Low water pressure, or as Plumbers in Utah call it, low flow can come be a relatively small issue that builds over time. Fixing the problem can be a time consuming process mostly because of the time it takes to trouble shoot and find the cause of your homes low water pressure. There are some simple trouble shooting methods which can save you time if you have the right expertise and tools. As always, call me if you have any questions and I can walk you through trouble shooting your water pressure problem. 801-613-7379.

But first, it is important to understand what the causes of low water pressure can be so you will know where to begin trouble shooting.

The most common causes for your homes low water pressure are:

1. Blockage Caused by Debris

A  common cause of low flow is debris in the water. If you have old iron pipes, these plug with rust, and rust breaks loose and plugs up aerators, valve, and anywhere there is a restriction in the pipes.

Also, there is a certain amount of algae in our water. It looks a little like fine sawdust, and sometimes we get more than usual through the water supply. It can be seasonal. Sometimes, the plastic pipe inside the water heater disintegrates, and pieces of plastic plug fixtures. Sometime, the water department works on their pipes, and rust or gravel gets into the house and plugs up fixtures.

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Quick Tip: Clean Your Sink Aerator

Over time, pipes can experience mineral deposit build-ups. These build-ups clog faucets and shower heads, preventing full water pressure. Try cleaning out the faucet heads and shower heads in your home to see if this alleviates the low water pressure problem. If this does not resolve the problem and you believe it is a mineral deposit build-up causing your low water pressure, then give me a call and I can walk you through some options or provide you with a Free Home Water Pressure Evaluation.

2. Mineral Deposit Build-Up

Over time, pipes can experience mineral deposit build-ups. These build-ups clog faucets and showerheads, preventing full water pressure. Try cleaning out the faucet heads and showerheads in your home to see if this alleviates the low water pressure problem. If this does not resolve the problem and you believe it is a mineral deposit build-up causing your low water pressure, then you may have to call a professional plumber to assess and correct the problem.

3. Pressure Regulators

A pressure regulator is a water device shaped like a bell. The regulator is usually found below the hose connection in the front of your home, though it may be located in a different area depending upon the construction of your home.

If the pressure regulator goes bad or stops working, it may cause low water pressure in some or all of the water fixtures in your home. This is one plumbing problem that is better left to the professionals, however, when it comes to making a repair. A plumber can easily replace or fix a regulator at a reasonable cost to you. On the other hand, homeowners who try to tackle this problem on their own can create a bigger problem. In the long run, this will cost even more money for you to fix.

4. Low Pressure from the City

You can test for low water pressure by buying a water pressure test gauge with a hose connection, and screw it on to a hose faucet. Test it with all fixtures in the house off.. I consider 45 or 50 psi on the low side, 60 good, above 80 is too much.

If the city pressure is not very high, there are a few things that we have had some success with;

1 Installing larger main pipes and 2 a pressure boost system can be installed in the house.

The Uniform Plumbing Code gives sizing tables, including one for lower water pressure. The tables are for minimum size, so you can go bigger. It doesn’t hurt to have bigger cold water piping, and if you use a recirculating hot system, it doesn’t hurt to have big hot water pipes. If you don’t have a recirculating hot water system, the bigger the hot pipes, the longer the wait for hot water and the more water you waste.

5. Water Valves

Valves turn, which means these valves sometimes get accidentally moved or turned off without the homeowner realizing it. There is usually a main water valve in a home. If this main water valve is not shut off or if it is not completely turned on, it will affect all of the water flow in the home. Be sure the main water valve is completely turned on if you are having a water pressure problem.

Also, if the valve is built without a full size passage, it will not supply as much flow as a valve with full size passage. A plumber can often tell by looking at a valve if it does have a full size passage. Your water heater also should have a main shutoff for the water. If it is restricted or partially off you might get low flow for the hot water in the house.

6. Plumbing Leaks

Cracks or damage to water pipes servicing you house can cause water leaks. Water leaks can cause low water pressure because not all of the water is making its way to your faucet. Some of it is leaking through the cracked or damaged pipe. Check your pipes for damage or leaks.

A trick to figuring out if you have a leak in the main pipe is to shut off the water valve in your home and mark down the meter reading showing on your water meter. Come back two hours later and read the water meter reading again. If the meter reading increases, then you have a leak.

Need Additional Help?

I offer a free home water pressure evaluation as well as free advice for those who want to tackle their plumbing issues on their own.

Call me or email me for Free Advice, Options or a No Pressure In-Home Evaluation. 

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