What Causes Low Water Pressure?

By March 24, 2017Plumbing

What Causes Low Water Pressure?

Low water pressure can be frustrating, but even more frustrating to find the cause of. If it takes longer than normal to do basic tasks like washing your hands and the dishes, you might have a problem somewhere deep in your piping system that affects the flow or drainage of water. Finding out the cause of low water pressure can determine whether or not it could be fixed on your own or if you need to call a professional.

Five Causes of Low Water Pressure

  1. Mineral buildups
    1. If your water is on the harder side, then your pipes may become susceptible to deposit buildups. The minerals in the water passing through the systems of your home may coat the inside of pipe walls, effectively minimizing the space for water to flow and creating low water pressure. Or if you notice that your low water pressure is located in only one fixture, it could be because of its aerator. Aerator screens are put on faucets or showers to help control water flow, but sometimes minerals buildup on the screens and minimize water pressure, as well.
  2. Clogs
    1. Due to this mineral build up, sometimes things like hair and debris get snagged on the sides of the pipe and cause a blockage. Not only can this cause low water pressure, but when water gets concentrated in a certain area because of the blockage, it can burst the pipe. A pipe cleaning can usually do the trick, however, we never suggest using a chemical cleaner as it can sometimes be too harsh and ruin your plumbing.
  3. Water Leaks
    1. When water leaks occur, you will notice a drop in water pressure simply because not all of the water reaches its proper place. If that’s the case you should inspect your home’s water system by starting at the water meter and working your way into the house. Look for staining, corrosion, and abnormal wetness, as those are signs of leaks.
  4. Partially Closed Main Shut-Off Valves
    1. Main shut-off valves can become partially closed for whatever reason– whether someone closed it themselves or it is failing in some way. When this happens, the water pressure is minimized and can generally be fixed by opening the valve wider. We suggest finding the water valve, which can be in a variety of places but you might want to stick close to the intake water lines near water outlets like faucets and shower heads. Completely close the valve and then reopen it to ensure that it is fully open.
  5. Municipal water supply malfunctions
    1. If you find that none of the above problems are occurring in your home, then it might have to do with the municipal water supply. Just like your own plumbing, your area’s water supply system is subject to the same buildups, leaks and problems that affect low water pressure. If your neighbors are also grumbling about low water pressure, call your municipal water supply company and see if this is the problem. The good news is that it’s not something that you need to have fixed, yourself. The bad news is that it’s out of your hands so you can’t ensure a quick fix.

If you are experiencing low water pressure and can’t figure out the reason or you have determined it’s one of the above problems, then call B.R. McGinty! Our plumbing experts can diagnose the problem and give you the best set of options for repair that is always fair and competitively priced. Contact us today!