What Causes Low Water Pressure

Low water pressure can drain the fun out of a day. Whether it makes the dishes take longer or makes your shower unenjoyable, it can be a tricky annoyance. The first step to fixing it is to identify what appliances in your house are experiencing low water pressure and when. Or if this issue is something bigger

What Causes Low Water Pressure

Checking the Appliances

If only one shower or sink consistently shows a weak flow, then it may just be a valve or pipe problem isolated to that fixture. If there is only weak flow when using hot water, then the cause of the issue may be with the water heater. 

If you notice low pressure only some of the time, it may be that your appliances are demanding more water than your home can supply. Coordinating so that fewer of your appliances operate simultaneously may fix the issue. Or you could consider upgrading your pressure regulator or pipes, especially if your home was constructed more than four decades ago.

Old Houses

Not only do old houses often have outdated output that cannot keep up with modern appliances, older houses also have older pipes. Over time, water can corrode pipes or lead to sediment buildup which clogs the pipe. This is especially true for homes with galvanized steel pipes, which have a lifespan of 20 to 50 years.

Water Valves

If none of the above possibilities seems likely, you may have an issue with the pressure regulator itself or your water valves. To test this, you could purchase a water pressure gauge and attach it to the largest hose bib on the outside of your house to see what it measures up to at full pressure. Anything under 40 psi (pounds per square inch) warrants professional help.

Common causes of low water pressure can be grouped into two broad categories summarized below.

  • Supply-causes: valve or regulator malfunction; water heater malfunctions; outdated or corroded pipes
  • Usage-causes: isolated fixture issue; too many appliances running at once

But when it comes to solving your low pressure problems, there are many more options. To help you pick the right one call (219) 322-4906 to get in touch with Reichelt Plumbing and over 25 years of experience servicing all of Northwest Indiana as well as South Cook County in Illinois.

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