How to Improve Your Water Pressure
If you have low water pressure, here’s what’s probably causing it, and how you can find out for sure. If you already know you have low water pressure, don’t despair! There are a lot of ways to deal with low water pressure. Some of them don’t require an expensive fix–or spending money at all!
If you have low water pressure in your home, run down this list. We started with the simplest, easiest solution and worked our way up to the big fixes. With any luck, one of the early ones will solve your issue, but even if they don’t, you’ll have options. If you think you should be getting more water pressure than you are, here’s where to start:
Open the Supply Valve
If you’re lucky, the reason you have low water pressure might just be that your supply valve isn’t open enough! Your master water valve is probably near the water meter. Closing it is how you shut off your home’s water supply. Make sure it’s open all the way. If the valve is partially closed, water could be struggling to getting through to your house’s pipes. That wasted pressure could be the source of the problem.
Check the Pressure Reduction Valve
A lot of homes connected to the public water system use pressure reduction valves to ensure that water pressure isn’t too high. You can usually find the pressure reduction valve either near the meter or where the service line enters your home. The valve’s manufacturer presets the pressure around 45-60 PSI. Normally, the valve doesn’t need to be adjusted, but if something’s wrong with it or if it’s been adjusted incorrectly, a simple adjustment could the problem.
IMPORTANT: Be careful not to over adjust the pressure reduction valve, or you could damage your plumbing. In fact, it’s usually better to give us a call. We’ll be able to inspect the pressure reduction valve and let you know if it needs to be re-adjusted or replaced. Before attempting to replace or adjust the pressure reduction valve yourself, make sure you’ve researched your specific brand and learned how to do it properly.
At this point, it’s a good idea to inspect both your appliances and the pipes themselves for leaks. Even small leaks syphon off a surprising amount of pressure and force your system to work much harder to send water where it’s supposed to go.
Find you find a leak, repair it ASAP to prevent it from getting worse or driving up your water bills. It’s relatively easy to repair or replace a leaky faucet or shower head. Replacing a pipe is a little trickier, but with the right tools and research, it’s totally doable. If the leak is small enough, you could use plumber’s tape for a temporary fix–just remember it won’t work forever. You could also call us, and we can repair or replace any leaking pipes no problem.
Clean (or Replace) Your Pipes
When pipes are blocked, water works harder to get through them, which wastes pressure. A lot of things can cause pipe blockage: you could have a simple clog, or corrosion or sediment may have built up on the inner walls of pipe.
Like leaks, clogs are easier to fix the closer they are to the surface. Find out where the clog is. If it’s high, it should have a pretty direct effect on the corresponding appliance. A quick plunge might solve that problem. If none of your sinks or toilets are clogged, you might have a deeper clog. Try plunging your sinks and toilets, and if that has no effect, consider having your pipes cleaned.
If your blockage is corrosion or sediment buildup, you’ve got more to worry about. Old pipes or pipes made of galvanized steel are particularly at-risk of corrosion. Sediment buildup occurs when you have hard water. If you address the problem early enough, it’s possible that snaking your pipes will clear them, but usually if the blockage is severe enough to lower water pressure, it means you need to replace your pipes.
Install a Water Softener
Sediment buildup is caused by hard water. The sediment and minerals in hard water stick to the inner walls of your pipes and accumulate over time. Sediment build up constricts the passages water has to flow through, which forces your system to work harder and wastes pressure. Installing a water softener won’t remove existing sediment buildup, but it will help prevent future buildup and save you water pressure problems, aggravation, and money in the future.
Install a Booster
If your piping system really doesn’t seem to have any problems, but you still feel like you have low water pressure, don’t worry: you’re not losing it. The two main factors that determine water pressure are gravity and distance. If it has to travel uphill or you’re a long way from its source, your water might lose a lot of pressure before it even gets to you.
If that’s the case, you could install a booster pump. Booster pumps work by catching water as it moves through your main line and re-pressurizing it before it enters your system. They come in many varieties and can be operated manually or automatically. You can purchase and install a booster yourself, or have a professional install one for you. Keep in mind, however, that boosters can be expensive.
Low water pressure is a serious pain, but there’s usually a simple and easily fixed reason why it’s happening. If you think your water pressure is lower than it should be, consider following these steps, and figure out whether it’s low throughout your home or only in certain places. If you can’t figure out what the problem is, or you don’t want to mess with delicate instruments like the pressure reduction valve, don’t hesitate to give us a call today. Our experts can find and fix your problem, guaranteed.
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