Common Water Pressure Problems and How to Solve Them
Water pressure problems are an annoyance that many homeowners contend with, but they aren’t something you just have to live with. Here’s how to deal with some common water pressure issues that can develop in your home plumbing system.
Low Pressure at Individual Plumbing Fixtures
If low pressure is affecting a single fixture, you may be able to correct the problem yourself depending on the cause. If a faucet is affected, take off the aerator and thoroughly rinse its mesh screen to clear any sediment particles. If the aerator is coated with limescale, soak it in a 50–50 vinegar/water solution for 15 or 20 minutes. If the scale doesn’t dissolve, replace the aerator. You can use the same procedures for a clogged showerhead nozzle. If there’s no improvement in water pressure at the fixture, have a professional plumber check the water lines for a partial blockage.
Hot Water Pressure Problems
If there’s insufficient water pressure only on the hot water supply throughout your house, a sediment accumulation in the water heater lines and tank is the likely culprit. If the tank hasn’t been flushed regularly, the buildup can block the pressure relief and drain valves, so it’s best to have the water heater inspected and serviced by an experienced plumber.
House-Wide Low Pressure
If pressure is low at every fixture, first check that your main water valve is fully open. If it is, you should contact a trusted plumber to investigate further. It may be that pressure in the neighborhood is too low and your home needs a booster installed, or there’s a leak in your main supply line that needs fixing. There may be a reducing valve on your plumbing system that needs attention, or you may be advised that your galvanized piping is badly corroded or there’s a scale/sediment buildup in your water lines.