Why you may be experiencing low water pressure?
Low water pressure can disrupt your routine and maybe bad enough to call in your local plumber. In this article, we will discuss the 7 possible reasons for low water pressure in your house and how to address the issue. Keep reading to learn more.
Occasional low water pressure problems
- Do you have multiple appliances like the dishwasher and washing machine running at the same time? Or you may be using multiple plumbing fixtures at the same time(running a bath, watering the garden or washing the car) creating a high load on the system. If this problem occurs occasionally, stopping a few of them may be enough to resolve the issue.
- If the above doesn’t fix the issue – Test all the appliances and plumbing fixtures. Identify if all or only a few are affected by low water pressure.
- Check if the cold water supply is affected or hot water, or both? If the only hot water supply is affected, it could be due to your hot water system (low hot water pressure).
- Contact your local plumbers who can quickly resolve the issue.
Common reasons for low water pressure
The pressure and flow rates in your home can be affected by a number of factors:
Water supplier maintenance
Your local water supplier may be conducting maintenance work that can temporarily reduce the water pressure in your area. Ask your neighbours if they are facing the same issue or contact your water supplier to find out if they are working on an issue. You may have to sit tight and wait for them to resolve the works before your pressure returns to normal.
If there is no ongoing maintenance in your area, there may be a problem with your plumbing system causing the issue.
Fault in the pressure regulator
The pressure regulator is a valve controlling the water pressure so it is safe for your plumbing system. When the pressure regulator develops a fault, it may cause the water pressure to increase or decrease.
Shutoff valve or PRV valve isn’t open
There are two shut-off valves controlling your home’s water supply – one at the water meter and the other at your home. If the valves are only partially open, they may affect the supply. Inspect the valves and make sure they are both fully open. If the valve is broken, contact a qualified plumber to get the valve replaced.
Clogged pipes, tap fittings, showerheads
Over time water pipes can become blocked with mineral deposits, rust, or other materials. One simple way to diagnose if the problem is caused by blocked pipes is – the water flows normally when you open the tap but then the flow drops significantly. Contact your blocked drain plumbers immediately to remedy this issue.
The water pipes in your home are often made of galvanised steel or copper, over time due to sediment deposits they can begin to corrode. Galvanised steel pipes will last for around 20 years whereas copper pipes generally last for up to 50 years.
If you have an old house, the pipes may be severely rusted from the inside making the issue hard to identify. If the pipes are corroded you may not be able to see the blockage and you will have to contact your local plumbers who can replace the pipes in your home with durable materials.
Leaking taps & pipes
A leak in your pipes or tap can also reduce the flow of water. If you notice puddles of water outside your home (particularly between the metre and the building) or your kitchen/bathroom is experiencing unexplained mould growth, these are sure signs of a leaking tap or pipes. Turn off the water supply from the mains and contact your plumber for expert leak detection and repairs.
Broken or faulty fixtures
If the low water pressure problem occurs with only one or two taps, they may be clogged with dirt or damaged by rust. After continuous use, the washer and o-rings will no longer function well, potentially blocking the water flow resulting in low pressure. You can try to fix your tap by replacing the washer yourself or contact your local plumber to test and replace the faulty tap fitting.
Other factors that can affect low water pressure
- The height of the property above the water main and its height in relation to the local storage reservoir (the higher the elevation of the property the less pressure you are likely to receive)
- The condition of the service pipe (the smaller the pipe and the older it is, particularly if made of lead or galvanised iron, the greater the loss of pressure as water is drawn through the pipe)
- Whether the property shares a supply pipe with other properties (usually within flats). The higher the flow, the greater the loss of pressure by the time it reaches the kitchen tap
- Peak demand conditions (the time of day most people are drawing water from our network, typically breakfast time and tea time. Higher demand equals lower pressure)
- Your internal plumbing (if you have long pipe runs within your property the water has to travel longer distances through the pipes and the potential for pressure loss is therefore increased).
What you can do:
If you are experiencing low water pressure continuously, check that your internal stop tap is fully open. If you are able and it is safe to do so you can also try turning your external stop tap.
In most cases, your stop tap will be installed at the boundary of your property. If you are on a water meter, you may have a stop tap that is installed inside the metering chamber. The stop tap will either be a plastic head that needs to be turned 90 degrees to its open position or if it’s a brass tap this needs to be unscrewed until it reaches a natural stop. At the same time, you can also check that you do not have a leak on your supply which may be causing the low pressure.
Your local plumbers for low water pressure
Contact your trusted local plumber at Ryan Old for all your low water pressure issues throughout Brisbane at 1300 055 940. Alternatively, complete our online plumber booking form and we will get back to you.
Our 24-hour emergency plumbers can attend to all your plumbing needs ASAP. So get in touch with us now.