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Reasons Your Water Pressure Is Suddenly So Low

Experiencing a sudden drop in your house’s water pressure can be more than just a minor inconvenience. Whether you’re in the middle of a shower, washing dishes, or watering your garden, low water pressure disrupts your daily activities and may signal underlying issues in your plumbing system.

In this guide, we will focus on some common reasons for this problem and offer DIY solutions to try before contacting professionals.

Common Causes of Low Water Pressure

Low water pressure can be a frustrating issue for many homeowners. Understanding the common causes behind this phenomenon is crucial for diagnosing and fixing the problem efficiently.

Clogged Pipes

Over time, your home’s plumbing can develop clogs from the accumulation of mineral deposits, rust, and other debris. These blockages stop the flow of water, leading to noticeably lower water pressure. This issue is prevalent in older homes equipped with galvanised pipes, which are more prone to rust and corrosion. Regular maintenance can help identify and address clogs before they lead to serious problems.

Corroded Plumbing

Plumbing systems, especially those in older homes, are vulnerable to corrosion. As pipes corrode, the material inside them breaks down, narrowing the pathway through which water can flow. This gradual process can significantly reduce water pressure over time. Replacing old, corroded pipes with modern materials like PVC or copper can permanently solve this issue.

Partially Closed or Faulty Valves

Your home’s water pressure can also be affected by issues with the main water pressure control valve or the water metre valve. If these valves are not fully open, or if they’re malfunctioning, your water pressure could suffer. These problems can arise following maintenance work or as a result of normal wear and tear. Checking these valves and ensuring they are fully operational is a simple step towards resolving low water pressure issues.

Faulty Pressure Regulator

Some homes are equipped with a  pipe pressure regulator, a device designed to maintain an optimum water pressure level. If this pipe regulator fails, it can lead to a significant pressure drops in water. Diagnosing faulty pressure regulators typically require the expertise of a professional plumber. It involves checking the reduced water pressure from the regulator and comparing it to the standard water pressure for your home.

High Demand on the Water Supply

When multiple water fixtures are used simultaneously, or if you live in an area with a high demand for water (such as densely populated neighbourhoods), water pressure can decrease. This is often most noticeable during peak usage times in the morning or evening. To mitigate this, consider staggering water usage during these peak times.

Municipal Water Supply Issues

Finally, the issue might not always be within your property. Problems with the municipal water supply, such as leaks, maintenance work, or infrastructure failures, can also lead to decreased water pressure. These issues are beyond the control of individual homeowners and require the intervention of local water authorities. Staying informed about local water supply issues and reporting any problems can help address these municipal challenges more efficiently.

Understanding these common causes of low hot water pressure can help homeowners identify the right approach to fixing their water flow issues, whether it involves DIY fixes or calling in professional help.

What Should You Do When Your Water Pressure is Low?

Check the Main Water Valve

The main water valve of your piping controls the flow of water into your home. It’s usually located near the water metre, which could be in your basement or on an exterior wall. This valve should be fully open to allow optimal water flow into your home. However, it can sometimes be left partially closed following maintenance work or accidentally moved when nearby activities occur.

How to Check and Adjust the Main Water Valve: Locate your main water valve. It might require a wrench to turn. Ensure it is turned counterclockwise as far as it can go. If it was not fully open, this adjustment might immediately improve your water pressure.

Clean Faucet Aerators and Showerheads

Faucet aerators and showerheads are prone to clogging due to mineral deposits from hard water. These deposits can build up in pipes over time, reducing the flow of water. This in turn affects your water pressure negatively.

How to Clean Aerators and Showerheads: Start by unscrewing the aerator or showerhead. You might need a wrench for this, but be careful to wrap the wrench’s jaws in tape to avoid scratching the fixture’s finish. Once removed, disassemble the parts and soak them in white vinegar overnight. The vinegar works to dissolve the mineral buildup. In the morning, scrub any remaining deposits with an old toothbrush, rinse the parts with clean water, and reassemble them. This process can significantly improve water flow and pressure.

These steps are straightforward and can be done with tools and materials most homeowners already have. They serve as a first line of defence against low pressure of water and are an essential part of home maintenance. However, it’s crucial to recognise when a problem is beyond DIY repairs.

When to Call a Professional Plumber?

If you’ve performed these checks and cleanings and your water pressure hasn’t improved—or if you’re not comfortable attempting these solutions—it’s time to call in the professionals. Persistent low water pressure in home can be a symptom of more serious plumbing issues, such as hidden leaks, pipe corrosion, or problems with the municipal water supply that require specialised tools and knowledge to diagnose and fix.

Professionals can also assess your plumbing system as a whole, offering solutions that are more comprehensive. Services like LCL Plumbing & Drainage specialise in diagnosing and fixing low water pressure problems, ensuring your plumbing system operates efficiently. Our experienced team can handle everything from simple repairs to comprehensive plumbing system overhauls.

Trust LCL Plumbing Team

Low water pressure can stem from various sources, ranging from minor fixes to significant plumbing concerns. While there are steps you can take to troubleshoot and potentially resolve the issue, some situations necessitate professional intervention. If you’re facing stubborn low water pressure issues, reaching out to LCL Plumbing can provide you with peace of mind and a swift return to normal water pressure in your home.

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