When Your Water Pressure Is Off: Part 1 – Low Water Pressure
Water pressure is one of the things that a lot of people take for granted. When things are working as they should, you never really give much thought about it. But when your water pressure is off it can be a real nuisance, not to mention inconvenient. You can have both low and high pressure issues, and both come with their own set of problems and inconveniences. Here we will discuss what causes low water pressure and what you can do about it.
When You Have Too Little Water Pressure
When you think about issues with your water pressure, you probably automatically thinking about having too little pressure. Low pressure, is a common plumbing problem. Depending on the root of the issue, it can be a simple fix. Too little water pressure could be caused by several different reasons.
One reason you have too little water pressure is the meter valve may not be fully opened. The meter valve is located outside next to the water meter and is the property of the water company. If you are suffering from low water pressure throughout your home, this valve may be the reason, especially if you just had work done on your plumbing system. Check the meter valve and make sure it is fully opened. You can tell if the valve is fully open if the lever is parallel with the water pipe, if it is at an angle, the valve is not fully open.
Main Shutoff Valve
In addition to the meter valve, if you have recently had repairs done and are now suffering from low pressure, the main shutoff valve might not be open all the way. The main shutoff valve is usually located outside near the water meter or around the foundation of your home. Check it to make sure it is fully open.
Faulty Pressure Regulator
The pressure regulator is an important part of your plumbing system because it reduces the pressure in your plumbing system to a safe level. The recommended PSI for your home should be around 50-70 psi, anything above could cause damage to your plumbing system. A faulty regulator could cause a spike in water pressure, but it can also cause your water pressure to decline. When the pressure regulator goes out you will notice it throughout your home, and it will cause a sudden change. If you suspect your pressure regulator is failing, it is best to have it replaced.
Older pipes that have a lot of corrosion could also be the culprit. This is particularly true if you have galvanized steel pipes, but under the right conditions, copper pipes can also be susceptible to mineral deposits, especially in areas with hard water. Over time mineral deposits can become so thick that the flow of water is obstructed, leading to low water pressure. If you have galvanized steel pipes, the best plan of action is to replace the pipes with PEX tubing. If you have copper pipes, you may try flushing your system with vinegar, however this can be quite cumbersome as it requires a lot of vinegar, and needs to set for over 24 hours. In the long run, replacing your pipes with PEX tubing may also be the best bet.
Next time we will be talking about the effects of too much water pressure! Suffering from low water pressure? Rooter Hero can help! To learn more or to schedule your appointment contact us today!