Low water pressure is a very common plumbing problem, especially in older homes. It can turn even simple tasks like taking a shower or washing the dishes into frustrating, time-consuming chores.
What causes low water pressure? Let’s take a look.
1. Water Leak
A leak inside your home pipes isn’t just inconvenient and messy, it can also leave your family risking water damage and even health problems caused by bacterial growth and mold if it runs unchecked for too long. If the problem seems to be concentrated around a single faucet or room, you may find the leak just by checking for wet or dark spots below the piping in your cabinet under the kitchen or bathroom sinks. If not, there is one more way to check for a larger leak.
To find out if your low water pressure is being caused by a leaky pipe, shut off your water taps both inside and outside your home, then record the meter. We recommend heading out on a short errand for a couple of hours afterward, as you’ll need to leave the water shut off for about that long. When you return, check to see if the meter has changed. If it’s increased at all since that first recording, there’s a good chance you have a leak that requires professional repair.
2. A Buildup of Minerals or Debris
Dirt and other pollutants can enter your home’s pipe if a water main fractures, and minerals simply build up over time with regular use, especially in areas that use well-water or where the municipal tap water is very mineral-heavy. Even small sediment buildup can create a serious blockage over time, leaving you watching water trickle out of a shower-head that should be on full-blast.
You’ll want to examine a section of piping to see if mineral buildup is really the issue here. If it is, you may want to look into a water softener, designed to keep buildup from occurring in the first place. A solution to your current issue would also be to run a mixture of vinegar and baking soda through your pipes.
We do not recommend using strong chemicals to remove buildup, as they can be caustic, cause injuries, and are generally not any more effective than white vinegar and baking soda.
Modern plumbing is less susceptible to this, but even steel or galvanized water systems are really only intended to last about 20 years. Eventually, the insides of these pipes can become corroded, especially in areas where the local water is more acidic. When it comes to repair, this isn’t really an issue that’s a Do-It-Yourself fix, but something you’ll need to call in a professional to look at.
It’s an expensive repair, but replacing your pipes will deal with the problem, and your new pipes should give you another 20 years or so of corrosion-free use. However, the issue isn’t always about the pipes on the homeowner’s property. Low water pressure within your home could also be…
4. A Municipal Problem
The truth is, sometimes your low water pressure issue has nothing to do with your pipes. It could also be caused by a malfunction in the municipal water supply. Just like home plumbing systems, municipal pipes can be subject to leaks, buildup, corrosion, and other problems that affect the water supply and pressure making its way to local homes.
The fix in this case could be as simple as giving your local municipal water supply company a call to report the problem and that you’ve done all of the above steps and are sure it’s not an issue within your home, but within the larger water supply. The municipality you live within will likely send professionals out quickly to repair the problem and your home’s water pressure will be back to normal in no time.
Dealing With Low Water Pressure? We’re Here to Help!
Donnelly’s Plumbing Heating and Cooling has provided over 40 years of exceptional customer service and quality worksmanship to our local communities here in Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, and Delaware counties in Pennsylvania. If you’re dealing with hard water problems, need to replace your water heater, or have any other plumbing concerns, give us a call! We’re on-hand to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Reach us by phone at (215) 855-2014 or contact us online at any time to schedule service today!