According to White House staffers from the 1960’s, Lyndon B. Johnson liked his showers a little more intense than normal. Instead of the standard top-down shower arrangement, he wanted water “charging out of multiple nozzles in every direction with needle-like intensity and a hugely powerful force.” For a man who was known for his intensity, a description of his shower habits seems to pretty much fit the mold.
For the rest of us, we just want a shower that is strong and warm every time we turn the nozzle. Most of the time, this isn’t a problem, but if you’ve noticed your shower pressure beginning to wane, it may be time to take a closer look at what’s really happening.
Why is My Pressure So Low?
Generally speaking, there are usually a few reasons why your water pressure may not be at the strength you want: Either it’s blocked, you have a leak, or there’s too much demand on the water supply that is splitting the water different ways. Some of these issues are easier than others to fix; if you have a water-saving showerhead, for instance, simply change it out with a new one and the problem is solved.
For others, you may need to call a plumber. Our team is trained to handle just about anything shower-related, so if you’re unsure what to do, contact us and we’ll be happy to walk you through it.
Common Reasons for Low Pressure
Unfortunately for most homeowners, the reason why the pressure is low isn’t very obvious at first. Below is a list of the most common reasons, along with some suggestions on how to fix the issue.
- Dirty Shower Head. In older homes particularly, it may be that the shower head is simply clogged from too much sediment and debris that has found its way through the pipes and into your shower. Fixing the shower head is undoubtedly where you need to start when you first try to uncover the reason behind your low pressure, since the solution is as easy as unscrewing the head and soaking it in a bowl of vinegar for several hours. You may have to poke the debris out with a toothpick (or buy a new showerhead entirely), but if it’s back to normal once the head is replaced, it’s a pretty painless resolution to an otherwise big problem.
- Too Much Demand on Water. If you’ve ever been in the shower and someone has flushed a nearby toilet, you’ve most likely experienced the shock that comes from a sudden rise in water temperature. Normally occurring in older homes, this happens because the cold water diverts from your shower to fill up the toilet tank, and can also result in a drop in water pressure as well. Replacing the valve with one that doesn’t cause this issue, such as a thermostatic mixing valve, requires a significant amount of technical knowledge. Call our team if you’re interested in upgrading your valve.
- Broken Pipe. This is every homeowner’s worst nightmare. A broken pipe in your walls can result in damage to anywhere in the house, and you may not know about it until you start seeing water stains appear on the wall or notice some other symptom, such as a drop in water pressure. Check the meter on the main water valve; if all the faucets and valves in the house are off and the meter is still rotating, you could have a leak. Call a plumber immediately to diagnose and resolve the issue.
Not every issue in your house is necessarily a cause for concern, but as with anything, early detection is key. Your water pressure may be a simple fix that takes a few hours to resolve, or it could be an indication of something bigger. Either way, our team at Fountain Plumbing is ready and eager to help.