When it comes to water pressure in your pipes, it needs to stay consistent. A fluctuating and inconsistent water pressure is not only a nuisance but can be a foreboding warning that something is wrong with your plumbing. Before you run to check your shower and sink water pressure, there are a few important things to know about water pressure, the causes, and when to be concerned. Here’s everything you need to know about low water pressure on your property. Follow along with Joe the Plumber.
First thing’s first—what exactly is low water pressure? In simplistic terms, low water pressure is when water that is being released from plumbing fixtures (such as sinks, showers, or even a hose) comes out rather weakly. It’s low in volume and is usually noticeably slower at coming out compared to normal water pressure. Your plumbing fixtures should act like a steady stream, not a poor dribble going down a rock. Low water pressure isn’t just annoying, it makes it harder and longer to cook or clean. Now knowing the definition, it should be easy to identify a low water pressure plumbing fixture.
Perhaps the most common sign of low water pressure in your plumbing system is a leak. Leaks divert water flow, causing water to flow slower and weaker than it should. While most leaks are simple to identify and find (like water coming from under the sink, or the sound of a dripping faucet, for example), some leaks can exist farther in the pipe, out of immediate sight and earshot. If you suspect a leak, one helpful tip to make sure is to turn off all water flow and watch your water meter. If your water meter usage has gone up and you haven’t used your water, it may be a leak. While some leaks are easy to fix, some may require the help of a professional, such as Joe The Plumber.
Another potential reason for low water pressure is due to buildup inside your pipes. This buildup can be caused by different factors, such as hair, kitchen grease, rust, or even minerals. No matter the cause of the buildup, it’s crucial to act fast. The longer pipe buildup exists, the more likely it can be that your pipes close up completely. It’s also good to know that older homes with pipes made of steel eventually rust and corrode over the years, so if you have an older home or property, this could also be the reason. Possible buildup solutions include chemical drainers (such as Drano) or using a long drain stick that can clear up some pipe space.
If you notice low water pressure from only one plumbing fixture in your home, it may not be a pipe problem—it might be a faucet/fixture problem. Faucets and fixtures have a tendency to accumulate minerals right where the water comes out, causing clogs and blockages. This can gravely affect your water pressure and could be a sign that you need to purchase new faucets and fixtures soon. Thankfully, replacing a faucet doesn’t require many tools, only patience, and a toolbox.
Lastly, if you live in a home or have a property with other people, high water demand could be the reason for your low water pressure. If you have the sprinklers on while someone is washing dishes and another person is showering, this can cause water flow to be weak because water is being supplied to multiple areas around the property. A common solution to high water demand is coordinating with others when water should be used, to achieve good water pressure.
Now that you know what low water pressure is and what its causes are, you may be wondering if you can fix the issue yourself. The answer isn’t always clear. Plumbing is a complex discipline, and the solution isn’t always easy. If you can see the problem clearly with your own eyes — like a clogged faucet or a leaky pipe, for example —and you feel you can handle it, go for it. But remember that even with good interests and a willingness to learn, a professional may be needed, and that’s okay.
As helpful and necessary as it is, plumbing can be hard. Quality plumbing requires patience, expertise, and a lot of tools to fix problems, and homeowners can’t always have the time or experience to become a plumber. If you are struggling with low water pressure and can’t seem to figure out why it may be time to call a professional. For over twenty years, Joe The Plumber has proudly lead the greater Houston area in quality of service and customer satisfaction. You can be assured of a job well done every time thanks to the expertise and dedication of our staff.