Your shower is inefficient and you can barely wash the soap off of your hands in the sink. What’s going on here? Chances are it isn’t that your shampoo and soap are extra powerful or that you don’t know how to rinse your hands. It’s more likely that something is going on with your water pressure.
A diagnosis of low water pressure doesn’t mean that you’re ready to fix the issue. Even though that barely flowing shower, bathtub or sink clearly has a problem, you may not know exactly what is wrong with your plumbing. Here’s where a pro comes in. The professional can evaluate the situation, find out what’s wrong and fix the problem.
Understanding the causes of low water pressure can help you to better communicate with your plumber. Knowing why water pressure may either gradually or suddenly seem to decrease is the first step in finding a solution. So what can cause your home to have low water pressure?
If your sink has gradually stopped flowing and you now have a gentle trickle instead of a full stream, it’s possible that you have a mild problem that is easy to fix. If you haven’t cleaned the faucet’s aerator lately, take it out and look for buildup. When the aerator gets clogged, it stops water from passing through. This may make it seem like the water pressure is low in just one fixture.
Most aerators are fairly easy to twist off the end of your faucet. If you can’t get the aerator off or you’re concerned that you might damage the fixture, you can contact a plumber for help. Once it has been removed, clean out the aerator, removing any debris.
Before putting the aerator back on, run the water. If it comes out in a normal stream, chances are that the aerator was to blame. Put the aerator back on and try your faucet to make sure that it works correctly.
Mineral Buildup and Clogs
You could also notice that some of your faucets aren’t flowing, but others are. Maybe your shower seems slow, but your basement tub still has a healthy water stream coming out. What’s the problem? While there are several potential issues, mineral buildup and clogging debris may be the culprit.
Mineral-rich water can fill the insides of your pipes with deposits. The more minerals and debris that clog your pipes, the less flow you’ll have.
You will need to take a look inside of your pipes to find out if this is the problem. If you aren’t familiar with your plumbing system or don’t have the tools necessary, a plumber can get to the root of the issue.
Whether you have a crack in a pipe or a major rupture, when water is leaking it can drop the pressure anywhere in your plumbing system. Yes, there are obvious leaks that you can see, feel and hear. For example, sometimes a basement pipe will freeze in the chilly winter months and then burst. This is an obvious rupture that you can easily see right away.
If you spot a major leak, and then notice low water pressure, it’s likely that you know the cause. Repairing the offending pipe should fix the problem.
If you can’t see a leak, however, that doesn’t mean you don’t have one. A pipe could be leaking inside of a wall or outside of your home. This requires a plumber to find, diagnose and repair.
Along with problems that come from your home (and your plumbing system), low water pressure may start somewhere else. Nearby construction, a water main break down the street or problems with your water supplier can all cause low water pressure. If there is an outside issue, it’s likely that your neighbors will also have the same plumbing issue.
If you are experiencing low water pressure, Custom Comfort Plumbing, Heating & Cooling can help.
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