You have probably dealt with clogged drains and pipes at some point in your life. But what happens if the problem is not with slow water draining but with the amount of water coming out from your shower or faucet?
Low water pressure may present itself in various ways. It can be extremely frustrating, especially when filling your sink or bathtub with water takes forever or not getting a strong spray when showering.
Low water pressure in one fixture can be quickly resolved if you only need to fix a single fixture or the pipes serving it. However, extensive low water pressure in the entire house can be a sign of various problems. If you encountered a loss of water pressure in your house, the first thing you must do is to get to the root cause of the problem.
What Causes Sudden Low Water Pressure in Your House?
While low water pressure can be extremely upsetting, many homeowners live with it, never realizing they can remedy water pressure issues once they uncover the cause.
Here are some of the most common causes of low water pressure:
- The main house shutoff valve is not fully open
If you are the only one experiencing low water pressure in your neighbourhood and your faucets are free from obstructions, check the main shutoff value to see if it is fully open. Shutoff value is usually located where your plumbing system meets the municipal water line. Most often, it is found outside your house. To increase the water pressure in your house, turn the valve’s handle counter-clockwise to fully open it or lower the lever, so it is parallel to the pipe.
- Pipe Mineral Buildup
Hard water supply and the integrity of your pipes can be significant causes of low water pressure. The water supply in your house contains a high amount of minerals that accumulate within the pipe over time, forming sediment blockage.
- Pipe Leaks
Leaky pipes can cause low water pressure. Even the tiniest cracks and holes allow water to escape the line before reaching the faucet spout. The best way to check for potential leaks is by shutting off all the water taps and checking the meter reading. If the water usage continues to increase without using the water taps, it indicates you have a leaky pipe somewhere.
- Deteriorated Pipe Interior
Modern plumbing systems use galvanized steel that can last for many years. However, running water can eventually wear down the insides of the pipes over time. Sediment build-up can create friction, resulting in low water pressure in your house.
How to Increase Water Pressure in Your House
You do not have to endure low water pressure when using sprinklers or showers. This post will explore the different solutions to low water pressure, from quick fixes to extensive projects.
1.Check the actual water pressure
To test the water pressure in your home, you will need a test gauge (which you can purchase at a hardware store) and a hose connection. Before performing the test, turn off other taps or water-using devices, such as the dishwasher or shower.
Screw the test gauge onto a hose faucet or outdoor spigot, and turn on the water tap. The average water pressure is between 60 to 75 psi. Be sure the water pressure is not below 50 psi and not above 80 psi. The current water pressure reading will let you know where you stand. If your water pressure is below or above the average, contact a plumber to help fix the issue.
2.Replace the damaged water pressure regulator
Sometimes, when your water pressure suddenly drops, the water pressure regulator is likely to be the culprit. Purchase a new regulator and have it installed by a professional plumber.
3.Adjust your pressure tank settings
Most residential wells come with a pressure tank that helps control water pressure in your home. While the city’s municipal water supply received by each house is at about 60 pounds per square inch (psi), most well water pressure tanks are set to 28 psi at default. However, you can adjust the setting of the tank to increase the pressure in your home.
Most tanks have additional pressure settings at 20/40, 30/50, and 40/60 psi. The first setting shows how low the tank pressure must drop before filling the well with water. The second setting designates the highest level of the water pressure in the tank before the pump shuts off. Lastly, set the tank pressure to 40/60 to boost your home water pressure after the adjustment.
4.Consider a pump with a higher flow capacity
You may have a faulty well pump if the water pressure is not restored after the adjustment. Well pumps have different flow rates and capacities. A low pump flow rate indicates that your pump cannot provide sufficient water supply to meet your family’s water demands.
The flow rate measurement of your well pump is in gallons per minute (GPM). If the current GPM rating of your well pump is 8, the water pressure in your home will significantly increase after upgrading to a 12 GPM rating pump.
5.Look out for leaks
Leaking pipes are among the most common plumbing problems that require immediate repair. Water can leak from the cracks, allowing it to escape as it travels through the pipes. One of the simplest, most effective ways to determine leaking problems is by turning off all indoor and outdoor faucets and shutting off the water valve. Record the current reading on your water meter. After an hour, notice if there are any changes in the water meter reading. If the reading increased without using the tap, it indicates you have a hidden leak somewhere in your plumbing system.
6.Call a plumber to address your mineral deposits
Mineral deposits in the iron pipe are a common problem in older homes. Unfortunately, it is impossible to stop the accumulation of minerals or sediments in iron pipes. Additionally, the situation worsens with hot water and horizontal lines. If you think the cause of low water pressure is due to mineral deposits, contact a professional plumber to perform necessary repairs.
7.Install a water pressure booster pump
Installing a booster pump also helps increase the water pressure in your home plumbing system. This solution is ideal if you struggle with low water pressure on the top floor. The booster pump has motors and impellers to help increase the water flow rate into your top floor more easily.
These are just some of the most effective tips on how to fix low water pressure in your house. While some problems can be quickly resolved, others may require the skills of a licensed plumber in the Beaches. Call Tom Day Plumbing and Drains today at (416) 480-0622, or send us an email at [email protected] for plumbing renovation and repairs.