If you turn your faucet handles and notice that only a trickle of water comes out instead of a cascade, you have a low water pressure problem. Fortunately, troubleshooting the causes of low water pressure is fairly easy to do. First, you’ll need to determine if it’s a “whole house” problem or if it’s area specific.
Main Causes of Low Water Pressure
Many things can cause low water pressure. If the low water pressure is throughout your home, it’s probably a problem with the municipal water supply. If this is a case, your only recourse is to contact the water supplier to find out if there’s a problem on their end and ask them to fix it.
If it’s not a water supplier issue, it could be caused by a leak in the main line. If the low water pressure problem you’re experiencing is area specific, there are some things you’ll need to check, from sediment to old pipes.
Trouble Shooting Low Water Pressure
To determine if there’s a leak in the main line you’ll need to shut off all of the water valves, check your water meter, and then recheck in a few hours. If you find that there’s a considerable difference in the readings, there’s definitely a leak, and you may need to call a plumber.
If it’s only one shower head or faucet that has low water pressure issues (an example of an area specific problem), it could end up being an easy fix, usually caused by sediment buildup within the nozzle. If this is the case, unscrew the fixture and give it a good rinsing. If water still doesn’t flow freely, soak the part in vinegar, and then scrub it with an old toothbrush. If neither of these suggestions works, you can purchase replacement parts at your local home improvement store, and they’re typically inexpensive.
If the low water pressure problem is in a specific pipe, it could be due to corrosion, especially if your pipes are old. If the pipes are corroded, the only fix is to replace them. Remember to wrap the fixture in a thick cloth to protect its finish before using a wrench to remove the fixtures.
When to Hire a Pro
While you can attempt to diagnose your low water pressure issues by yourself and come up with a solution to see if it fixes the problem, you’re better off hiring a pro. While you might be able to fix minor problems, a major blockage issue, corrosion of the pipes and major leaks are all concerns that are best left to a plumbing professional. We’re here to help!
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