Dealing with low water pressure in your home can be a nightmare. There are a variety of different reasons why your water pressure is low or drops suddenly, and there are also a number of steps you can take to help improve the pressure. With this in mind, let’s look at some of the common signs that indicate you have low water pressure as well as the potential causes and how they can be fixed.
Pressure Drops When Using More Than One Fixture
Many times you won’t immediately notice that your water pressure is low until you attempt to use multiple fixtures at once. For instance, the pressure may normally be sufficient to shower but not if you also have the dishwasher or washing machine running. It could also suddenly drop when someone flushes the toilet or uses the sink. All that being said, this issue may not have anything to do with your water pressure and instead indicate that the flow rate is lower than normal due to obstructed pipes or some other issue.
Dishwasher Isn’t Cleaning Properly
Your dishwasher relies on high water pressure in order to blast your dishes clean. When the pressure is too low, it often leads to your dishes ending up not fully clean and with food particles still stuck to them. However, this issue can also occur for other reasons such as the dishwasher filter being dirty or clogged or because you’re not rinsing your dishes well enough and allowing stuck-on food to harden.
Clothes Aren’t Getting Fully Cleaned
As with your dishwasher, low water pressure can also affect your washing machine. If your clothes suddenly start coming out of the machine dingy, soiled, or not looking and smelling clean, it may indicate that your water pressure is too low. The issue here is that not enough water will flow into the machine whenever it fills. When the unit rinses, it only runs the water for a specified period of time and will then shut off and start the cycle regardless of how much water is in the machine.
Bathtub Takes Forever to Fill
Large bathtubs typically have a much higher flow rate than other plumbing fixtures, which means that they require more water pressure. If the pressure isn’t sufficient, it can take an extremely long time for the tub to fill. In some cases, it can take so long that the water will begin to turn cold before the tub is completely filled. This problem often occurs even when there is plenty of water pressure in all of your other fixtures due to the increased flow rate needed to fill the tub.
Higher Water Bills
If your water pressure is lower than normal, you will typically notice at least one of these other signs. However, you can also use your water meter and your monthly bills to help identify any issues. If your water bills suddenly increase for no obvious reason, it most likely means that you have a leak. Even a fairly small leak can potentially reduce your water pressure, while a major leak can make it so that you have almost no pressure at all.
Issues That Can Lead to Low Water Pressure and How to Fix Them
In addition to leaks, there are several other possible reasons that your water pressure is low. One potential issue has to do with the pressure-reducing valve. The pressure in municipal water lines is typically much greater than your plumbing system can handle. This valve works to reduce the pressure as the water enters your home to prevent damage to your pipes and plumbing fixtures.
Your water pressure should normally be somewhere between 40 and 60 psi (pounds per square inch), and the valve helps to keep it at this level. However, sometimes the valve can begin to fail and cause the pressure to either drop or spike. These issues can also occur if the valve isn’t adjusted properly. Due to the potential for damage to your plumbing, you should always hire a professional plumber if your pressure-reducing valve needs to be repaired, replaced, or adjusted.
Your low water pressure issues could also be something as simple as your main water shut-off valve not being fully open. If the valve is partially closed, not as much water can flow. This causes the pressure to be lower. Sometimes, this issue can also be isolated to a specific sink or shower if the valve controlling that fixture isn’t all the way open.
There is also another water shut-off valve located outside your house, usually in or near the street. This is the valve that the utility company uses to control your water supply. In some cases, the utility workers may accidentally prevent this valve from being opened fully, causing your home to have low water pressure. You can contact your water provider to check for any issues on their end.
Another possible reason that your water pressure is low is due to limescale coating the inside of your water lines. This problem is especially common in places with hard water. Over time, the minerals inside the water can solidify and harden inside your pipes. The more buildup there is on the inside of the pipe, the less the water can flow and the lower the pressure will be. Unfortunately, the only way to completely eliminate this problem is to have the affected pipes replaced.
There are also times when the pressure in the municipal water supply will suddenly drop. This can occur due to high demand, leaks, or because work is being done on part of the water system. When this happens, it will affect all of the homes in your neighborhood. The pressure will usually return to normal fairly soon. If the problem persists for more than a day or two and your neighbors are also having the same issue, then it is time to contact the water company to report the problem.
If you’re having issues with low water pressure unrelated to your pressure-reducing valve or shut-off valve, another option is to install a pressure-boosting pump. This type of unit uses an electric motor that spins to increase the pressure of the water coming into your home before it flows throughout the rest of the plumbing system. A pressure pump can also be helpful in situations where your flow rate and pressure are decreased due to limescale buildup inside your water lines.
Trusted Plumbing and HVAC Services in Las Vegas
At BEST Air Conditioning Plumbing Repair, our technicians are here to help you overcome your water pressure issues. If your water pressure suddenly drops or is always low, we can inspect your entire plumbing system to find the cause and how to overcome it. Our team of professional plumbers also works on sewer lines, drains, water heaters, water filtration systems, garbage disposals, gas lines, and all kitchen and bathroom fixtures. We can also help with heating and air conditioning installation, repair, and maintenance. Our staff also specializes in indoor air quality equipment and services. To learn more about improving your home’s water pressure or if you have any other questions, contact BEST Air Conditioning Plumbing Repair today.