What Causes Low Water Pressure?

One day you turn on a faucet, and the water is flowing like Niagara Falls – the next, more like water dripping, drop by drop, from an icicle. Maybe it’s happened suddenly, or perhaps it’s been going on for a while. Either way, it’s there, and you know all is not well.

What you’re noticing is low water pressure. But, unfortunately, you don’t know instantly what’s causing it and whether it’s confined to one or more water sources.

Let’s look at the leading causes of low water pressure to help you better figure out how to respond.

The issue with Your Water Supplier

Before you start turning valves and knocking on pipes, ask around. If your neighbors report similar issues, chances are there’s an external cause for the problem. Next, contact your municipal water company to find out if they’re working on fixing a problem – or maybe they’ve just discovered one. If they report “all is well,” you have two choices: take them at their word or dig deeper.

Your Main Shutoff Valve is Partially Closed

If the problem is confined to your home among your neighbors, then the underlying cause of low water pressure is inside your four walls. Start by checking your main water valve to see if it’s partially closed. The “how it got that way” question can be asked later – the important thing is to nail the cause. If your valve has a handle like an outdoor faucet, turn it counterclockwise as far as it can go. If the handle looks like a lever, the lever needs to be parallel to the pipe. Otherwise, it’s not fully open.

The Pressure Regulator is Failing

If your plumbing is not equipped with a pressure regulator, skip ahead to the next possible cause of low water pressure. If you do have one, you can test it yourself. Attach a water pressure gauge to your outside hose spigot, ideally the one closest to the regulator. When you turn the water on, the pressure gauge will give you a quick read of your water pressure. Suppose it’s lower than what your pressure regulator is reporting. In that case, your issue might be with the pressure regulator—time to call Pann Home Services to set the matter right.

Clogged Pipes

Pipes can clog anywhere along the route they travel – not just near a toilet or top of a sink drain. They also can form deep inside your pipes, where even a small clog can reduce your water pressure. If nothing else appears to be the cause of at least a contributing factor, you have another reason to call Pann.

Corroded Pipe

Metal pipes have the equivalency of an expiration date. As in, they weren’t built to last forever. Metal pipes, especially galvanized steel, can begin to corrode after only 20 years. Copper pipes are usually good for 50 or more years and brass pipes should be fine from 40 and 70 years. If that proves to be the cause of your low water pressure, all or part of your home may need to be re-piped.

Your Pipes Are Leaking

Water leaks, large and small, can adversely affect the flow of water. A leaky pipe redirects your water supply so that even if everything else is working properly, you’re not getting the full flow. If you have access to your pipes, check for wet spots or pooling water. If you can’t fix it yourself, at least you can point your Pann plumber in the right direction. Also, even if you’re seeing little to no effect on your water pressure, have the leak fixed asap as it could lead to structural damage, contaminated water and other problems.

Faulty Fixtures

If low water pressure is a problem at all water fixtures, it’s a whole-house issue. But what if it’s confined to a single fixture like your bathroom sink? Easy – you need to examine the fixture. Take a faucet aerator, for example. It’s designed to reduce the volume of water coming from your faucet without altering the pressure. Over time, aerators can get bogged down with dirt and limestone build-up. So, before digging any further, remove the aerator and give a good cleaning. Once you replace it, the problem could be gone – just like that.

Life is aggravating enough, so why add to the burden by living with low water pressure when the problem can readily be fixed by the home plumbing professionals at Pann Home Services. With Pann, you get guaranteed price quotes and our 100% customer satisfaction guarantee. Contact us today for any home plumbing need.