Common Causes of Low Water Pressure in Your Home and How to Increase It
Low water pressure is a home issue that impacts your everyday life. If you’ve ever experienced low water pressure within your home, you know it can present itself in many different ways. The frustrating part of a water pressure issue is troubleshooting the problem to find out what the culprit is, because it can be caused by a variety of factors.
Water pressure issues can present themselves by washing machine cycles taking longer, faucets trickling out water slowly, dishwashers failing to perform up to their standard, and a less than mediocre shower that barely rinses the shampoo from your hair. Finding the root cause of the issue is the first step when experiencing any of these water fixture problems.
What Is Low Water Pressure?
Low water pressure impacts the plumbing fixtures within the home. Any fixture that water comes out of is susceptible to water pressure issues, including sinks, toilets, shower heads, dishwashers or washing machines.
If you think about how often these appliances are used each day, each day your low water pressure issue goes unfixed can be a nuisance to your daily routine. Low water pressure occurs when the water that comes out of any of these fixtures slowly dribbles, instead of coming out at the pressure it usually does.
Common Culprits of Low Water Pressure
Pressure Regulator is Broken
If your plumbing system has a pressure regulator, it’s important to check the regulator to rule it out as the root cause of your low water pressure. The job of the pressure regulator is to regulate the pressure, in a literal sense, to maintain a steady pressure. If it’s not doing its job of regulating, this could be the root cause of your reduced water pressure. Conducting a test might reveal that it’s time to replace or fix your pressure regulator.
If your pipes have corroded, the water pressure can be impacted. Pipes, especially galvanized steel pipes, can corrode over time. It’s important to know how old your pipes are and the material they’re made out of. If buying or selling your home, a professional home inspector can determine this and help narrow down the root cause of home water pressure issues.
If your plumbing system is experiencing leaks, the leaks can misdirect your water supply and cause low water pressure (among other issues). The water meant for your home fixtures gets diverted or starts flowing out of the pipe altogether, which impacts the pressure. Plumbing leaks will cause a flood and alert you to an issue right away.
Faulty Water Supply
If your low water pressure issue is a shared issue amongst neighbors, it’s likely not the pressure regulator, corrosion or any other culprit on this list. In this case, it could be faulty water supply. Sometimes the root of the low water pressure issue doesn’t have anything to do with your own home systems, but an outside factor that you can’t control. Contact your water supply company to get a timeframe for when these issues might be fixed.
Your low water pressure issues could be caused by your water shutoff valve. If your main house shutoff valve isn’t fully open, then it needs to be turned counterclockwise as far as possible. There’s a good chance you’ve never had to touch this valve before, but when water pressure issues present itself it’s a good idea to locate it and rule it out as the culprit.
Water pressure can be impacted by clogged pipes. If debris build-up occurs within the pipes, including dirt, sand, food particles or any other foreign item, even the smallest clog can have cause low water pressure. It’s best to call in a plumber to flush out this pipe blockage so that your drinking water doesn’t get polluted.
How to Increase Your Water Pressure
After narrowing down the root cause of your reduced water pressure, taking steps to increase it to prevent any damage to your plumbing system is the next logical step. Remember that low water pressure is a fairly common home issue and can usually be easily fixed.
Once finding the root cause of your water flow issues by determining any of the above culprits, homeowners can then take the next appropriate steps to remedy the issue.
Reasons Home Inspectors Check Water Pressure During a Home Inspection
Checking a home’s water pressure is an important step in any home inspection. Home buyers should be informed about the condition of the home’s water pressure so they can make a well-informed decision on making an offer on the house.
The reasons a water pressure inspection is important are to notify home buyers about any potentially bigger issues within the home’s plumbing system, as demonstrated by reduced water pressure. Once the buyers are notified of these issues, they can either negotiate a lower selling price or propose that the home sellers fix the issues.
Harrisburg Home Inspectors: Leave Water Pressure to the Home Inspection Professionals
Your local HouseMaster Serving Harrisburg and Lebanon home inspectors can perform a private on-site water (well) system inspection. This type of inspection involves an inspection of visible interior pumps, piping, pressure and/or storage tanks. It also includes an assessment of the water flow, including water volume and water pressure, from representative fixtures based on a representative water draw from plumbing fixtures.
Detecting water pressure issues in a home inspection is an important factor in any home sale because it determines the overall condition of the home’s plumbing system. We will not only inspect the home’s water pressure, we will also perform a thorough inspection of the physical condition of piping, kitchen and bathroom fixtures, tubs, showers, toilets, and assess flow, drainage and leakage.
Harrisburg home inspectors Dan Ayers and Scott Ayers, like all Housemaster home inspectors, have extensive training and certifications and are tested annually to meet the industry standards of continuing education, inspection, reporting, and customer service. As part of the oldest and most trusted nationwide home inspection business, Dan and Scott have been able to put their decade long experience in fire and water property restoration and their passion for customer service to good use in the professional home inspection process. Request an inspection today!