Under pressure: Fixing your water pressure problems

Low water pressure can be an irritation, or it can be a sign of a serious plumbing problem. Water pressure that’s too high can cause leaks and other damage. Determining your home’s water pressure is simple: you can test it using an inexpensive test gauge. In general, 45 to 50 pounds per square inch (psi) is low, 60 is good and anything over 80 is too high.

Finding and fixing the cause of water pressure problems can be much trickier. Determining what’s causing the problem is the first step towards repairing it. Here are some of the usual culprits, and what you can do to resolve each one.

Municipal water supply problems

Like the ones in your home, the pipes making up the city’s water systems can develop leaks, clogs and mineral deposits which affect water supply and pressure. Your water company is also the most common source of excessive water pressure. If you suspect the problem originates in the city water system, a quick call to the water company can determine whether they know about any issues in the system that might be affecting your area, and how soon to expect a fix.

Leaks in your home’s plumbing

When a plumbing leak diverts water from its normal course, the water pressure throughout the home can drop. Diagnosing a leak that’s affecting your water pressure is also relatively simple. Shut off all the water taps in and outside your home, and then observe your water meter. If it’s still moving, you’ve got a leak. It’s time to call in a plumber who has the tools and experience to find the exact location of the leak and fix it.

Debris, corrosion and mineral buildup

Even a little sediment, corrosion or mineral deposit can create a blockage in your home's plumbing, preventing full pressure. These build-ups can occur in your pipes, or clog fixtures like faucets and showerheads. Cleaning out the faucet heads and showerheads might alleviate the problem. If not, it may mean a mineral deposit or corroded pipes are causing your low water pressure. You’ll need to call in a plumber, who may need to replace the affected pipes or fixtures.

Faulty pressure regulator

A pressure regulator is usually found below the hose connection in the front of your home. If it fails, it may cause low water pressure in your home. We recommend leaving this problem to a professional. While it’s a fast, easy and affordable fix for a licensed plumber, trying to repair it on your own can create a bigger and more expensive problem.

At Dauenhauer, we pride ourselves on our experienced techs, who can quickly diagnose and fix your water pressure problem. Call us whenever it’s not just a matter of calling the water company or cleaning your faucets and showerheads. Our friendly, licensed techs work well under pressure … or when you don’t have enough of it.