Low Water Pressure in Your House? Here’s Why

low water pressure problem closeup at shower head

At some point in a homeowner’s journey, residents will come across the common aggravation that is low water pressure. This leads to the pertinent question “Why is my water pressure low?”  There is a multitude of reasons for low water pressure, and knowing those reasons and the common background behind water pressure will alleviate homeowner stress.

What Is a Normal Water Pressure Level?

A normal water pressure for your house ranges from 45 to 80 psi. Anything below that level constitutes low water pressure. If you are feeling wary that your water pressure is low, use a test gauge that measures psi. This handy tool can be found at most hardware stores. To measure your home’s water pressure, screw the gauge onto the hose spigot on the outside of the home. Turn the valve on, and your reading will appear. 

7 Causes of Low Water Pressure

  1. Water Demand 

A common cause for low water pressure can be due to high water demand within the household. When multiple taps are used throughout the house, this can drop the water pressure below a satisfactory level. Between the multiple taps being used throughout the home, the demand becomes too high, leading to low water pressure. 

This can easily be fixed by making sure the use of water throughout the house is divided properly by staggering activities that rely on water consumption. Examples would be avoiding showers when running the dishwasher and making sure multiple sinks aren’t being used at the same time. 

  1. Closed Shut-Off Valves

The main water shutoff valve regulates the flow of water in a home. If your water pressure is low, it may be because this valve is partially closed. For your home to receive proper water pressure, it’s essential that these valves are open. 

The main shutoff valve can be located near the outside hose spigot or inside the home in the utility room. Make sure the valve is turned all the way to the opened position. Harsh winters in Indiana can lead to issues for not only your shutoff valve but also other plumbing fixtures in a home. Chapman Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can assess the situation, determine the issue, and offer a long-lasting solution. 

  1. Plumbing Fixture Issues 

Another issue that may cause low water pressure is fixture issues. One thing to keep in mind is the aerator on a faucet fixture. The aerator is designed to reduce an influx of water flow from the faucet without compromising water pressure. Aerators can be prone to buildup by limestone, rust, or dirt. This can be fixed by removing the aerators on your faucets and inspecting them for these issues. Reinstall the aerators once they have been cleaned to determine if the water pressure is now at a good level. 

Fixtures themselves can also get clogged, and given that they are relatively inexpensive, replacing them is a viable option.

  1. Broken Pressure Regulator 

The plumbing system within your home contains a component known as the pressure regulator. This regulator keeps water pressure at a comfortable level in your home. Your water pressure may become low or high depending on if this component is broken.

The pressure regulator is a bell-shaped component near your home’s hose connection. You can adjust the pressure regulator accordingly depending on your home’s water pressure issues, whether high or low. High water pressure in particular can cause other problems like damaged faucets, showerheads, appliances, and water lines. Call a plumber if you believe your pressure regulator needs replacing.

  1. Sediment Buildup

Sediment buildup within a pipe’s walls can lead to clogged pipes over time. Minerals flowing through running water can create buildup that will ultimately induce low water pressure. A common sign of this issue is initially observing good water flow that dwindles to mere drops.

Routine checkups by your plumber will help determine the current health of your pipes to curve the chance of sediment buildup being the root cause of your water pressure problems.

  1. Corrosion 

Corrosion issues pertain to homeowners with metal pipes. Corrosion develops over time within metal pipes and will restrict water flow. Corroded pipes may affect a small section of pipes within a home or the whole plumbing system. 

Calling a plumber will help determine whether your pipes need cleaning or if they need to be replaced. Chapman Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can offer full pipe repair or replacement in the Indianapolis area

  1. Small Branch Lines 

The vertical supply stack lines that come off the plumbing system are known as branch lines. These branch lines lead to different plumbing fixtures. Low water pressure can also mean that your branch lines are too small to satisfy your home’s water demand. The fix to this issue would be best suited for your plumber to gauge if your home needs bigger branches.

Quick DIY Fixes

If low water pressure strikes your home, it can be a daunting task of what to do. Thankfully, there is a list of quick do-it-yourself fixes anyone can do before restoring to a local plumber.

  • Check Your Shower Heads 

A simple solution to low water pressure issues can be checking your shower heads. Your shower head may have developed too much buildup. If different faucets and taps throughout your home have different water pressure levels, this is the best place to start.

Soaking your shower heads with vinegar and then cleaning them regularly afterward can help clear up depository buildup.

  • Drain Your Water Heater 

Water heaters can also develop sediment buildup. Homeowners should regularly practice draining their water heater once a year. If this isn’t practiced, this can take years off of your water heater’s lifespan. Turn off the water heater first, then drain the tank.

  • Clear Debris From Pipes 

Miscellaneous debris can cause your pipes to get clogged. As mentioned above, clogged pipes can cause low water pressure. A cable or snake drain that’s fed down your pipes can do a great job of unclogging your pipes. Doing this task regularly is a healthy way to help the timespan and efficiency of your home’s pipes.

Chapman Team

Fix Low Water Pressure with the Expert Plumbers at Chapman

If these DIY tasks haven’t fixed your water pressure issues, it’s probably time to contact a local professional. Low water pressure can be caused by a degree of issues. Indianapolis area residents can have faith in the certified professionals at Chapman Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for their plumbing needs that range from routine inspections, pipe replacements, cleaning, repair, and more to fix low water pressure in your home. Schedule an appointment with Chapman Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing today.