What Causes Low Water Pressure?

What Causes Low Water Pressure?

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Low water pressure is one of those problems that isn’t a real problem like a burst pipe is a problem.  But it is more of an irritation that can drive you mad.  Plumbers can easily inspect the system to find the root of the problem and advise what might be needed to stop a reoccurrence.  However, it never hurts to understand the problem a little first.

Water pressure checklist

When visiting your home to investigate a low water pressure problem, a plumber will start by running through a checklist of questions to find out the exact nature of the problem.

One of the first to is to check that you have low water pressure in all the water outlets in the home – all the taps, the bath, shower and everything.  If the problem is one specific spot such as the shower, then the problem might be with the shower rather than the water pressure.

Next, they will investigate the shut-off valve, also known as the stopcock.  This is the point where the mains water comes into the property.  If it isn’t open fully, this can cause a low water pressure problem or if there is an issue with it, this can also cause low pressure.

Possible causes of low water pressure

With the basics having been checked, the plumber is now ready to start assessing the property and the problem to see what is going on.  Some of the most common causes of low water pressure include:

  • Poor pressure from the mains

This is where the water companies have reduced the share of water to your property and this means there is simply less water available – so lower water pressure

  • Height of the property

In high rise buildings, the water having to travel up multiple floors can slow water pressure, although this is likely an ongoing problem and not one what will suddenly start

  • Lots of demand on the system

If you have lots of taps, showers and utility feeds for your water such as an outside tap, the demand can reduce the pressure of the water because your home system has to feed them all

  • Daily water demands

Sometimes, the problem coincides with certain times of the day and this can be another indicator.  Most homes are on a shared system with other nearby properties.  At peak times when everyone is using the water system, demand is high, and the pressure can drop.  But during off-peak times when everyone is at work or the middle of the night, the pressure is okay.

Dealing with the problem

Depending on the nature of the problem, there might or might not be a solution.  For example, problems with shared water supply or the height of the building can’t easily be cured and simply need to be managed.  But if there is a change in the system that doesn’t fit into any of the normal reasons for it, then the plumber will further investigate to see if there is a leak or some kind of blockage somewhere.

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