A close up of a sink

How to Prevent Low Water Pressure in Your Home

February 5, 2020

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Low water pressure is a common plumbing issue in California in all seasons. Problems with home water pressure can present themselves in various ways, and most of these are quite frustrating. From faucets taking what seems like a lifetime to fill a bathtub to a showerhead providing a less-than-stellar pressure for your shower, you may find that is time that you checked up on your home’s water pressure. 

What could be causing your home’s low water pressure?

When you are trying to figure out what could be causing your home’s low water pressure, first find out whether the water meter valve is fully open. Most homes have two primary shutoff valves that control water to the home, which are the water meter valve and the main house shutoff valve. The water meter valve is located on the outside wall of the house in warm climates like California and will be fully open when the valve handle is parallel to the water pipe. If you’ve recently had repairs done, and are noticing this reduction in water pressure throughout your home, you should check the water meter valve first.

Where is the main shutoff valve?

The main house shutoff valve will be located inside your home, near the location at which the main city supply pipe enters the house. It may also be found outdoors for some homes. It should be fully open. It may be a ball valve, indicated by a lever handle, and the handle should be parallel to the pipe direction to be open. The shutoff valve may also be a gate valve, which has a wheel-like handle, which should be turned fully counterclockwise. If you needed to complete these turns after the repair was done, it is likely the valve wasn’t fully opened after the repair was completed, leading to your decrease in water pressure.

A close up of a sink

Failure of the pressure regulator

Another possible cause for a decrease in water pressure in your home may be found in the failure of the pressure regulator. The pressure regulator, also known as a pressure-reducing valve, is a control valve that is used to reduce the input pressure in your home’s plumbing system to a safe level. Not every plumbing needs a pressure regulator, but those that do may see either a drop in water pressure or a severe spike in water pressure when it begins to fail. All fixtures in the home will be affected by its failure, and unfortunately, it can happen suddenly. Make sure to first get an accurate measure of your home’s water pressure before replacing it.

Time to call a plumbing professional

One of the most expensive reasons that your home may experience low water pressure, and one that for which you may need to call a plumbing professional at Reckon & Reckon Plumbing for help, is when your home has old steel pipes that need to be replaced. Pipes, especially old galvanized steel water pipes, will become corroded over time from the inside, and this buildup of corrosion and scale closes off the pipe. This leads to lower water pressure, but unfortunately, it is a much more expensive and intrusive repair than opening the main shutoff valve or replacing a pressure-reducing valve. It is crucial to work with a professional plumbing company.

When you are looking for the reason behind your home’s low water pressure, you may not be able to discover any of the solutions. In that case, call a local plumber, explain the situation, and they can help. There is no shame in hiring a professional to help. After all, that is why they are here – to help you make your home or business more comfortable and functional.

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