What Causes Low Water Pressure?

low water pressure

Image Courtesy of: Maxal Tamor | ShutterStock

Has your shower head or bathroom faucet’s flow of water been reduced to a mere trickle? Low water pressure is a common annoyance for homeowners, and finding out the cause of a water pressure problem can be challenging.

In this blog post, we’ll look at some of the most common causes of low pressure in your home’s plumbing system. Read on to learn how to discover the source of your pressure problem and return your plumbing system to normal.

Leaking pipes

Is your home several decades old? Many older homes use plumbing systems that haven’t been updated for decades. Over time, pipes and couplings can deteriorate and leaks can develop.

Leaks can cause serious damage to your property over time, since the water from your plumbing system can wear away at materials used to build your home. They can also cause your system’s water pressure to drop significantly.

The best way to detect a leak is by checking your home’s water meter. Turn off all faucets and appliances in your home and record the water meter’s value. Wait for several hours and return to see if the water meter’s reading has increased.

If it has, your plumbing system may have a leak. Contact a plumber to repair your pipes and return your system to normal performance, preventing damage to your home and fixing your water pressure issues.

Corrosion

Over time, corrosion can build up in your pipes and block the flow of water. Steel and galvanized plumbing components are designed to last for decades, but many will become corroded towards the end of their lifespan.

Corrosion blocks the flow of water throughout your home’s plumbing system and can lead to low water pressure. Pipes that have become corroded generally need to be replaced by a professional plumber.

Debris buildup

Much like corrosion, debris can build up in your pipes over time and prevent water from flowing freely. Most home plumbing blockages are due to dirt and sand – both of which can build up over time and block your pipes and couplings.

The first step in fixing pipes affected by debris is locating the debris itself. Run all of your home’s faucets and observe which ones have low water pressure. If only one or two faucets have low pressure, their pipes are most likely affected by debris.

Debris can be removed using common plumbing chemicals. If you’re unable to find the source of the blockage within your system, contact a professional plumber and let them clear the pipe and return your water pressure to normal again.

Poor water supply

Sometimes low water pressure isn’t caused by your home’s plumbing system, but by the municipal water supply. Local water systems can be affected by leaks, sediment, mechanical failure and many other issues which can affect system water pressure.

If your water pressure suddenly declines after months of normal operation, contact your municipal water supplier and ask about the source of the problem. They might be able to provide information on when your water pressure will return to normal.