Ever wondered how to increase water pressure and why it drops? There are many causes for water pressure drop in a home, including a drop in the pressure of the water supplied from the city. You need to confirm that the water coming in sustains a pressure of around 40 gallons per minute. If the pressure is confirmed to be normal, then one of the causes of water pressure drop is the water heater system. You need to confirm that there are no sediments accumulated in the hot water tank. Clogging of water pipes leading water in and out of the hot water tank is also the main culprit.
How To Check If You Have Low Water Pressure
It is not hard to check whether you have water pressure problems. If you have a problem with the pressure, you will not get enough water from the shower. It may make it hard to wash clothes, take a shower, rinse dishes, or even fill your water tanks.
You can also measure the water pressure by using a water pressure gauge. Locate the outdoor spigot closest to your main supply or the regulator. Attach the pressure gauge to the fixture and read the pressure on the gauge. If the pressure reading is lower than 52 pounds, then your system has a lower-than-normal pressure.
Homes that use water tanks on the roof usually have lower water pressure than those using mains pressure supply because water from the tank flows by gravity. Your plumber can advise replacing your gravity feed system with a main pressure water system to increase the pressure of water being used in the shower and other things in the house. This is so significant if your water needs in the house have increased in the recent past. The gravity feed based on a water tank on the rooftop may not supply water with enough pressure to sustain those needs.
It is essential to install a water heater meant for gravity pressure systems if you still choose to continue using this system. Otherwise, installing a water heater meant for the mains pressure supply on a gravity pressure system will cause a further drop in pressure.
How Water Heaters Cause Low Water Pressures
Water heater systems can reduce the pressure of water flowing through them. However, the pipes leading water from the heater to the rest of the house may also be the problem. Both can also cause low-pressure problems. Sharp bends between the faucet and water heater can also make it hard for the entire system to maintain high pressure. The pressure may also reduce if the accordion-style copper pipe used together with the water heater has a problem.
Water pressure also decreases when pipes are blocked by hard-water buildup in them. These pipes lead water to and from the hot water tank. Low pressure also occurs if sediments have built up in the hot water tank and block water or reduce the effective water tank height.
How to Increase Water Pressure in the House
A partially shut shut-off valve is the leading cause of low hot water pressure at home. This shut-off acts as the gateway for water entering your home. The valve is meant to be used in emergencies. If it was shut partially and never re-opened fully, there would be a decrease in water pressure due to the partial closure limits the amount of water entering the house. Just check that the valve is fully open.
To be sure that the main shut-off valve opened:
- Turn it counterclockwise if it is controlled using a wheel-like handle.
- Ensure that the pipe and handle are parallel to each other if it is the lever handle type.
- Confirm that the water meter valve is fully open by checking that the handle is parallel with the supply line or your water pipe.
The other leading cause of reduced water pressure is a failed pressure regulator. The regulator acts to reduce water pressure in the plumping system to protect this system from damage by excessive pressure. If it is damaged, you will notice an abnormal increase or fall in the house’s water pressure. The change is very sudden. To replace the regulator, you must shut off the water supply from the water meter using the water meter valve.
Regular maintenance of the water heater system ensures that the water pressure is maintained at a regular rate. It is easy to remove the sediments building up in the water tank. Connect a pipe to the bib at the bottom of the hot water tank and drain the water inside the tank. Keep the pipe that leads the cold water to the hot water tank open while you drain this water. Drain the water from the tank until you notice that the pipe used to drain the water lets out clear water.
Unblocking the clogged pipes will also help increase water pressure in the shower. Pipes can rust and retain this rust inside, reducing water pressure in the pipes leading to the shower. Check that the water lines leading hot water to the shower are not blocked by mineral buildup in them. Call a plumber to remove and check all pipes and replace those that are damaged.
Pipe connections are also major culprits when it comes to the reduction of water pressure in a home. Connections can prevent sediments and any materials from passing. These materials build up and block the pipe partially or fully and hence can reduce the pressure. A plumber can check these connections and remove any clogging and blockages to increase water pressure.
If it is not possible to increase water pressure by fixing the issues above, your system is most likely too old and cannot provide strong hot water streams the way you need. You can solve this problem by replacing the entire water heater system. The old water heater system has low efficiency in heating the water and will therefore cause a reduction in water pressure. The system may be taking too much time than needed to heat a large amount of water.
Additionally, check that the water heater system, piping, and shower are correctly positioned not negatively to affect water flow. A plumber can advise on installing all of the components to increase water pressure in the shower and other fixtures in the home.
Gold Star Plumbing & Drain offers professional water heater service, drain cleaning, toilet repair and other expert plumbing services in Gilbert, Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler and the neighboring communities. Our trained, licensed and unifored Gilbert plumbers are standing by to assist with all of your residential and commercial plumbing needs, day or night. Each of our technicians enjoy serving our community to our gold standard. Our commitment to providing a Gold Star experience allows us to build long lasting relationships with our customers based on trust, quality service and fair pricing. To us, that’s what it means to be a superior Gilbert plumber.