Posted on Apr 30, 2015 in Home Inspections | 0 comments


Home water pressure problems may present themselves in different ways, all of which can be quite frustrating. When only one fixture has low water pressure you can easily focus on fixing just that fixture. However, there are various plumbing issues which can affect the water pressure to your entire house. If your home water pressure is low then the first thing to do is to narrow down the cause, but finding the cause can be the most irksome aspect of this common plumbing problem. So what causes low water pressure? Here are some of the usual suspects, as well as some possible solutions:

1. Check The Water Meter

First make sure the water meter is on all the way. Sometimes, when people make repairs they turn the water back on slowly and a little at a time but then forget to go back and turn the water on the rest of the way. If you have recently had a repair done and are now noticing a reduction in the whole home water pressure check the meter or other water shut off areas like the main shut off where the water might have been shut off.

2. Check The Main Shut Off Valve

Check the main water shut off valves which can be in a few places like one on your side of the water meter and another at the front of the house with the hose bib or in colder areas the water often comes up in the garage (sometimes near or under the water heater). Make sure these valves are on all the way. If they are gate valves turn them all the way counter clockwise and if they are ball valves they should go the direction on the pipe (parallel) when they are fully open. More »

3. Check The Pressure Regulator

Another common cause for home water pressure problems can be the pressure regulator. When the pressure regulator fails it can sometimes cause a large increase in pressure or the opposite a huge decrease in the pressure to your house. This definitely could cause low home water pressure and you would see the change in all the fixtures. Although a pressure regulator can sometimes be matched with a replacement that is the same brand and size in most cases is it better to call a professional and have them take care of it. If you believe the problem is the pressure regulator call around and get some prices to have it changed out. Many times you can get the brand and size right off the side of the regulator so you can get a price over the phone.

4. Consider A Re-Pipe

Old plumbing pipes can be another cause of low home water pressure. This is especially true if the pipes are old galvanized pipes. The inside of the pipes get a buildup that slowly over the years closes off the water ways so water flow to fixtures is reduced until they are virtually unusable. If this is the case, a re-pipe is really the only way to solve the problem. Since a re-pie is a major plumbing repair that requires a permit it is best to call in a professional plumber.

5. Debris and mineral buildup

Debris — such as sand, dirt, and pollutants — can enter your home’s pipes when a water main fractures. Even without a fractured line, your pipes are susceptible to mineral buildup from the deposits that water leaves behind when traveling through your pipes.  Even a small amount of sediment can create a blockage in your home’s plumbing that become one of the causes of low water pressure throughout the home.  The solution to this problem is to examine a section of the pipe to determine if a mineral buildup is the problem. If this is the case, plumbing chemicals that break down and flush out the debris can solve the problem more often than not.

6. Corrosion buildup

Although your steel or galvanized water piping systems are intended to last up to 20 years, the insides of these pipes tend to block the flow of water with natural corrosion over the years. In terms of repairing, there isn’t much that homeowners can do to completely rectify this problem.

However, replacing the pipes completely is a perfectly viable solution. You should expect a long and somewhat expensive process, but the positive aspect is that it only has to be done a few times in a lifetime.

7. Leaks

It’s more or less evident that a leak in your home’s plumbing system will reduce the water pressure throughout the home simply because not all of the water is flowing toward its proper place. To determine if you have a leak, shut off all of the water taps both in and out of your home, and then record the meter. Come back a couple of hours later to see if the meter has changed. If your water usage has increased at all from your first recording, there’s a good chance you have a leak that needs to be repaired by a plumbing professional.

8. Municipal water supply malfunctions

Sometimes your problems with low water pressure may have nothing to do with your home’s piping system. It may be caused by a malfunction in your area’s municipal water supply.Just like your own piping, these systems are subject to leaks, buildups and other problems that can affect the water supply and water pressure. Fortunately, you can call your local municipal water supply department to determine if the municipal water systems is the issue and if the problems will be corrected quickly.


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