Low water pressure in a home is an annoyance, as anything that utilizes water takes longer, and the effectiveness of shower heads, sink sprayers, and other devices is also compromised. But low water pressure can also be a signal of other developing plumbing problems. The water pressure inside your home should generally range between 45 p.s.i. and 60 p.s.i. A qualified plumber can attach a gauge and check the pressure, as well as determine whether the problem affects the whole house or just certain fixtures. Here are three main causes of low water pressure:
In many cities, water pressure coming straight from the municipal water line is generally around 100 p.s.i.—far too high for household plumbing. Therefore, a pressure regulator is typically installed at your water meter to reduce incoming water pressure to the safe range. If the regulator is maladjusted or defective, it may be lowering the pressure too much. A plumber can test and then adjust or replace the regulator as needed.
Most municipal water contains dissolved minerals, chiefly calcium carbonate. Over time, mineral deposits may form inside water lines, gradually narrowing the internal diameter of the pipe and reducing water pressure. If mineral deposits occur in the main water supply pipe, pressure to the whole house is reduced. However, if only smaller internal supply lines are affected, low pressure may be limited to certain areas of the house or certain fixtures. Re-piping is generally required to eliminate water pressure due to mineral accumulation.
Ongoing leaks from the water supply pipe obviously reduce water pressure. While in-house leaks usually become conspicuous, leaks in the underground supply pipe or from a pipe embedded in the slab might not be detected for some time. Turn off all the fixtures in the house and observe the dial on your water meter. If it’s still moving, there’s a leak somewhere. A professional plumber has the expertise and equipment to track down hidden leaks and make the repair.
If low water pressure is affecting your home, contact the professionals at Apollo Home.