Nothing is quite as annoying as waking up in the morning, ready to be embraced by a warm shower, but all you get is a pathetic trickle of water. Dealing with low water pressure is an annoyance that most people will run into eventually.
If you’re asking yourself, “why has my water pressure dropped?” there are many possible causes for the issue. Using our knowledge in plumbing and hot water repairs, we discuss 6 common issues of low water pressure and some advice on the best course of action.
check the isolation valve
To find out why your water pressure has dropped, one of the first places to investigate is the supply to your home. If you’re experiencing low water pressure, it may be helpful to check the isolation valve (usually close to the water meter) and see if the supply is not fully open or has been shut off.
Whether intentional or not, adjusting the valve will impact your water pressure. You don’t want to pay for an expensive visit from a plumber, only to have them turn on the valve.
check your fixtures
Check whether the drop in water pressure is affecting the entire property. If the issue is isolated, that specific fixture will likely be the problem, and you should consider replacing it.
If only your shower is experiencing an issue, it could be a ‘scale’ build-up (calcium and other minerals) restricting water flow. It’s possible to clean the showerhead with a de-scaler product, but most showerheads — especially slide showers — can sourced from major DIY stores and be replaced easily by the home user.
If you’re living in an older dwelling with aged plumbing, low water pressure could be a bigger issue coming from the pipes themselves. Older steel piping is at risk of rusting inside. Despite being designed to work smoothly and last a long time, nothing lasts forever. Eventually, steel pipes will face corrosion and deterioration inside.
Corroded pipes can cause water pressure to drop in your household, disrupting the smooth flow of water. This is due to the friction caused inside the pipe. If you’re under the impression that pipe corrosion is impacting water pressure, an experienced plumber should be called to replace any corroded pipes.
You may have water filters in your house. These filters could be getting blocked by contaminates clogging the filter(s). These need to be changed regularly. Your property could also have a ‘separator’ installed that catches large contaminants before the water supply enters the property.
pressure limiting valve
Many properties have pressure limiting valves, especially homes with low-pressure hot water cylinders. Water supply pressure can vary greatly throughout the day and even between streets and suburbs. These valves provide constant water pressure to the home. Over time they can fail and will require replacing by a qualified plumber.
Leaks should have no place in your home. Big or small, they can cause immense issues down the line. If you’ve noticed that your water pressure has dropped, it can pay to check your pipes for any sign of a leak. A leaking pipe doesn’t just waste water, it directs it out of the pipe. This disruption in the flow of water causes pressure to drop.
If you find a leak, you can shut off your water supply for the valve and temporarily patch it with epoxy putty or electrical tape. This prevents the damage from growing and keeps your repair costs from increasing. Once the leak is patched and temporarily taken care of, you should have a qualified plumber look at the pipes and replace any if necessary. When it comes to any leak in your home, action needs to be taken immediately as damage can quickly worsen, eventually costing a small fortune.
call your water supplier
If you’ve considered the points mentioned above, but you’re still left wondering why water pressure has dropped, it may pay to call your water supplier. It could be a scheduled outage you were unaware of or an issue higher up the chain. Check to see if your neighbours have had a drop in water pressure too. If it’s from the top, the providers will be able to get things fixed, otherwise, it’s time to get your trusted plumber in to help.
need help with the fix?
call Auckland Plumbers Group!
When running your household, it’s best to leave the plumbing to the professionals. Most plumbing and gasfitting work is illegal to do yourself, aside from connecting your gas bottle. You could face prosecution should there be any fault, and you would likely void your insurance. Our plumbing and gasfitting services can get you sorted with no fuss. If you’re having trouble with your water pressure and can’t get to the bottom of it, get in touch with the team at Auckland Plumbers Group today.