From clogs to corrosion, troubleshooting tips.
AKRON, Ohio — Low water pressure can turn even simple tasks into annoyances. Bill Blind of Blind & Sons, a heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical company in Barberton, Ohio, says these factors may contribute to low water pressure:
— Clogs. Over time, mineral deposits can clog faucet aerators and shower heads. Try removing the fixture and rinsing or replacing the clogged or corroded screen. Aerators and shower heads can be soaked in a solution of white vinegar and water for a more thorough cleaning.
— Corrosion. Older pipes can corrode, restricting water flow. That’s a problem that needs to be diagnosed and fixed by a plumber, Blind says.
— Home elevation. How high a building sits in relation to others can affect water pressure. Blind says a plumber can offer solutions.
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— Main valves. Your home has two main valves, one in the meter box and one near the hose bib at the front of your home. Check to make sure both are turned on the entire way.
— Water supply. The municipal system that supplies your water may have inadequate pressure. A booster pump can help.
— Peak usage periods. Most people follow routines that involve using water at the same time every day. If you and your neighbors are putting a demand on the water supply at the same time, pressure can drop. Consider altering your schedule.
— Tank sludge. If your hot water pressure is noticeably worse than the cold water pressure, the problem may be sludge in your water heater tank. Tanks should be drained annually.
— Pressure regulator. Your water supply has a pressure regulator that’s typically preset by the manufacturer. Normally it doesn’t need adjustment, but it can go bad. Replacing it is a job for a plumber, Blind says.
— Additional fixtures. Adding a plumbing fixture can decrease pressure throughout the house. You may need to increase the size of the main supply pipe from the water meter.
— Leaks. A leak in a pipe will lower water pressure. If you suspect you have one, Blind suggests reading your water meter before you go to bed and then again in the morning, without using any water in between. Other signs of a leak are high water bills, damp patches on floors and walls, hissing water sounds and abnormal plant growth.