter valve and main house shutoff valve are both fully open. Next, check your water pressure regulator. A faulty pressure regulator or broken pressure-reducing valve will cause a sudden noticeable increase or decrease in water pressure. Faulty pressure regulators should always be replaced by a professional.
St Louis homes with older piping are the most susceptible to low water pressure due to structural damage to the piping. Old galvanized steel water pipes have the potential to corroded on the inside to the point that water flow is significantly restricted, causing low water pressure. This corrosion typically occurs over a few decades, so the water pressure lowers slowly and gradually over time. The change in water pressure from corroded pipes is less drastic and noticeable than the decrease from a shut off regulator or valve, but is far more serious. The only solution for corroded pipes is to replace the old plumbing system with new plastic or copper water supply piping.
AAA Home Services can come in and determine why you have poor water pressure and offer solutions to get your pressure back where it should be. We can handle all of your plumbing repair needs, call us today.