Common Causes of Low Water Pressure in Your Home

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One of the most frustrating plumbing issues a homeowner can run into is low water pressure. And unfortunately, these problems occur quite often.

Low water pressure can affect several household plumbing fixtures, each essential in most daily routines. Pressure problems can impact your dishwasher, sink, shower, washing machine, and even more common appliances. When the issues become bad enough, we often feel our only option to restore water flow is to call a plumber.

However, if you know what causes low water pressure in your home, you might be able to avoid a service call. Some instances of low water pressure will be better in the hands of plumbing professionals in Lynbrook, but if you know the most frequent causes of this common issue, you may be able to address the problem yourself.

An Issue at the Water Supplier

Your home’s pipes and plumbing fixtures are not immune to issues, and the same goes for the company supplying your water.

Every once in a while, your local water company might experience a mechanical issue that lowers the water pressure in your home or cuts off the flow altogether. Be sure to contact your water supplier before attempting any plumbing repairs in your home or calling your nearest plumber. Sometimes, the solution to your water pressure woes simply requires you to wait for your supplier to correct the issue on their end.

An unfortunate part about water pressure problems caused by the supplier means you cannot do much to fix the issue quicker. If your water supplier does confirm that the problem lies with them, you will likely have to deal with poor pressure for at least a few hours while they work to repair it.

The Main Home Shutoff Valve Is Closed

If you call your water supplier and they deny any issues, your best bet for addressing the problem is to look at the plumbing fixtures around your home. Luckily, one of the most frequent causes of low water pressure happens to be among the simplest to fix.

Most homes will have two valves responsible for controlling water flow; the main shutoff valve is one of them. The shutoff valve is responsible for allowing or cutting off a home’s water supply. If the shutoff valve partially closes, it will slow down water flow, resulting in low pressure.

Your home’s shutoff valve will probably be near the main city supply pipe. Occasionally, shutoff valves will be outside, but they will be indoors more often than not. To open your shutoff valve all the way, simply turn it counterclockwise as far as it will allow.

The Water Meter Valve Is Closed

The other valve responsible for regulating water flow in a home is the water meter valve. The water meter valve belongs to your home’s water supplier and is typically only used by the water company employees. However, your water flow issues could be linked directly to this valve, forcing you to take matters into your own hands to address the problem.

Like your home’s shutoff valve, the water meter valve will lower water pressure if it partially closes. Since water meter valves are typically in hard-to-reach locations, sometimes even beneath your home, they usually aren’t interfered with and tend to stay open. However, if you experience low water pressure after receiving extensive plumbing work, it is usually due to the water meter valve.

You might be able to access your home’s water meter valve without any assistance. If that is the case, turning the valve handle until parallel with its accompanying water pipe will re-open it. But if you lack the tools to turn the handle or the valve is locked in a secured box, you will need to call your water supplier to fix the issue.

A Broken Pressure Regulator

If you’ve determined that neither the shutoff nor water meter valves are causing your home’s low water pressure, you might be dealing with a failing pressure regulator.

The pressure regulator is responsible for maintaining your home’s water pressure and ensuring that it doesn’t hit a high enough level to damage your pipes or plumbing fixtures. Not every home has a pressure regulator, but the ones that do rely on these essential devices to ward off any major plumbing catastrophes.

When the regulator begins to wear down, it can lower or raise the water pressure throughout your home’s appliances and plumbing fixtures. At best, a broken regulator will be nothing more than a mild inconvenience causing slightly low-flow showers. But since unregulated, high-pressure water can lead to burst pipes and damaged appliances, you need to fix the regulator as soon as you notice it no longer works.

You might be able to fix the water pressure regulator yourself, depending on the brand and size of the tool. However, regulator replacement involves a complex procedure requiring you to close your water meter valve. If you don’t have access to that valve or don’t know how to replace it, you need to call a professional.

Clogged Pipes

Sometimes, what causes low water pressure isn’t one of your home’s water regulating devices but the pipes themselves.

A clogged pipe can drastically reduce your home’s water pressure with a significant enough obstruction. And while you might be used to removing clogs from drains with household solutions, it is best to allow a plumber to remove blockages from pipes.

Disassembling and rebuilding pipe systems can be complex and yield subpar results without proper training. You run the risk of reassembling your pipes incorrectly, improperly removing the clog, or using harmful cleaning chemicals without the right tools and knowledge for the job.

Worn Down Pipes

With enough wear and tear, your home’s pipes will corrode and create blockages that significantly reduce water pressure. Therefore, you need to have your pipes regularly inspected and maintained to avoid corrosion from interfering with your daily routine.

Knowing your pipe’s material can give you an idea of how long they can last before you need to replace them. For example, most copper pipes can last up to 50 years without issue, while steel pipes typically go 20 years before starting to corrode.

If your pipes have been around for years after their expected expiration date, they could be the cause of your low water pressure.

Old or Clogged Plumbing Fixtures

If you inspect your water valves, pressure regulator, and pipes and still don’t have a solution to your pressure problems, it is likely the sign of worn-down or clogged plumbing fixtures. Luckily, issues with the appliances themselves are often easier to identify than valve or pipe problems.

You can likely rule out all potential issues and focus your attention on one particular fixture if only one appliance has pressure problems. Then, once you have identified the problem area, you can call your local plumbing experts to examine the fixture and repair it to working order.

Restore Your Water Pressure With Pride Services

Now that you know what causes low water pressure, you can get to work inspecting your fixtures and attempting to solve the issues yourself. However, if the problem is too steep, you can count on Pride Services to get your plumbing back in working order.

Our team can fix any problem with your pipes, water valves, water heater, and even more common household appliances and plumbing fixtures.

To learn more about plumbing maintenance or schedule an appointment for plumbing services, call Pride Services today at (516) 619-1781.

Published: Jan 06, 2022

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