Potential Causes of Low Plumbing Water Pressure

There are a few important factors homeowners tend to have their eye on when it comes to their home plumbing, and water pressure is usually near the top of this list. Important for everything from taking a shower to filling your bathtub quickly, cleaning dishes and numerous other areas, water pressure around your home can be impacted by a few different variables.

At My Buddy the Plumber in Salt Lake City, we’re here to offer numerous 24-hour plumbing services, including assistance with pressure loss or related pressure concerns that are impacting your system in any way. One of the key factors in remedying low water pressure concerns is understanding what caused them – in many cases, a very simple tweak or update to a component or part of your system will easily handle your pressure issues, while in other scenarios you may need some more in-depth assistance from our plumbers. Here’s a primer to be aware of when it comes to identifying the culprit or culprits in your low water pressure issues, plus how to respond in each situation.

causes low plumbing water pressure

Main Shut-Off Valve

First and foremost, all homeowners should know the location of their main plumbing shut-off valve. This is generally located in the area where the main water pipe enters the home, and is a vital component of any home in case of a plumbing emergency like a major leak or flood – in which case your first step should be to head to this valve and turn it off, stopping the flow of water damage into your home.

However, if you or someone else has recently interacted with the main shut-off valve, it’s possible this is the cause of your low pressure issues. Specifically, the last person to use the valve may not have left it completely open, whether using a wheel-twist format or a handle that’s present on many other models. If you’ve left the valve slightly closed, even by just a tiny bit, one of the key results will be limited water flow that will decrease the pressure in numerous fixtures. Luckily, if this is the issue at hand, all that’s needed to correct it is to twist the valve fully open.

Aerator Clogs

If you’re noticing low water pressure only coming from a singe faucet in the home, but all of your other plumbing water fixtures are doing just fine from a pressure standpoint, it’s likely you’re dealing with a clogged aerator. For those unaware, the aerator is the little screen found on the end of a faucet – over time, if no maintenance is carried out on the faucet, these aerators may become clogged and limit the flow of water.

This is another one that’s easy to remedy. These screens can simply be unscrewed from the faucet, then quickly cleaned and reattached. If they’ve sustained physical damage, you can purchase replacements at any home improvement store. If needed, our plumbers will be happy to help you here.

Water Softener Problems

For homes that contain water softeners as part of the plumbing system, pressure issues could be due to problems taking place with this appliance. There are certain malfunctions in water softeners that might lead to sudden decreases in water pressure, and these are the sort that tend to require professional plumber assistance – attempting to repair water softener issues without training is dangerous, both to your own safety and to the health of the system. If our plumbers determine this is the cause of your pressure issues, we’ll recommend remedies based on the extent of the concern.

Pressure Regulator

Within your plumbing system, the pressure regulator is a control that is in charge of the water pressure running from your service line into the home. Like many other plumbing components, it’s possible for this regulator to wear down or malfunction over time – and if this happens, it may affect the pressure throughout the entire home. Once again, this is an area where working with a licensed plumber is strongly recommended, as amateur attempts to repair or replace pressure regulators are unsafe.

Leaking or Cracked Pipe

While all these other causes are possible and take place sometimes, perhaps the most common of the group is the presence of a crack or a leak in a major water pipe. When this happens, it will simply be impossible for that pipe to provide the same level of water pressure it services, especially if the leak is significant and causing major amounts of water to never arrive at their destination.

Luckily, this is also a relatively simple issue to remedy. Call our plumbers for both leak identification and repair, which can usually be done using basic patching techniques.

Sediment Buildup

Sediment, or the buildup of minerals and other debris, may also be a culprit in low water pressure issues. There are a couple situations where this may be the case:

  • General plumbing: Especially in older homes or plumbing systems, sediment will create blockages and a reduction in water flow throughout the system. You may have to replace corroded or blocked plumbing pipes if this buildup becomes significant enough, but regular upkeep to the system will stop this from happening.
  • Hot water heater: In other cases, a specific sediment buildup in the hot water heater will be the cause of issues. Sediment can build up at the bottom of your heater tank, to the point where it’s significant enough to disrupt or slow down water flow.

In both these cases, professional assistance will do the trick.

For more on how to identify the causes of poor water pressure in your home’s plumbing system, or to learn about any of our plumbing repair or HVAC services, speak to the staff at My Buddy the Plumber today.