Have you ever turned on the shower and been immediately confused by the trickle of water coming down? You’re not the only one. Thankfully, there are a few things you can try before calling a plumber to fix your shower’s low water pressure.
What to Check For When You Notice Low Water Pressure
If you notice your shower doesn’t have its normal water pressure, you should check a few things around the house first.
First, check both the hot and cold water in your shower. If you have pressure with cold water, and don’t have pressure when you switch to hot water, then it may be a problem with your hot water heater. If the pressure is only low when you’re using cold water, then it could be a problem with the water lines. If it’s low with both temperatures, then it might be your showerhead.
Secondly, try different water outlets throughout your home. Turn off your shower and try a bathroom sink. If it’s low, then you’ll likely need a plumber to figure out the problem. If the flow is fine, then move onto other rooms. Make a note of any sinks or other showers that are experiencing low water pressure. If there are no other issues throughout the house, then you know the problem is isolated to your shower. If there are issues in multiple or all water outlets, it’s time to give the plumber a call to avoid potentially damaging problems.
Reasons You Can Repair Yourself
If the problem is isolated to one shower, then you can try a couple of repairs at home. They’re simple and only require a few things.
Reason 1: Check and Clean Your Showerhead
Chances are, your showerhead is the source of your problem. If you just moved in or changed showerheads, it might not be the type you’re expecting. Some showerheads are low-flow, which means they're designed to reduce water waste by letting less water through. If you’re not expecting this, you may think it’s your water pressure.
Unfortunately, it isn't easy to identify if you have a low-flow shower head without comparing it to another one. Thankfully though, these aren’t extremely common to find in rentals, and are usually marked as “low-flow” on the box if you just bought it.
If it’s not that, then you may have to clean your showerhead. You likely don’t think about this, but it is very possible for minerals to build up and block water flow.
To remove the mineral build-up, let the showerhead sit in a bowl or bag filled with vinegar overnight. You can even tie the bag to your showerhead so you don’t have to remove it. Next, use a small tool to brush or poke any remaining sediment from the showerhead holes. We won’t lie — it will smell a little, but it works! To get the smell out, just run your shower for a few minutes before you use it.
Reason 2: Peak Periods
If you’re living in a neighborhood, condo complex or apartment building, or have a home with more than one shower, it’s possible that the timing of your shower is the culprit for your low water pressure.
If you frequently use your shower during peak periods, such as early in the morning or at night, there’s a chance the performance issue is due to high water use within your neighborhood or building. Try showering at random times during the day to see if you’re still affected.
The ‘I Need a Plumber’ Reasons
If trying the above tips don’t help, or if the problem isn’t isolated, you should call a plumber. Sometimes, it can be a faulty pressure valve, or worse, a leak! Only a plumber will be able to tell.
Reason 3: Faulty Pressure Regulators
If your shower head pressure has abruptly dropped for no discernible reason, there’s a decent chance that your home’s water pressure regulator, which is typically set to maintain water pressure between 45 and 60 psi, may be malfunctioning.
The water pressure regulator is typically located on the water supply line before it enters the home and should only be replaced by a qualified plumber.
Reason 4: Leaky, Clogged, or Corroded Pipes
Leaky or corroded pipes are things you should get fixed immediately. Water damage is no joke and can lead to a myriad of other problems, including mold and cracked foundations.
If you notice any water damage in your home, hear a dripping sound from behind the walls, smell water when none is running, or notice an increase in your water bill, you may have a leaking pipe. Call us at The BC Team for quick leak detection and repair services. Our team of in-house plumbers offer friendly and efficient services. No matter the job, we’ll get it done and we’ll get it done right. Schedule an appointment today to experience the better choice of plumbers.