Sunday, February 10, 2013

Why Do I Have Low Water Pressure? Part 1

Is there anything as wonderful as turning on your shower in the morning and feeling a nice strong blast of hot water? Unfortunately, an issue of low water pressure can give you little more than a limp drizzle of water. This problem doesn't just occur with shower heads, either; you may notice low water pressure, or low flow, at any faucet in your home.

There are a few possible causes for this problem so let's go over them one by one and help you decide when you need to contact a plumber in California.

Single sink faucet problems

If the problem is occurring with just a single sink faucet, it may be one of three things:

  1. Faucet supply valve. The problem may be caused by the supply valve not being open all the way. This valve is located under the sink and has a handle to turn. Make sure the valve is turned all the way to the left (but don't force it!). You can also check if any flexible plastic tubes under the sink have a kink or have become crushed.
  2. Faucet aerotor. If your faucet has an aerator (and most do) it may be clogged. This aerator is threaded onto the end so try removing it and look for debris like sand or mineral build up. Clean it then reinstall, testing both the hot and cold water.
  3. Defective faucet. The issue may also be caused by a defective faucet. Follow manufacturer instructions to clean your faucet or contact a plumber from Inland Empire Plumbing who installs faucets to take care of the problem.

Whole house problems

If you notice the problem with every fixture in your home, there could be many possible causes, including corroded piping, a failed pressure relief valve or a valve that's left partially closed. In this case you'll want to contact a professional.

A note about low water pressure:

Low water pressure actually refers to low flow when at least one of the fixtures in your house aren't giving you enough water flow. While there's a relationship between pressure and flow, you can have good water pressure and still notice low flow problems.

In the next post we'll go over how to test your water pressure and explain in more detail some of these problems, including PRV or backflow preventors and how to fix partially closed valves.

Image: Steven Dopolo

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