How to Increase Your House's Water Pressure How to Increase Your House's Water Pressure

If you have low water pressure in your home, fixing the problem can seem daunting. Low water pressure can be caused by many things, however, there are several simple remedies you can do yourself. The solution to your house's low water pressure will be determined by the issue you are facing. Do you need more water pressure at only one faucet? Do you have a long history of low pressure, or do you have a recent low-pressure issue? Let's explore some solutions to some of the most common low water pressure problems and explain some ways you can fix the problem yourself.

How to Increase Water Pressure at One Faucet

Step 1 - Clean the Aerator

A faucet aerator.

With a pair of pliers, unscrew the aerator, which is located at the end of the faucet. Take the aerator apart and clean it by rinsing off sediment and dirt with water. If the parts to the aerator still look dirty, let them soak in an equal mixture of white vinegar and water for three hours. Run the faucet for a few minutes to loosen up any sediment in the pipe. You can use the same process to clean showerheads.

Step 2 - Disassemble the Faucet

If after cleaning the aerator you still have low pressure, you will have to disassemble the faucet. To do so, unscrew the stem retainer nut and pull the stem straight up. There may be a retaining collar to remove first. Once the faucet is disassembled, you can repair it based on what you see. If you see a spring or washer, carefully take them off with a screwdriver and rinse them off. If they are broken, replace them.

Step 3 - Flush out the Faucet

Once everything has been repaired, reassemble the faucet. Use a cup to block the faucet and turn the water on and off several times to flush out anything else that could be causing the clog.

Fixing a Recent Low-Pressure Problem

Address Problems With the Hot Water Supply

If you have low pressure only with your hot water, look for the answer at your water heater. Some issues to look for include the following:

  • Leaks in the tank or valves
  • Hot water heater clogged by sediment or sediment in the hot water supply line. If there is, flush the tank. To keep this problem from happening again, be sure to replace the anode rod regularly and think about having a water softener installed.
  • Hot water pipes that are too small. Pipes leading from your water heater should be at least 3/4" inches in diameter.
  • Leaky pipes are very common. Check under pipes for any damp spots. These could be caused by condensation or could be a leak that's causing the problem. Lay down paper towels over the damp spot and come back the next day. If the towels are wet, you have a leaky pipe. Fix any leaks you find.

Check the Water Meter

Someone making note of a water meter reading.

Last in the line of defense is to check your water meter. Make sure all water to the house is completely shut off and then read the meter. If the small disk on the meter is still spinning, there is water still flowing in the house which means you have a leak somewhere. You can also write down the number of the reading, wait a couple hours without using any water, and then check the reading again. If you get a new reading, you have a leak.

Another issue that is rare but does happen is that the master shutoff valve may not be open fully. The valve is located near the meter. Check it to make sure it is open all the way.

Addressing a History of Low Pressure

Replace Old Supply Pipes

Old galvanized pipes can often clog with corrosion or mineral buildup, which will slow water flow. If your pipes are magnetic and silver and have threaded fittings, they are made of galvanized steel. Replace the old pipes with copper or plastic pipe to increase your water pressure.

Check Pipe Size

If the pipe is too small to meet your house's water needs, this could be what is causing the low pressure. The pipe diameter of supply lines should be at least 3/4" for a three-bedroom house.

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