Low Water Pressure? 6 Causes to Blame
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1. Corrosion in Your Pipes
Most pipes are made from traditional or galvanized steel. Some pipes are even made of other metals like copper. These metal pipes are supposed to last about 20 years or so, but they will naturally corrode over time. As the pipes rust and the corrosion collects inside your pipes, the buildup can stop your water flow.
Only a plumber can positively identify corroding pipes, so you’ll need a plumbing professional to inspect the pipes. However, if you notice rust colored or blue and white buildup on the outside of visible metal pipes, they’re likely corroded and blocking your water flow.
2. Leaks in Your Plumbing
You know that your pipes take water throughout your home. So when one of the pipes has a crack and the water leaks, some of the water is diverted from its final destination. Most of the time, minor leaks won’t greatly impact your water pressure.
However, if the pipe has a large crack or hole in it or several of your pipes are damaged and leaking, your water pressure will go down significantly.
Look at all the visible pipes in your building and look for dripping water, water stains, or mold and mildew growth. You can also look for bubbling or peeling paint and wallpaper, as well as water stains on walls, to determine if your pipes have a leak.
Some leaks aren’t easily identifiable, such as leaks in the pipes buried under your home. Your plumber has the right equipment and knowledge to properly identify a leak, so have him or her inspect your home’s piping thoroughly.
3. Malfunctions With the Municipal Water Source
Low water pressure isn’t always a result of issues with your building’s plumbing system. Instead, it could be caused by malfunctions with your municipal water supply. For example, if a water main breaks, everyone in the surrounding areas will have low water pressure.
If you have low water pressure, call a neighbor and see if he or she also has the same issue. If so, then call your city’s municipality and see if they know of any problems with the water main.
4. Mineral and Debris Buildup
Like corrosion, minerals and debris can build up inside your pipes and faucets. Depending on the severity of the buildup, you may even see deposits on the outsides of your faucets and shower heads.
If you have low water pressure and you’ve seen mineral deposits on your faucets, try cleaning the fixtures. Simply sprinkle a little baking soda on the surface of your faucets and shower heads. Try to cover the surface as much as possible. Then, pour some white vinegar into a clear sandwich bag, lift the bag and liquid over the faucet, and tie it around the fixture.
Leave the bag on your faucets and shower heads for a few hours so the baking soda and vinegar can dissolve the buildup. Remove the bag and rinse away the buildup. If this step hasn’t improved your water pressure, contact your plumber. You likely have a clog somewhere deeper in your plumbing system that this professional can detect and remedy.
5. Neighborhood Use
If multiple people in your neighborhood turn on their water at the same time, this peak use could cause low water pressure.
Rather than annoying all of your neighbors by calling them to see if they’re using their water, call your city municipality and ask them for peak times of water usage in your neighborhood. You should also ask them what times of day are lowest for water use. Then, try using your water during non-peak times to see if your water pressure has increased.
6. Shut-Off Valve Errors
Sometimes by mistake, your building’s main shut-off valve could be turned towards the “off” position. The closer it is to this position, the lower your building’s water pressure. Go to your main shut-off valve and make sure the valve is completely open.
If it is open and you still have issues with your water pressure, another issue is likely the culprit.
If you notice low water pressure in your home, use the information in this blog to troubleshoot the problem. When you discover the cause, or even if you aren’t sure what the cause is, contact your plumbing expert as soon as possible.
He or she will inspect your home and determine what the real source of your home’s low water pressure is. Then, he or she will make repairs or replace any plumbing components to ensure you have normal water pressure again.
Your plumbing technician can also provide you with additional tips to prevent low water pressure in the future. Remember, though, that some issues like a cracked pipe can occur again despite your best efforts and will simply require your plumbing expert to fix the problem.