Why You're Dealing with Low Water Pressure

Why You’re Dealing with Low Water Pressure

December 26, 2018

Water pressure problems in your home can be frustrating—it can take much longer for you to fill up a sink or bathtub, and can make your showers an aggravating experience. A dishwasher or washing machine might also take longer to complete its cycle.

What causes these low pressure issues? Here’s some information from a plumbing company in Vacaville, CA about potential sources for your problem.

Water meter valve partially closed

Many homes have two primary shutoff valves that control the water that goes to their home. The first of these valves is the water meter valve, which is located on the street side of your water meter. This is not a valve you’ll typically use, as it belongs to the city, so only city utility workers handle it. However, if you have low water pressure throughout your entire house and know you’ve recently had some work done on your plumbing system, there’s a possibility this valve is not completely open. So check this valve first—in most cases it’ll be on an exterior wall of the house.

Main shutoff valve partially closed

You should also check the main shutoff valve in your home, also typically located on an outside wall where the water line enters your home, or in a utility area (think a basement or garage). In many cases it enters close to where the water heater is located, but not always. Check this valve and make sure it is completely open. Sometimes it’s accidentally left partially closed after you’ve had some work done on your plumbing system.

Problems with the pressure regulator

If both the valves are fully open, the problem could lie with the pressure regulator, if you have one for your plumbing system. This is a control valve that keeps the input pressure in your plumbing system at a lower, safer level to ensure no damage occurs to your pipes. These are not found in every home, but if you know you have one, a failing pressure regulator could result in either sudden bursts of greater water pressure or sudden reductions in water pressure.

If a failing pressure regulator is the issue, the effects will occur all throughout your home, and probably suddenly. It’s a good idea to have a professional come in to look at the pressure regulator and make the replacement.

Problems with the pipes

Problems with your plumbing system as a whole are the most significant (and expensive) cause of low water pressure. If you have extremely old pipes that have become too corroded or filled with scale deposits for the water to run through, this could be the root of your problem. This is especially common for homes that have old galvanized iron pipes.

Unlike issues with pressure regulators, this is a problem that will occur very gradually rather than suddenly. In fact, you might not notice the slowdown in pressure at all until suddenly you’re hardly getting any water coming out of your pipe.

Fixing this problem requires a significant investment and some permits from your municipality.

For more information about potential causes of water pressure problems, contact a plumbing company in Vacaville, CA like ABC Plumbing. We look forward to assisting you!

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