If you’re experiencing fluctuations in shower water pressure, don’t brush the issue off. The problem could be more severe than you imagine (as it is with leaking or cracked water pipes), and possibly require professional intervention before snowballing into a home plumbing disaster.
In this blog post, we outline the five most common factors that contribute to lower shower pressure, and provide some insights into what you can do right away to restore your showerhead pressure to its intended amount.
Major Contributors to Low Water Pressure
Before we detail the ways you can improve your shower water pressure on your own, let’s take a quick look at the major contributing factors to low shower head pressure. The following five factors are some of the leading causes of irregularly poor shower pressure, which you can address on your own with DIY repair efforts or by contacting a seasoned drain cleaning professional in your community today:
- Pressure regulator devices: if your shower head pressure has abruptly dropped for no discernable reason, there’s a decent chance that your home’s water pressure regulator, which is typically set to maintain water pressure between 45 and 60 psi, may be malfunctioning.
If this is the case, you may want to contact a specially trained plumber, instead of attempting repairs on your own. Improper installation of water pressure regulators can lead to even further, more expensive drain repair problems.
- Home water valves: sudden decreases in shower head water pressure could also be attributed to accidental shutoff of your home water valves, which are the main control valves of water into your home, typically located in a home’s water meter box.
To resolve the (relatively minor) issue, locate your home water valve and make sure it is completely set to the “on” position. Even slight or accidental off positioning can significantly alter home water pressure. The best thing about offset home water valves is that the issue is extremely simple to fix.
- Using showers during peak periods: sometimes, low water pressure from showerheads is due to something entirely outside of your home and home plumbing system. If you frequently use your shower during peak periods, such as early in the morning or at night, there’s a chance the performance issue is due to high water use within your neighborhood or building.
If you believe this is the case, test your water pressure at other, low-use periods; periods where local water consumption would be lower than it is immediately before work hours or when residents in your community return home from work.
- Mineral accumulation within pipes: in older homes, or those with outdated plumbing systems that heavily feature galvanized pipe, mineral accumulation (which develops over time) is a common cause of low shower pressure. Despite your best efforts, there’s little you can do on your own to avoid mineral depositing and accumulation over time.
Unfortunately, there’s little you can do to remove mineral deposits within pipes on your own. In these cases, you should contact a trained plumbing expert in your area right away.
- Pipe leaking; if worst comes to worst, and you cannot identify the cause of your low shower water pressure with any other means, there’s a chance your low pressure is the direct result of pipe leaking or fracturing. As water escapes through thee leaks, less and less will eventually reach your showerheads, and other drain fixtures.
If this is the case with your home plumbing system, there’s little to nothing you can do to resolve the issue but contact a trained, professional plumbing technician in your area. These specialists can use video inspection equipment to fully evaluate the integrity of your pipes, and use this knowledge to suggest the best possible repair solutions for your damaged plumbing.
What You Can Do to Resolve the Issue
Sometimes, resolving low water pressure in the shower is an easy fix, and can be tended to with simple DIY efforts. On the other hand, however, the problem could be less with your water pressure and valve, and more with the integrity of your home’s plumbing pipes themselves.
If you are having consistent trouble locating the source of your poor shower pressure, or feel you require an outside expert’s help to restore your home plumbing system, don’t hesitate to contact a professional today.