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What’s Causing Your Low Water Pressure?

What’s Causing Your Low Water Pressure?

Few things are as disappointing as turning on the shower, anticipating strong, steamy jets of water only to find a lazy trickle. What’s worse? Your faucets are dribbling. Your dishwasher takes longer to do its job. Your washing machine takes seemingly forever fill. What’s going on? Where’s your precious water pressure? There could be a number of reasons your plumbing isn’t performing. Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes.

Water Valves

If you are having water pressure problems with your entire home, the fix could be a rather simple one. The water in your home is controlled by two main valves. If you’ve had plumbing repairs recently, it’s possible one or both of these valves are fully or partially closed.

The water meter valve: Look for a small metal or plastic cover by your curb. Underneath, you will see your water meter and a valve that controls the water flow to your entire house. If the valve is closed, simply turn it clockwise to restore water flow.

The main shutoff valve: Find this valve near where the main supply pipe enters the home. If it has a wheel-like handle, make sure it’s turned fully in a counterclockwise direction. If it has a lever handle, adjust it so that it’s parallel to the pipe.

Leaks

Old galvanized steel pipes will corrode over time, resulting in a gradual loss of water pressure. So, rule this out if your water pressure dropped overnight. Unfortunately, if corroded pipes are to blame, the only solution is repiping. Other symptoms of corrosion include discolored water or flakes in the water and a bitter taste.

While some leaks are obvious, others are present deep in your home’s foundation. Slab leaks can slowly build up below your home and lead to extensive water damage. Low water pressure is the least of your problems at that point.

Hard Water

Calcium and other mineral deposits in the water accumulate inside of your pipes and gradually chock off the water supply. Hard water tastes odd and can irritate skin and hair and leave spots on laundry and dishes. Other telltale signs include soap scum, scale or film on fixtures and rust-colored stains on porcelain. Plus, your appliances will wear down faster. Your water heater is especially susceptible to damage from hard water. Installing a water softener helps remove excess minerals and can help get your pipes flowing again.

Pressure Regulators

The water pressure regulator could be at fault. It is a mechanical valve that your plumber installed to protect the devices in your home from excessive water pressure. However, if it malfunctions, then it will reduce your water pressure to lower levels than needed; therefore, an expert should replace it.

Faulty Plumbing Hardware

Many mechanical fixtures in your plumbing can produce low water pressure when they are defective. Showerheads and faucets are the most common culprits here, and they should be replaced if you suspect them to be faulty. If the low water pressure is localized to only a few fixtures, then perhaps they were installed poorly. Our team offers a variety of installation and repair services to ensure that your fixtures work correctly.

No one wants to deal with low water pressure and it’s frustrating when you don’t know what could be wrong. As you can tell there are a lot of potential causes ranging from simple to complex. The important thing is that now that you know something is wrong you can fix your plumbing before it becomes more costly to repair.

If you’re dealing with low water pressure, our plumbing professionals can walk you through the process. Give us a call at (516) 882-3390 or reach out to us online!

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