What Causes Low Water Pressure?

Low water pressure can be a nuisance.  No one enjoys a shower that drips out.  Plus, low water pressure can increase energy costs.  As it takes longer to fill a dishwasher or washing machine, this increases energy expenses.

One thing that can cause low water pressure is running too many things at the same time.  The kids might be taking a bath while mom is doing the dishes, and so there is a drop in water pressure.  Not only can there be competing water usage inside a home, there may be a drop in pressure because neighborhood homes on the same water lines are doing similar things at similar times.  In other words, people are eating dinner around the same time, washing dishes and clothes after work, giving children baths in the evening or using showers in the morning, and this can affect water pressure.  Changing the schedule of when clothes or dishes are washed may help.

If the only place the water pressure is low is at the kitchen sink, it may be a clogged aerator.  Unscrew the aerator tip on the kitchen faucet, clean the screen, and replace it.  That may solve the problem.

Most low water pressure problems require the expertise of a plumbing repair service.  A leak anywhere in the plumbing can reduce water pressure.  To determine if there is a leak, turn off all the water inside the house.  Take a reading of the outdoor meter.  Wait a couple of hours.  Take another reading.  If the reading has changed when everything inside is off, there is a leak somewhere.  You may know where it is, but more likely it will require a plumbing contractor to find it.

Not every leak is obvious.  For example, if there has been a lack of rain for a while and everything is dry, a leak under the house or from the main to the house may be absorbed by a thirsty tree root, so a puddle may not be visible.

For a leak, a plumbing company needs to be called in to not only check the pipes, but also the toilet.  The plumber should check the intake line to the hot water heater and make sure there are no blockages.  Plus, he can check all the valves to make sure they are turned on correctly.  A valve that is partially off can interfere with water flow.  Another thing a plumber can check is the pressure reducing valve (PRV) on the outside of the house.  This may need to be replaced.  If it is an older home, the lines may have become clogged with sediment and their replacement may be necessary.

When you know you have a leak, it is time to call the plumbing company.  Wasted water can become very expensive.

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