Low water pressure is an inconvenience experienced by many homeowners. Trying to wash dishes, do laundry or take a shower with weak water pressure can be deeply unsatisfying. It also makes performing all these tasks a lot less efficient, taking more time to complete them. However, before calling a professional, there are a few simple remedies that you can first try yourself. So here are a few steps that will help you how to increase water pressure in your house.
Troubleshoot the Water Pressure Problem
First, determine if there’s poor water pressure throughout the house or is the problem isolated to a specific water source. So turn on the water in all the faucets and spigots throughout the house, in both kitchen and bathrooms.
Fixing the problem will depend on the source. If there’s low water pressure only of hot water, the issue could be with your water heater. Check if your shut-off valve is fully open. If that doesn’t solve the problem, it’s better to call a professional to properly inspect the appliance.
However, if there’s low water pressure of cold water, solving the issue will depend on if you’re experiencing it throughout the house or in just one fixture.
Increasing Water Pressure In One Faucet
Most kitchen and bathroom faucets utilize an aerator. These are small parts that are attached to the tip of the faucet. They are essentially mesh screens that aerate the water limit the water flow. So you use less water but still get the feeling of high water pressure. It’s considered an effective water-saving plumbing part.
Low water pressure in the faucet is often caused by a clogged up aerator. It can collect mineral deposits and other debris. To test this, unscrew the aerator counterclockwise using a pair of pliers. Having done that, turn on the faucet. If the water pressure is back to normal, the issue is in the dirty or faulty aerator. Cleaning or replacing the aerator, in this case, should fix the problem.
To clean the aerator, first, you’ll need to disassemble it and then soak the elements in a mix of white vinegar and water. Then rinse off any dirt or sediment, reassemble the part and screw it back to the tip of the faucet. Run the faucet again to see if that has increased the water pressure.
If the problem persists, other possible causes of the issue can be a clogged fixture or supply line, as well as a faulty supply valve.
Increasing Water Pressure Throughout the House
One of the main causes of poor water pressure throughout the house is clogged pipes. However, one of the first things to check is if the shutoff valve is fully open. Some homes have two shutoff valves with one outside and another inside the house. Make sure both of them are open. If you’ll call a plumber and all he’ll have to do is turn the handle, he’ll still charge you for the service.
Next, check the water pressure. You can either ask your local water department for a pressure reading or use a pressure gauge to test it yourself. The gauge just hooks up to the outside water spigot and gives you an instant reading.
If the city is delivering low water pressure, there’s not much you can do except get a water pressure booster system. However, if the reading is adequate, there could be other potential causes.
This is also a very common cause of low water pressure in the house. Check for damp spots beneath the pipes throughout the house, especially at the main supply line. If you find any leaks, contact a plumbing professional immediately. A severe leak can lead to structural damage of a home, such as damage to walls and floors.
Identifying a leaking pipe that is concealed within a wall is a bit trickier. Inspect the walls within which the plumbing pipes should be located. Check if there’s any dampness or mildew growth. These are often the signs of a leaky pipe. So if you suspect a leak, contact a plumber as soon as possible.
Another way to check for leaks is with the help of the water meter. Shut off all water in the house and write down the reading. Leave it for a couple of hours without using any water in the house. If after that you see a different reading on the water meter, you have a leak.
Old, Corroded Pipes
Another cause, that is especially common for old homes, is the condition of the pipes. A dated plumbing system will most likely need a replacement and unless you’re very skilled in home plumbing, it’s best to call a professional. Keep in mind that galvanized steel pipes are particularly vulnerable to corrosion, so if you’ll be upgrading, consider getting plastic or copper pipes.
If your home relies on public water supply, it should have a regulator that reduces the pressure that comes through your house. It makes sure that the water doesn’t just rush through your house, which could potentially damage your plumbing. This part is usually installed where the water supply line enters the building and is usually shaped like a bell.
An old regulator can cause the water pressure to gradually drop, affecting some or all of the fixtures in your house. A fix for this issue is to replace or reset this valve.
As you can see some of the low water pressure causes can be an easy fix, while others require more skill in home plumbing. In either case, if in doubt, it’s best to contact a professional plumbing service that will be able to find the best solution to the problem.