Low water pressure in the home is not only inconvenient but extremely frustrating, especially when you don't know what the problem is, where it's coming from, or how to fix it. There are many reasons, however, for low water pressure in your home. Below are a few of the most common situations you may be experiencing and what you can do to fix the problem.
1. Shut-Off Valve Turned Off
There is always the possibility that the main shut-off valve allowing water to your home has somehow been turned to the very low or off position. This can be adjusted without the help of a plumber.
2. Clogged Aerator
If you find that the problem is focused on certain areas only, such as the kitchen and bathroom sink or the shower, this may be due to a clogged aerator. This is easily fixed by unscrewing the nozzle, removing the aerator, and cleaning it. The most common cleaning method is water and vinegar. There's also the option of just buying a new one and starting fresh.
3. Water Main Connection
Sometimes an issue arises between the connection of the main water line from your home to the city or county supply line. If you find evidence of standing water, mud, or saturated ground near or around the connection point, contact your local water authority for assistance.
4. Running Water Elsewhere
This is perhaps one of the more common issues of low water pressure. Whether you're filling up a kiddie pool, washing the dog, or watering the garden, it's easy to get distracted and forget to turn off the faucet. A running faucet is a sure reason for water to run at low pressure elsewhere in the home.
5. Broken Water Line in the House
A broken water line in the home will cause damage and can create mold. Walk the home and look for signs of water on the floors, walls, inside closets, under cabinets, in outbuildings such as a garage, shed, or laundry room, or any other area where water lines run through the home. Turn off all the faucets inside and out and check the water meter. If the dial is spinning, that means water is running somewhere on the property. Turn off the shut-off valve to prevent additional damage and call a plumber.
6. Mineral Deposits
Water lines get clogged with many things but one that is prevalent, especially in galvanized piping, is the buildup of mineral deposits. Over time, these deposits decrease the area inside the water line, which results in low water pressure from the affected faucets. While the use of a plunger can clear many things from a drain, it will have no effect on the mineral buildup. Removing and cleaning the lines is best left to a plumber to prevent damage to the water line.
7. A Broken Line
Low water pressure may be due to a damaged or broken water line in your community. If the appropriate personnel is working on repairing the line, this too could be a reason for the pressure to be running low. Check with your neighbors to find out if they are also experiencing low water pressure. If so, it's most likely a main water line issue. Contact your water department to let them know there is a problem in case it has not yet been reported.
Keep the water flowing in your home with a few checks to ensure things are in good working order. Periodically check the functionality of the faucets, replace worn out fixtures, clean the aerator, and have an annual maintenance checkup completed by a licensed plumber. Staying ahead of potential problems can help eliminate costly repairs in the future.