Low Water Pressure: Causes And Cures

Of all the plumbing problems you can have, low water pressure may be one of the most  annoying. When you hop into the shower, you need a strong stream of water to get you up and going. If all you have is a slow dribble, you can't even get the shampoo out of your hair. Low water pressure can wreck your entire day. If this problem is plaguing you, you need to investigate the cause and take action to correct it. 


Leaks are a common and sometimes expensive problem that leads to low water pressure. If you suspect a leak, turn off the water in your home and check your meter reading. Let an hour or so pass and check the reading again. If the number has gone up, you know you have a water leak. Unless you possess advanced plumbing skills, you need to call a professional to locate and fix the leak. 


Mineral build-up can be a serious problem in all homes but especially in those with hard water. Also, aging pipes can shed rust into the water stream, adding to your clogging problems. Eventually, you can end up with only tiny openings in your pipes, ensuring that your water flow is going to be extremely weak. Experts recommend that you clean your shower head and other fixtures by attaching a bag filled with vinegar to them overnight. This procedure can help improve your pressure if the fixtures are the main problem. In many instances, you will have to contact a plumber to address the narrow passages in the middle of the pipes.

Hot Water Heater

If your hot water pressure is lower than your cold water pressure, then the problem may lie with your hot water heater. Minerals and sediment can block the water going into and out of your water heater, especially if you have hard water. You may also have twisted waterlines or problems with the shut-off valve. If your low water pressure is limited to your hot water supply, you should call a plumber and have your water heater evaluated. The problems may be repairable, but in some instances, it may be time for a new water heater.

Pressure Regulator

A more serious pressure problem is caused by a failing pressure regulator. If you have eliminated other causes for your low water pressure, the regulator is a likely culprit.  Replacing this device is usually above the skill level of the average homeowner as it requires digging into your plumbing system.  If you need to have it replaced, call a plumber.

Low water pressure is no joke. It can make taking a shower an unpleasant experience and do a real number on your hair. In addition, it can make doing a load of laundry a long and frustrating process. Also, your dishwasher may take ages to fill. If you are experiencing water pressure problems, do a little investigating. Although you can take some action to correct the problem, often you need the services of an expert plumber (such as one from Chambliss Plumbing Company).