Our friendly Atascadero plumbers have come up with a list of likely culprits behind low water pressure and what you can do about it.
Who hasn’t been here: You’re in the shower, and suddenly the water slows to a trickle. Or, you’re noticing your kitchen faucet just doesn’t have the power to wash the dishes like it used to.
It’s probably leaving you asking, “Why do I have low water pressure?”
1. It Might Be the Utility Company
Before you call a plumber or start replacing pipes, the first thing to do should be calling the water company – if of course you don’t supply your own water via a well or other method. Contact your local municipality and find out if there’s an issue with the supply mechanism.
You might just inform them of a lurking problem in the neighborhood, and you could be back up and running normally in no time at all.
2. Your Home’s Main Shut-off Valve Isn’t Open All the Way
If it’s not the water company, it’s time to start at the source and work your way back. If your home’s main shut-off valve isn’t completely open, the volume of the flow into your home is being limited.
It’s important to know how to find and shut off your main house shutoff valve. Make sure it’s fully open; if it is, time to move onto another culprit.
3. Your Pipes are Clogged or Leaky
Most household clogs happen in drains, but sometimes pipes that carry water the other way can get gunked up, too. Debris or corrosion – especially in older homes – can be a main culprit for low water pressure.
Even if a pipe isn’t fully clogged, partial blockages can affect water pressure. Unfortunately for the do-it-yourselfer, if you think an intake pipe is clogged, this is most likely a job for a professional plumber. Starting to undo and yank out water pipes can be a recipe for disaster for the amateur, so give the pros a call.
A leak can also, obviously, have an effect on water pressure. Locating a leak can be easy; just check the basement, crawl space or walls for water accumulation or damage. But not all pipes are visible, and a leak could be going right into the ground, so this also could also be a job for the pros.
4. You Share Pipes
You might not know it, but you could share a main water pipeline with a neighbor. Especially if you live in an apartment or condo, this could very well be the case, meaning every time your neighbor washes their car or takes a shower, it could have an effect on your water pressure.
This is a tougher one to deal with because changing the entire configuration of your water supply may be exceedingly complex and expensive or not possible given the building or local regulations. So, you might be forced to coordinate your need for higher water pressure when your neighbor isn’t using theirs.
5. Your Fixtures are Faulty
Old, worn-out fixtures can definitely lower your water pressure, and fixing the problem could be as simple as cleaning them out or just buying a new shower head or faucet. Over time, aerators can accumulate build-up, so it’s something to keep an eye on before looking at bigger problems.