Mar 25, 2017

Troubleshooting Low Water Pressure

Low Water Pressure Home Piping

If you’ve owned or even rented a home for very long,  you’ve probably run into the problem of low water pressure at some point. While often times the problem is an easy fix, it is important to assess the issue quickly to prevent the problem from escalating into something worse.

We thought it would be a good idea to provide you with a brief list of ways to troubleshoot your low water pressure.

1. Check faucets in all areas of your home.

The first step in assessing your water pressure is to check faucets in all areas of your home. Check your kitchen faucets, bathroom faucets, outdoor faucets and hose connections. This gives you information on whether its a house-wide issue or just a problem with one of your faucets. If you find that the low water pressure is only in one faucet or section of your house, it may be a clogged faucet or your aerator (A faucet aerator is often found at the tip of modern indoor water faucets. Aerators can be simply screwed onto the faucet head, creating a no-splashing stream and often delivering a mixture of water and air).

Often a quick fix to this problem is to do the following:

  • Remove the end of the faucet.
  • Examine your aerator. Check to make sure there is no obvious clogs or build-up.
  • Run the water through the faucet without the aerator on. If your water pressure is restored, you need to replace the aerator (these are fairly inexpensive).
  • If the water pressure is still low, move on to other troubleshooting options.

2. Check both cold and hot water pressure.

If the issue is with both cold and hot water to a particular faucet, and you’ve checked for clogs and buildup directly in the faucet, the issue is likely in the pipes leading up to this particular location. In this scenario, it is best to call a plumber to find, analyze, and fix the problem.

If the issue is solely with the hot water pressure, the problem is likely your hot water heater.

3. Check for leaks around the house.

Check all toilets and pipes under sinks. If there is a leak this can lead to low water pressure throughout the house. Be sure to listen for any water movement when assessing these areas. Sometimes the leak can be hidden, even behind walls. In this case it is vital to get a professional to come attend the problem as soon as possible.

Sometimes a toilet has a leak directly into the bowl that is often difficult to recognize. An easy way to check that your toilet has no leaks is to put a few drops of food coloring into the tank. Wait a minimum of an hour (without flushing). If there is dye in the bowl, your toilet has a leak. You will likely need to replace the toilet flapper or the filling mechanism.

4. Check your Pressure Relief Valve (PRV).

An all too often problem with low water pressure is a home’s PRV. Locate your PRV and check for leaks. Also check that the handle is not turned close to or completely off. Sometimes turning the handle a bit more to release more water pressure is all you need to fix the problem. However, be careful. Adding too much pressure to a clogged system can cause further problems and even pipes to burst.

5. Check your water meter.

Water meters have a master shut off valve. If this has been turned, even slightly, it can have a vast effect on your home’s water pressure. Make sure that this master shut off valve is turned completely open.

6. Check your basement.

If you have a basement or under-house crawl space, look around for any extremely damp areas or leaking pipes. Often times, after freezing temperatures, pipes can have issues in places under your home due to the lack of heating (it is always a good practice to keep faucets dripping if the forecast shows freezing temperatures. This prevents stagnant water that can lead to a quicker freeze and more issues).

7. Check your water heater.

If the issue is only hot water, make sure your shut off valve to your hot water heater is completely open. If the issue persists, is may be necessary to replace the hot water heater.

8. Check with your neighbors.

If you have nearby neighbors, ask them if they are experiencing similar issues. If so, the problem may be with a main pipe coming from the city. At this point it is best to call the local water company and report the issue.

9. Call a professional.

Sometimes, if all else fails, it is best to call a professional. Call a local plumber you trust. If you don’t know of any, Central Oregon Disaster Restoration would be glad to connect you with our trusted plumbers. We are on your team and our top goal is to get your home back to tip top shape in as little time as possible. Feel free to call us at 541-318-7853 or contact us via the contact page on the website.

We hope this brief troubleshooting analysis has helped you resolve your issue. If it has, we would love to hear about your issue and how you resolved it in the comment section below. Thanks and have a fantastic week!

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