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shower head with low water pressure

Five Causes of Low Water Pressure: Diagnose and Fix Them

Diagnosing the source is necessary to determine the appropriate solution to increase the water pressure and prevent future problems.

Lower water pressure from only one fixture, such as a showerhead, is likely an easy fix. Repairing a leaky pipe or removing a clog might remedy the situation instantly. However, low water pressure affecting multiple fixtures and parts of the home can indicate numerous issues.

Diagnosing the source is necessary to determine the appropriate solution to increase the water pressure and prevent future problems.

Common Causes of Low Water Pressure

The most common causes of low water pressure include:

  • Shutoff valves – Many homes have two major shutoff valves to control water. The water meter valve and water shutoff valve must remain open entirely for an adequate water flow. If either valve is partially open or closed, it can cause low water pressure.
  • Pressure regulator damage – A pressure regulator maintains water pressure in plumbing systems. Excessive pressure, rust, and faulty connector parts can cause the regulator to fail, reducing water pressure.
  • Corrosion – Corroded pipes restrict the flow of water. It is a common problem in older galvanized steel pipes. Since the water can't travel through the pipes easily, water pressure is reduced.
  • Debris build-up – Food particles, dirt, hair, and other foreign objects might not cause immediate problems, but over time they can lead to a clog. A build-up of debris restricts or blocks water from flowing through pipes.
  • Plumbing leaks – A leak somewhere in the plumbing system prevents water from going where it should. It flows out of the pipe or gets diverted somewhere else.

How to Diagnose and Fix Low Water Pressure

Some problems are easy to resolve. However, complicated jobs require an experienced plumber. Let an expert locate the cause of your low water pressure and utilize an effective method to fix it.

Below is essential information on diagnosing the most common causes of low water pressure and how to address them.

Shutoff Valves

You should check both shutoff valves if you notice low water pressure in your home. Typically, the water meter valve is in an interior utility area or on an exterior wall of the house. The valve should be parallel to the water pipe. If it's at an angle, it's not open completely.

The water shutoff valve should be somewhere outside your home near the main city supply pipe, where it enters through the foundation. You should check the valve if your water pressure drops after a repair. The service provider might have closed or left it partially open by mistake.

Pressure Regulator Damage

If you have a pressure regulator in your home, it can cause a spike or drop in water pressure if it fails. A malfunctioning pressure regulator happens suddenly and often affects all fixtures.

You can test the water pressure in your home to determine whether a failed pressure regulator is the culprit. Attach a pressure gauge close to the pressure regulator or water main on the hose spigot outside for a reading.

Water pressure should be between 40 and 75 pounds per square inch (psi), depending on where you live. Your regulator might have failed if the pressure is significantly lower than the recommended range. Hiring a professional is necessary to repair or replace it correctly.

Corrosion

Pipes eventually close off from corrosion on the inside. Accessing the inside of a pipe isn't simple. It's also risky if you don't know what you're doing. You could cause more damage, requiring additional repairs.

You should hire a plumbing company to determine if corrosion is the culprit of your low water pressure. The only solution for corrosion is to re-pipe the system with new plastic or copper water supply pipes.

Debris Build Up

A build-up of debris restricts or blocks water from draining. However, clogs are not isolated to drains. They can form deep within the pipes and reduce water pressure in multiple areas of the home.

If you think a clog is responsible for your low water pressure, search for warning signs, such as:

  • A slowly draining shower, sink, or tub
  • Drains making gurgling noises
  • Backed up water and sewage

Finding a clog is like looking for a needle in a haystack. It could be anywhere, especially if it causes low water pressure in multiple parts of your home.

A plumber can locate and remove the clogs to facilitate better water flow. You can call Indigo Home & Facility Services to clean your pipes.

Plumbing Leaks

Reduced water pressure doesn't necessarily mean there's a massive leak. Even a small leak can redirect your water supply, preventing a full flow.

You can check for leaks by looking near your pipes for pooling water or wet spots. For hard-to-find leaks, a plumber can take a reading on your water meter. If the low water pressure is from a leak, your plumber from Indigo Home & Facility Services can find the leak and repair or replace the pipe or another part of your plumbing system.

Have Low Water Pressure? We Can Fix It

Low water pressure is a common plumbing issue. It can affect showerheads, faucets, sinks, toilets, and other fixtures.

At Indigo Home & Facility Services, we provide dependable and affordable plumbing services to customers throughout Austin. We can diagnose the cause of your low water pressure and resolve the problem efficiently and effectively.

Call us at (512) 608-4999 today for an appointment to fix your low water pressure. Learn more about our other services, such as pipe cleaning, shower and fixture installation, leak detection, and bathroom remodeling.