What Causes Water Pressure Problems?
Low water pressure is a common plumbing problem around the home. Water pressure issues can sneak up quickly or slowly happen over time. During plumbing inspections, plumbers test water pressures in a home and often discover that the pressure is low.
When water pressure is too low, everything is a little harder. Loads of laundry must wait longer for the wash basin to fill with water. Showers are less relaxing affairs. Toilets take forever to refill after a single flush. Luckily, no one has to live with water pressure issues.
This article is a quick guide to the problems that commonly cause water pressure issues. If homeowners notice poor water pressure, they can use this guide to help direct plumbers to the source of their problems.
Too Many Leaks
This may seem obvious, but leaks are a massive problem. The EPA estimates that 10 percent of homes have leaks that waste at least 90 gallons of water daily. Since plumbing is designed to operate at certain pressures, any leaks cause a corresponding pressure drop. When several leaks are present in a home’s plumbing system, the loss in pressure can be noticeable and frustrating.
Leaks happen for a couple of reasons. First, outdated piping becomes corroded or brittle and starts springing pinhole leaks. Second, normal wear and tear on a plumbing system expose weaknesses in fittings and pipe joints.
Leaks are a hassle for two main reasons: leaks waste money on wasted water and cause a drop in water pressure. Homeowners should keep an eye out for leaks by looking for signs like:
- Wet spots on the lawn
- Spikes in water bills
- Sounds of running water
- New insect problems
- Wet areas on the floor
- Moisture climbing up walls
Plumbers will address leaks by detecting the leak and making the necessary repairs. In most cases, each leak can be attended to separately. In extreme cases, plumbers may recommend a repiping project to tackle outdated plumbing materials.
Clogs and Mineral Buildup
Another common cause of low water pressure is obstructions in the pipe. How do obstructions get into new, freshwater piping? Besides food waste, clogs come from two main sources:
- Mineral Scale: Freshwater carries minerals dissolved within it that contribute to hardness. These minerals can merge onto the inside of piping and obstruct flow. Common treatments include installing water softeners to reduce the mineral content of water.
- Corrosion: Old piping, especially metal piping, is a victim of corrosion. Most metals react to oxygen in the water, which causes pipes to corrode. Corrosion forms scales and flakes on the inside of piping that obstructs flow.
Before making any necessary repairs, some ways plumbers can remove clogs and build-up are drain snaking and hydrojetting.
Closed Valves or Faulty Fixtures
An important observation for a homeowner to make about low water pressure is how extensive the problem is. Is one fixture affected or entire bathrooms? The whole house? Knowing this can help narrow down the causes of low water pressure.
If the low water pressure only affects one fixture, the likely cause is the fixture itself. Sink faucets and showerheads have valves that can become dislodged and partially block flow. If the loss of water pressure is more widespread, homeowners can check the main shutoff valve and the water meter valve to ensure they are not closed or partially closed. The valves not being completely open can restrict flow to multiple fixtures. This method of narrowing down the source can help homeowners and plumbers work together to fix low water pressure.
About Super Plumbers
Super Plumbers is a family-owned and operated company with over a decade of experience serving its neighbors in Tyler, TX, and the surrounding areas. They provide upfront pricing, 24-hour emergency service, and financing. Call them today for plumbing services in Tyler, TX.