Troubleshooting Your Shower: 8 Reasons You’re Experiencing Low Water Pressure
You’re belting out Phil Collins’ timeless classic, “In the Air Tonight” as hot water cascades over your body. You lather up, enjoying your time as you shower off the dirt and grime of your long day at work.
And then, all of a sudden, the water flow slows from a torrent to a drip. You’ve got soap in your eyes, you’re getting cold, and there’s no end in sight when your water pressure is low!
If you’re asking yourself the question “Why is my water pressure low?” then you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll discuss eight common causes of low water pressure, and what you can do to fix each one.
1. Malfunctioning Pressure Regulator
A malfunctioning pressure regulator is often the culprit with low water pressure in your house. As a general rule, regulators set water pressure to between 45 and 60 psi. If you feel that your water pressure is lower than that, then the case could simply be that that the regulator has somehow switched settings.
Find your regulator and make sure it’s set to the right setting. If the unit is malfunctioning frequently, then it’s time to call in a professional to replace it entirely.
2. Valve Shutoff
Another common cause of low water pressure in showers that’s so obvious that some people don’t even think of it is an incorrectly positioned valve. It’s easy for the wrong valve to get bumped and accidentally closed shut. And if you’ve got young kids, you already know the trouble that they can get into. Closing a shiny valve might have become their new favorite pastime!
Identify where the valves to control main water flow are located in your house. (Pro tip: They’re typically in the laundry room!) Then ensure that they’re turned all the way open.
3. Peak Period Usage
If you’re trying to shower right in the morning at 7 am, that actually may be the issue. This is probably the same time that everyone else in your area is trying to take a shower and get ready for their day as well. Consequently, there’s less water to go around as everybody’s shower is turned on.
If you experience low water pressure at peak times, but not at others, it could just be the fault of the main water supply being overdrawn during peak periods. This would be a problem that you’d have to take to your county or regional water department to fix.
4. Mineral Buildup
In the United States and especially in Tulsa, clean water is easily accessible and flows through the pipes. However, just because the water is clean and safe to drink doesn’t mean it doesn’t have anything at all in it. Instead, water carries within it suspended particles. These particles are generally from minerals that are safe to drink.
But even though these minerals are safe to drink, over time they can become deposited on your pipe as water runs through them for years upon years. As these minerals build up, they can clog your pipes and impact water flow to the point where the pressure drops. If you feel this may be the case, you’ll need professional help to come to check out the pipes and clean out the buildup.
5. Pipe Leakage
This is one of the most catastrophic and unfortunate causes of low water pressure. If your pipes are leaking somewhere along the line, then you’re probably going to have a bad day. Pipe leakage is very common, however, and this is particularly true if your house hasn’t been repiped in the last few decades. When you suspect a possible leak but cannot find it, have a professional leak detection service locate it for you.
If your pipes are leaking, this will probably manifest itself in wet spaces in specific areas in your walls. If you notice this, call in a plumber immediately. The longer you wait, the more severe the leak will get. If it gets bad enough, it could cause long-lasting water damage to your property.
6. Failing Fixtures
Now that we’ve got one of the most difficult fixes for low water pressure out of the way, let’s talk about one of the easiest: failing fixtures.
Some showerheads just get clogged up over time with mineral buildup. Fixing this issue is as simple as checking your showerhead or faucet and installing a replacement. These days, most fixtures can be easily screwed on or off. So you probably won’t even need to bring in anyone with professional experience to make this happen!
7. Mains Pressure Loss
There is another possibility if you consistently experience pressure loss but cannot find problems in your house’s pipes or fixtures. It could actually just be issues that your water department is experiencing. A localized water shortage could be on the horizon. Or perhaps there could have been a burst pipe somewhere in the system that is inhibiting flow to your area.
Try calling your water department to see if there have been any pipe failures reported in your area. Also keep abreast of any local utlity updates in Tulsa to stay informed and prepared for any potential water pressure issues.
8. Pipe Clogging
Last but certainly not least, you’ve got the classic pipe clogging. Every now and then, something that shouldn’t be there gets into your piping system and blocks up the flow. It could be something as small as a dishrag but could cause drastic clogging issues.
In this scenario, the only recourse is to call in a professional who can do what he needs to access the clogged area and remove the offending item.
Ask Yourself, “Why is My Water Pressure Low?”
If you’re ready to get your hands dirty, then try some of the DIY fixes for low water pressure listed above! Several of these fixes don’t take more than a minute to figure out, and in no time at all, you won’t have to ask yourself “Why is my water pressure low?” anymore!
However, if you end up exhausting the DIY fixes and your low water pressure issues remain, then it’s time to call in a professional. Give us a call today if you’re in the Tulsa or Broken Arrow, OK. area’s, and we’ll set you up and fulfill all of your plumbing needs!
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