Water pressure in your home should be somewhere between 45 and 55 PSI. Water pressure higher than 55 PSI can be dangerous and blow faucets off the taps, but low water pressure can actually render your home non-functional. Washing machines and dishwashers may not work right. Your shower and kitchen sink may be reduced to a trickle.
If you’re not getting at least 40 PSI water pressure, then your home is at risk. Fortunately, there are several things that any homeowner (or renting tenant) can do to improve their home water pressure, depending on the cause.
Causes of Low Water Pressure
What causes low water pressure in your home? It can come from something sapping your water, like a leak, or pipes narrowed by mineral deposits from hard water. It might also be pressure coming from the city or your well pump.
Scale Buildup In Your Pipes
Hard water has extra minerals in it that deposit on everything the water touches -including the pipes themselves. Over time, hard water deposits will narrow your pipes and decrease your home’s water pressure. You will need to clean your supply pipes (not the drains) to increase water pressure again.
Leak Near Your Water Main
If you have a leak immediately after your water main, then the water from the city may not be reaching your taps to supply ample water pressure. You’ll need to detect and repair the leak before your water pressure improves.
Leak or Damage in Municipal Pipes
If the city pipes have a leak – which can sometimes happen during digging operations nearby – then your house or maybe everyone on your block will have decreased water pressure. Ask your neighbors to discover if their taps are also slow, or suddenly much slower.
Your Well Water Pump
If your water comes from a nearby well, poor water pressure is likely the responsibility of the well pump.
Possible Solutions for Low Water Pressure at home
Descale Water Heater and Water Supply Pipes
If your taps run hard water, (90% of homes do), you can descale your water heater (improving efficiency) and descale your pipes at the same time with a simple overnight operation and 2 gallons of vinegar.
Turn off your water heater and drain out two gallons of water. Then pour two gallons of vinegar into the top. Run each hot water tap until you start to smell vinegar – but it’s not yet coming out the tap. Turn off all the taps and let the vinegary water sit in the pipes overnight – or for about 6 hours. The next morning, run your pipes clear to let out the vinegar and the dissolved scale. You should experience improved water pressure.
Have Plumber Test for Hidden Leaks
If you think it might be a leak, ask your plumber to test for hidden leaks. There are several methods where a plumber can detect if water is disappearing invisibly underground or behind a wall. Once the leak is found and repaired, your water pressure should be restored.
Check Your Water Main Pressure & Call the City
If your water main reads a pressure of 40PSI or below – or if your neighbors have also experienced a sudden drop in water pressure – call the city or your water provider. This means there is probably a damaged pipe leaking somewhere between the water treatment plant and your neighborhood. When the city fixes that pipe, your water pressure may be restored.
Have a Booster Pump Installed
If your municipal or well-supplied water pressure is too low and there are no leaks in your system, you can have a booster pump installed near your water main. This pump can artificially increase the water pressure for your home even if you aren’t getting a lot of pressure from the water main.
Check the Well Pump and Repair or Replace
If your home’s water comes from a well, maintain your well pump. Make sure it is fully powered, tuned up, and running correctly. Repair or replace your well pump as needed to achieve greater water pressure in the home.
Does your home have low water pressure? We can help. Coldwright Plumbing and Heating can help you descale your pipes, repair a well pump, identify and repair leaks, or get in touch with the city for deeper water pressure issues to resolve. Contact us today to increase your home’s low water pressure.