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What's The Deal With Low Water Pressure?

What is Causing Low Water Pressure?

It’s no one’s idea of fun to turn on a faucet and have only a dribble of water come out. Everyone expects the faucets and showerheads to work how they are intended. When they don’t, it can cause a lot of inconveniences.

Low water pressure in the shower, for example, can make getting ready for the day or getting to work on time difficult. Why does water pressure suddenly drop? If nothing is wrong with the city’s water supply or a home’s well water, the following causes may have affected the water pressure.

Cracked Pipes and Water Leaks

leaksIf there is a break in the supply line somewhere, this can cause a decrease in water pressure. Depending on where the crack or leak is located, one room or fixture may be affected, or it may cause a problem throughout the house if it is large enough or is in the main supply line. There are many reasons that this can happen, but here are a few of the most common reasons pipes become dislodged or broken and have leaks:

  • Corrosion
  • Tree roots
  • Improper installation
  • Age of pipes
  • Freezing
  • High water pressure

Clogged Fixtures

Sometimes it’s not leaking in the supply pipes that causes low water pressure; sometimes, it is a blockage or buildup. This is often the case when a single faucet or other fixture seems to have low pressure. The kitchen sink, for example, may have a buildup of old rust from corroded pipes that blocks the aerator, and all a person needs to do is remove it and flush out the debris.

Hard water buildup or “scale” can also be a problem. Hard water contains minerals that can deposit inside and outside the pipes. Pipes need to be professionally flushed regularly to prevent this. A homeowner should talk to a qualified professional for advice about how often this should happen depending on factors like the age of the plumbing and if a home has hard water.

Malfunctioning Valves or Fixtures

open valveIf there is no problem with a clog in the line, there may be something wrong with an individual fixture. Sometimes the seals within faucet handles can fail, or a loose connection may keep the valve from opening properly. This can typically be easily fixed by replacing the faulty part or the entire fixture.

If the water throughout the house is not at the expected pressure level, there may be a problem with one or both of the main valves that supply the house. These valves are discussed in a bit more detail below:

  • Main Shutoff Valve: This is the valve that controls the water in the home. It is on the house side of the water meter. If the valve is closed or partially closed, this can interrupt service to the home, but the water is still being supplied to the water meter.
  • Water Meter Valve: This is the valve on the city side of the main supply line. If this malfunctions or the valve is closed or partially closed, it interrupts the water flow to the meter.

About Plumb Perfect Plumbing

Plumb Perfect Plumbing has more than 20 years of experience serving the community of Fredericksburg, VA, and the surrounding areas. They provide flat-rate pricing, financing, and service seven days a week. Call them today for plumbing services in Fredericksburg, VA.