When we reach for the handle on a faucet or commode, we expect enough water pressure for everything to work normally. When that doesn’t happen, we should do some investigating. If you have a problem with low water pressure, consider these four possible causes.
Water is full of minerals, especially in areas with hard water. Over time, these minerals can build up in the pipes, reducing the interior space in the pipe and causing low water pressure. Because this problem exists inside the pipe, it is not something you can easily diagnose on your own.
Instead, it will require the services of a plumber, who may have to cut into the pipe to determine the degree of clogging that is present and what must be done to resolve it.
Faucets feature a component called an aerator. It threads onto the faucet and has a screen inside it. The aerator breaks up the water stream to reduce splattering, and it also serves as a final filter to catch any materials that may have come in through the pipes.
If your faucets are the only problem area, this could be what you are dealing with. Simply remove the aerator, clean out any debris, and put it back on the faucet.
Your fixtures can only give you the same pressure that is given to them, so an issue with your community’s water system could be the cause of your home’s water pressure problems. If you have close neighbors, ask them if they are experiencing pressure issues. If the only other homes in your area are at a lower elevation or are just further away, their situation may be different from yours.
If you suspect a problem with your water mains, contact the utility provider. They may be able to activate booster pumps to increase your pressure. They may also have a leak or some damaged lines that are causing your problem.
Most homes have two valves that control all water access into the home. One is at the meter, and the other is inside the home where the line enters. Meters have a device called a check valve that prevents your water from pushing back into the municipal line. If there is a problem with it, the pressure to your home could be reduced. There could also be a problem with the shutoff valve itself.
If you have eliminated other likely causes, contact the provider and request a check of your meter, valve, and check valve. Low water pressure is an inconvenience, but with a few simple steps and some professional help, it can often be corrected.