Many homes take consistent water pressure for granted, but when your sink slows down to a trickle or the water in your shower can barely wash away your shampoo you’ll understand how important it is.
When your water pressure gradually decreases over time something is restricting the natural flow of water in your home. There are a few common causes for low water pressure, including mineral buildup from hard water or a simple valve problem. Here are a few ways to increase your home’s water pressure.
Check Your Water Pressure
First, quantify your problem. Request a pressure reading from your local water department. Ideally, you’ll want a pressure reading between 45 and 55 pounds per square inch (psi). If you want to get a water pressure reading yourself, you should pick up a water pressure gauge at a local hardware store and attach it to an outdoor water spigot.
If you have a reading of 40 psi or below your water department may not be providing water at an adequate pressure. If the problem can’t be addressed you can purchase a water pressure booster system at a home or plumbing store, but these are often expensive. Good readings from the water pressure gauge mean that your water pressure problems are likely caused by buildup and blockages in your pipes.
Open Your Valves
Full disclosure — problems with water valves are uncommon, but take the time to perform a basic inspection before investigating further. You don’t want to pay a plumber or replace pipes if all you need is the simple turn of a valve!
There are two valves you should check: the main valve at street level outside your home at the water meter, and your home’s primary water shutoff valve. Make sure both of these valves are fully open to guarantee maximum water pressure in your home.
Inspect Faucets and Fixtures
If you are noticing reduced pressure in isolated areas like your kitchen sink or in a particular shower, the next step is to inspect individual plumbing fixtures. Most water pressure problems are caused by hard water — learn more by reading our hard water blog . The gradual mineral and scale buildup can block fixtures and reduce water pressure.
Take steps like replacing faucet aerators and cleaning your shower head to see if water pressure improves. This is a temporary fix — hard water will cause issues to occur regularly.
Unfortunately, your problems could run deeper than faucets and fixtures. Over time mineral deposits can cause your pipes to become clogged, which is the most common reason for drops in water pressure.
How to increase water pressure without spending a fortune? You can try chemical products like Drano or mixing baking soda and vinegar, but these remedies are intended to resolve drain pipe issues. They don’t necessarily have an effect on the pipes that pump water throughout your home.
If you suspect your pipes no longer function properly it’s time to call a plumber and get an estimate for detecting and replacing clogged pipes.
Soften Water to Prevent Problems
If your home has hard water, as 85% of homes do, one way to prevent water pressure issues in the future is to install a system that removes minerals before they find their way into your pipes. Use an Anti Scale 3-Stage Whole House System to prevent the formation of scale and corrosion while filtering dozens of contaminants from your drinking water.
For added protection, you can choose to install a certified water softener system to ensure your water is free of hardness. This filtration and softening combination will keep your pipes free of scale and your water pressure strong for years.