Everyone loves a nice hot shower, but have you ever had to take one with low water pressure? Many people see a lack of water pressure as being annoyingly inconvenient. Low water pressure in your home can also lead to costly repairs and damages if you have appliances that need high-pressure washing, like dishwashers or clothes washers. Fortunately, the problem of low water pressure is easily fixed, and having more water pressure can be achieved in several ways. This article will give you some different ways to improve water pressure in your home.
Adjust The Pressure-Reducing Valve
Adjusting a pressure-reducing valve is the most obvious solution to low water pressure. Every home has at least one of these, and they are usually located on the main water supply pipe. Look for a conical-shaped valve near the water meter, close to where the main water pipe enters the house. A threaded bolt protrudes from the top of the valve. To increase pressure, loosen the locking nut on the bolt and turn it clockwise. Then, tighten the locknut to secure the valve. Use a pressure gauge to determine when you’ve reached the proper water pressure, which is around 50 PSI.
Clear Clogged Pipes
Water valves and pipes can get clogged with minerals or rust, reducing water pressure. The problem may be hard-water buildup from calcium and magnesium if you have a well. If you have a municipal water supply, rusting may be the problem. Sometimes if there is too much sediment in the pipe or valve, it will not allow enough room for water to pass through. If that’s your problem, use a plumber’s snake to clear and vinegar to try and clean obstructions. If this doesn’t work, the clog may be farther down the line, and you will call a professional for help.
Install A Pressure Booster Pump
Most homes use about 45-50 PSI of water pressure on average. If your home is on a well and you want more than that, you will need to install a pressure booster pump. A pressure booster pump uses the power from an electrical outlet to push water through hoses and pipes to reach higher levels of pressure. Installing a pressure booster pump can be more complex than other methods, and it is generally used only as a last resort if you decide to go this route. Hiring a plumber to help you may be the best way to complete this project.
Replace The Regulator
A regulator is a safety device that prevents water from rushing through the pipes when there’s an interruption in service, such as during a power outage; it also protects against a “water hammer.” It may be located at the meter or where the service line enters the house. When the regulator fails, the pressure gradually decreases, causing a loss of tension throughout your whole house that affects some or all of your home’s fixtures. Reset or replace this component, or better yet, enlist the help of a plumber to get the job done.
Replace The Meter
A faulty water meter is another cause of low water pressure. Often, if your water meter has been acting up or doesn’t seem to be registering usage correctly, it’s time for an upgrade. Usually, water meters only need to be replaced every 15-20 years. The more modern meters have a slim profile and are easy to replace. However, some meters are located inside the house near water appliances, such as dishwashers or clothes washers. In that case, you may have to hire a plumber or handyman for this repair job.
Check With The City
If you have a municipal water supply, check with your city or county to find out if they have a blockage affecting the water pressure. The problem may be as simple as debris lodged under a bridge or as severe as damage from an earthquake. In either case, contact authorities to address the problem as soon as possible. They will tell you if it’s a problem that your neighborhood is experiencing. If not, you will know that the issue is something to do with your home’s water pressure systems.
Check For Leaks In Your Pipes
Leaks are another possible cause of water pressure problems. Experts say that most leaks go undetected because they happen slowly over time due to deteriorating pipes and fixtures that need replacing. Read the water meter before and after two hours when nobody uses water to check for leaks. If the second reading is significantly higher, you have a leak. To find the leak, turn off all water in the house and inspect all fixtures, faucets, and pipes that you can see. The leak can also be behind a wall, or under the floor, so you may need to hire a plumber for further inspection if you don’t see it in any exposed pipes.
To increase water pressure in your home, you may need to make several repairs and replacements. The best place to start is checking for leaks, which can waste gallons of water a day. If you have a municipal water supply, the city or county authorities should tell you whether they are experiencing any problems on their end. If the problem continues even after you’ve replaced and upgraded specific components, then call in a plumber for further inspection and repairs.