Safety Shutoff Valve

Why Do I Have Low Water Pressure?

by raleigh plumbers on June 14, 2013

low-water-pressure

Low water pressure in your home can be a result of several common problems ranging from errors made during installation to gradual mineral deposits that accumulate over time. Some errors are germane only to homes in the city while others are unique to well water homes. A proper understanding of these potential problems can speed along the reinstatement of adequate water pressure.

Shutoff valves. The shutoff valves by your water meter may simply be the only culprit behind your low water pressure. Ensure that your shutoff valves are completely open. Partially closed valves will decrease your pressure.

Friction. Water pressure can often drop as it is transferred from the main lines to your home if you receive your water from a city water company. Water pressure is almost always high while it remains in the underground lines, but friction causes gradual pressure loss as water is transferred into your home and later as it moves through and out of the faucet in use. A lack of water pressure as water exits your faucet usually indicates that too much friction is the cause.

Friction is often a culprit of low pressure simply because the pipes in use are too small. Half-inch pipes frequently cause friction problems in home water supplies; these should typically be avoided in favor of at least 3/4-inch pipes. Blockage. Another common low water pressure culprit is blockage. Various kinds of blockage can diminish the usable diameter of your home’s pipes and in turn birth friction issues that create low water pressure, even if your pipes were originally large enough upon installation. This blockage is typically caused by calcium build up over time, although other gradual mineral deposits may alternatively be the culprit.

Water Main. The problem is not necessarily yours. If low water pressure crops up without warning after an extended period of perfectly acceptable performance, the main water lines that feed your home’s pipes may instead be the issue. Contact your local water company if a puzzling and immediate change in your water pressure crops up and you have ruled out the aforementioned potential problems.

Well. If you are not in an area where you receive city water and you have determined that blockage and friction are not problems, your well’s water pressure tank may be the issue. A smaller water tank will not be able to provide adequate water pressure to your home if you are using a number of faucets at once. Additionally, well leaks can further decrease water pressure.