Perhaps you’ve been putting up with a trickling showerhead, or a kitchen faucet that gives you a weak stream even when it’s full-on. Maybe it takes forever to fill up a bathtub, or your outdoor sprinklers barely wet a few square feet. In all these cases, you’re dealing with a water flow that’s well below normal.
If low water pressure is giving you high blood pressure, check out these three simple tricks to improve flow.
Pinpoint The Problem
The first thing to do is to assess your particular situation. If you are experiencing low pressure on only one or two fixtures, it’s likely that the low flow is due to a localized build-up of debris. Take apart the faucets and showerheads and clear out the aerators. If the washers and fittings seem crusty, soak them in a diluted vinegar solution in order to remove mineral deposits that are naturally present in hard water and tend to accumulate over time.
Check Hot And Cold
Is your water pressure low for both the cold and hot water taps? If only the hot water is sputtering, then the likely culprit is your water heater. Make sure to completely open the heater’s shut-off valve, which is used to stop the flow of cold water into the main tank in the case of repair or replacement. If this doesn’t solve the problem, call a plumber to inspect your water heater for clogged lines, tank leaks, or other faults in functioning.
All Systems Are Totally Not Go
If the problem is systemic, you may want to check your house’s incoming water pressure using an inexpensive gauge. If the pressure is far below the maximum recommended of about 80 psi, consider adjusting your whole-home water pressure at your PRV, or pressure release valve. This valve is bell-shaped and located on a pipe close to where the water supply enters your home. If the valve is working properly, a few twists should increase the flow and solve the overall problem. While you’re in the basement, cast an eye over the supply valve to the water meter to make sure that it’s fully open, thus not restricting flow.
If you’re still not receiving the full-on shower satisfaction that you deserve after all these efforts, you may have a water leak, a common source for low pressure. Contact a trusted plumber who’ll address the problem and get your water flowing fast.