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3 Common Reasons for Low Water Pressure

Water on the sink
Low water pressure can seriously hamper your ability to perform even the most basic of tasks, from washing the dishes to taking a shower. Low water pressure can occur because of a couple of different reasons.

Understanding some of the more common reasons why your home's plumbing may be suffering from low water pressure can help you identify the problem quickly so that you can then get in touch with a professional plumber to get everything flowing properly again as soon as possible.

1. Regulator Failure

Most homes have a water pressure regulator installed on their water main to prevent overly high water pressure from damaging the home's plumbing. However, just like all other appliances, these pressure regulators can fail over time, which in turn can completely restrict your plumbing's water supply and cause the water pressure to plummet. This is likely the issue if you notice an extremely significant shift in your home's water pressure within a very short time period.

A pressure regulator failure will affect the entirety of your home at once, so be sure to check each water fixture to see whether they are all affected or the issue is localized. If only a single fixture is suffering from low water pressure, then that specific pipe likely has a small clog or leak, and a plumber should focus their efforts on that area.

If your entire home is affected, however, the pressure regulator is the most likely culprit. You can't repair a pressure regulator yourself, so get in touch with a plumbing contractor as soon as possible.

2. Corrosion

A problem that often affects older homes but which can also affect any property that has iron or galvanized steel pipes is rust, which often leads to corrosion. Over time, the interior of these pipes can rust away, and the rust flakes can create a durable blockage within your plumbing that restricts the flow of water, causing water pressure to drop.

Rust and corrosion are of particular concern because it will slowly break down the structural integrity of your pipes, making a leak or even a completely burst open pipe a real possibility in the future.

You'll be able to tell if you have rust in your pipes due to the changed color and taste of your water — it will take on an orange or brown hue and will have a metallic aftertaste. Talk to a plumber about installing a water filter to ensure that your water is safe to use in the short term, but to be proactive, you'll likely need to install new pipes before the old ones corrode all the way through and develop a leak.

3. Hard Water

Similar to the above point, you may find that your water fixtures are suffering from low water pressure because of dissolved minerals within your water supply. Hard water is water that has large amounts of calcium and other minerals dissolved within it. Over time, these minerals can form a chalky, white, or blueish scale on your pipes, taps, showerheads, and other fixtures.

This scale will also build up within your plumbing, creating blockages that prevent water from passing through. While rust will eat away at your pipes themselves to create blockages, hard water blockages will simply continue until your pipes are completely closed off, increasing the stress on your plumbing and making leaks more likely while still restricting water pressure.

In order to remove hard water and restore your water pressure, you can treat individual fixtures by soaking them in an acidic mixture of water and vinegar. To proactively prevent future problems, however, you'll need to install a water softener, which is a particular type of water filter that will remove calcium and other minerals from your water supply and replace it with sodium.

No matter the reason for your low water pressure, Accurate Plumbing can help. Contact us today for help with all your plumbing needs.