A trickle of water when you expected a high pressure jet of water is enough to drive you crazy while in a shower. Not only bathing in such dribbling water becomes difficult, but you also have to face several other problems. There are number of causes that may lead to low water pressure in your home. Be it in the kitchen sink or bathroom, most of these problems are so minor that you can fix them yourself. Thus, you do not need to summon a plumbing expert every time you face such a situation.
Causes and Solutions to Increase Water Pressure
The pressure may reduce due to incorrectly positioned valves. Valves are of two types - customer valve and home valves. If these valves are set at any position other than 'ON', you are likely to face low water pressure. A customer valve is located in your meter box, whereas home valve is on the front of your residence where the water line enters your home. This is a wagon wheel-shaped valve. To ensure nothing is stuck in it, turn it clockwise to partially shut it off. Then again turn it counterclockwise as far as it goes. This will open your valve completely and also get rid of any deposits.
Pressure regulator is a bell-shaped device with a screw at the end. This device can be found below the frontal connection or under the house, in the crawlspace. Adjusting the screw can solve most of your problems. Tighten the screw in order to increase the pressure of water. Usually, the regulator is preset at 45 - 60 psi by the manufacturer and rarely needs adjustment. Do not increase the pressure too much as you may run the risk of damaging your pipelines.
Any damage, small or large, to the pipeline may result in water leakage which eventually reduces the pressure. However, in the absence of a trained plumber it is difficult to detect a leaky pipeline. The best solution is monitoring your meter. Turn off all the water outlets in your home and monitor the reading of the meter. Keep the outlets in 'off' state for another two hours and take the meter reading again. If you notice an increase in the reading, it means you have a leakage somewhere in the pipeline. However, you will have to summon a plumber to find the leaky pipe and get it replaced.
Water usage is at its peak during certain hours of the day. It is mostly very high in the morning when everybody is getting ready for work. Thus, chances are you might be having shower at the same time as number of other people in your neighborhood. This sudden demand causes the water to flow at a lower pressure. You may also notice a drop in the pressure in the evening while watering your lawn. Hence, if you wish to increase pressure for sprinklers and showers, a little rescheduling of your activities can help you overcome the problem.
Mineral deposits are often one of the causes, especially in old, galvanized iron pipes. Hot water and horizontal pipes accelerate the process of mineral deposition in the pipes. You may benefit by scrubbing the shower head and removing accumulated mineral deposits.
If you are unable to find a cause, you should perhaps call a licensed plumber to detect the fault. Often, homeowners try to fix the problem on their own without bothering to check the cause. This may actually add to the original problem.
More often than not, your problem is likely to be due to one of the above mentioned causes. If not, do not hesitate to seek professional assistance.