Why Do I Have Low Water Pressure?

You may have noticed the water pressure in your shower or sink and wondered why it isn’t as strong as it once one. A common plumbing repair request, low water pressure is more of an annoyance than anything. Some plumbing problems can cause safety concerns or water damage, but low water pressure is a sign something else may be wrong in the system. If your water pressure seems low, here’s what you need to know.

How to Test for Low Water Pressure

Water coming into your home is usually between 50-70 pounds per square inch or psi, however once it reaches your appliances or water points, it is likely closer to 45-55 psi. When the psi is tested, if it comes in under 40 pounds per square inch, it is considered low water pressure and can be corrected.

Some cities will perform a water pressure test for you, otherwise, call a plumber or do it yourself with a water pressure gauge you can pick up at a hardware store. Attach the gauge to a water outlet near the main water supply, such as the hose bib where you connect your outdoor garden hose.

Make sure you don’t have the water running anywhere in the system including appliances that draw on water such as an ice-maker, dishwasher, or washing machine. Any water movement will cause a false reading lower than what’s accurate. Slowly open the water supply valve to the outlet you have the gauge reading and wait for the needle to stop moving. Record your results, turn off the water, and retest.

If the readings aren’t the same, you may want to wait a few more minutes and retest, making sure no one is using water. Readings below 45psi or above 75psi will require a water pressure adjustment be made.

How to Fix Low Water Pressure

There are several options for addressing low water pressure, but they won’t work for everyone. A local plumber can look at your unique situation and determine your best options, and make the repair(s) for you.

First, ask the water department if they can deliver a higher psi to your home. If you are not on city water, this is not an option.

Second, check your PRV or Pressure Reducing Valve for its setting and make an adjustment as needed. If it has failed (typically due to age), have it replaced.

Third, check your water pipes. Mineral deposit build-up or even corrosion in your water pipes can cause a blockage, reducing water pressure. Lines that are too small or have a leak can also cause low water pressure. A licensed plumber has strategies to test for leaks, as well as can make sure your pipes are up to code.

Fourth, think about installing a water pressure booster. Water pressure booster increase your water pressure with its pump and pressure tank system. Ideal in situations that require a burst of extra pressure, such as when multiple appliances are being used.

Concerned about low water pressure in your home? AC&R Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing services has over 20 years of expert plumbing service to help you get all your plumbing working at its optimal level. Call today and get your questions answered and problem solved.