Does it take a long time for your bathtub to fill up with water? Are you not getting the water flow you want in the shower? Does it take a long time for your dishwasher or washing machine to cycle through?
If you are experiencing any of the above, your home may have a water pressure problem. Low water pressure can be a concern, especially if there are multiple family members living in your home.
Low pressure issues can be present in different areas of your home, and some may require the assistance of a professional. If the problem seems to be only in one fixture in your home, there are simple solutions. However, if you have low water pressure throughout you home, this can be evidence of a more serious problem. Simpler problems include a closed shut-off valve or a blocked faucet, while more serious issues include plumbing blockages, water leaks and corroded pipes.
Here are a few things to check:
- Check various spots in your home that contain faucets – the kitchen, the bathroom, the basement, outdoor faucets and hose hookups. Run water in all faucets to identify low pressure areas. If there is low pressure in just one or two areas, the cause could be from a clogged pipe or a leak.
- Look for water leaks – a faucet or toilet can be causing the issue. You can call a water company or a plumber to find leaks and make repairs.
- Check the valves of your water heater. You may want to contact a plumber to check the lines to and from the water heater, as well. Blockages can occur in a line, causing low water pressure.
- Make sure all appliances are running efficiently. Dishwashers, washing machines and other appliances could be the cause of low water pressure.
- Another minor cause of low water pressure is a faulty pressure regulator, if your home’s plumbing system has one.
Most homes have two shut-off valves – the water meter valve and the main shut-off valve. A water meter valve is usually found on the street-side of your water meter. If you recently had a repair done and are now noticing a reduction in your home’s water pressure, check the meter valve – it may have been shut off. Most shut-off valves are located on the homeowner side of the water meter or an outside wall where the main water line enters your home. You should also check to make sure this valve is completely open. Either valve can be left partially closed after any kind of repair work, causing low water pressure.
If there is a serious water pressure issue in your home, the problem could be with old plumbing pipes. As pipes age, there is more potential for corrosion causing water to barely flow. This would be a costly situation that requires a permit and a licensed professional to replace old pipes with new copper or plastic ones.