Low water pressure in your home can lead to several uncomfortable situations, from weak showers to incomplete toilet flushes. Particularly if you’re hosting guests in your home, you may want a way to increase your home’s water pressure.
While there are several causes for lower water pressure, there are also some simple solutions to the problem that you can try. Below, we’ll list 5 of the top issues and potential solutions to increase your home’s water pressure today. First, however, let’s discuss how to measure your current water pressure level.
- Is Your Water Pressure Really Lower than Normal?
- Ways of Increasing Water Pressure in Your Home
- Final Thoughts
Is Your Water Pressure Really Lower than Normal?
The only sure way to know whether your water is flowing as it should is to conduct a water-pressure test. To complete this test, you’ll need a basic pressure gauge. Thankfully, you should be able to find a pressure gauge easily at your local hardware store, and it shouldn’t cost too much at all.
Once you’ve acquired a pressure gauge, use it to measure the level of your water pressure. If the gauge reads anything lower than 40 PSI (pressure per square inch), the water pressure is low. As a target, you’ll want the pressure to read between 40 and 60 PSI, so if you do find yourself below the 40 PSI mark, it may be worth investing in one of the solutions outlined below.
Ways of Increasing Water Pressure in Your Home
As we mentioned earlier, you can boost the water pressure in your home without consulting a professional. Here are five different approaches to consider:
1. Use a Water Pressure Booster
If everyone in your neighborhood or city has the same low water pressure problem, a water pressure booster could help you deal with the issue effectively in your home. Basically, a water pressure booster takes the water coming in and uses a pressure tank-electric pump combo to raise the PSI level, increasing the overall water pressure.
To install a water pressure booster, follow these easy steps:
- Start by turning off the main water supply for your home
- Then, connect the main water line going into the house to the booster as the input
- Next, attach the pump output to the water pressure tank for your home
- Finally, connect the tank output to the house pipes. Once everything is attached and sealed, you can turn your water supply back on. You should now notice that water throughout the house has a higher pressure level
- Once installed, you can set the water pressure to your ideal level using the dial on the pressure booster, depending on the type of booster you installed. Anything between 40 and 60 PSI is considered a standard home water pressure level
While investing in a booster can be pretty pricey, the benefits are often worth it. You’ll also save time in the shower, doing laundry, and during other chores thanks to the higher water pressure, which increases return on the investment.
2. Double-Check Your Shut-Off Valves
At times, the issue may be simpler than you think, and you might not even need any new equipment. It’s not a bad idea to start with some quick checks on your plumbing to make sure the issue isn’t in the plumbing itself.
For example, the problem could be with the shut-off valves, which is common if you have just replaced the valves or moved into a new home. To double-check the valves, start by finding the meter. Then, locate the shut-off valves and ensure they are fully open.
If you check the valves and they’re already fully open, the problem may be more complex. You can call on a professional to investigate other aspects of your plumbing or try one of the other options from our list.
3. Use a Pressure-Reducing Valve
If neither option 1 nor 2 could resolve your water issues, we can confirm that the city’s water pressure is okay and the water valves are fully open. Therefore, the next culprit for low water pressure could be pressure-reducing valves common in your home, which are common in many homes and commercial establishments.
If your house has pressure-reducing values that aren’t set to the right level, they could be reducing the pressure too much, resulting in your low water pressure problem. Normally, these valves should be pre-set at 50 PSI, the standard for water pressure. However, for some reason, the pressure could be too low.
Luckily, there is a pressure adjustment screw at the top that can help you fix this problem. Start by identifying and accessing any pressure-reducing valves in your home. Then, use a screwdriver to turn the adjustment screw on the top clockwise to increase and set the pressure between 45-55 PSI. Then, try out the shower or another water tap to confirm that the issue has been fixed.
4. Boost Water Pressure in the Pipes
The water pressure in your house could also be low because of leaking pipes. If your pipes are leaking, not only can it decrease water pressure, but it can also increase your monthly water bills, and lead to even more issues, so it’s important to identify this issue quickly.
In general, the most common areas where pipes leak include the toilet, dishwasher, under sink faucets, and from the shower faucet. You can also have a bigger issue with your internal plumbing, but thankfully it’s less common. Regardless, if you’re able to resolve the leak, it could also help return your water pressure to a higher level.
So, how do you spot a leak? There are a few different things to look out for and try if you are concerned about a leak:
- Sudden High Water Bills: if you notice your water bill increasing significantly even though your household isn’t consuming more water than normal, the cause could be a leak
- Water Stains on the Floor or Walls: particularly if a faucet or appliance is leaking, you may start to see the effect of the water itself. Keep an eye on your walls, floor, and even ceiling to make sure you don’t see any damp spots forming. Otherwise, the water stain is a likely symptom of a leak from a nearby pipe
- Pools of Water: similar to the above, if you notice pools of water forming near specific appliances or faucets, that’s another sign that water is coming out where it shouldn’t be. Especially if the pools form even when you aren’t using the particular appliance, that’s a big indicator that it could be leaking
5. Increase Water Pressure in One Specific Faucet or Appliance
At times, water pressure problems only impact one part of the house instead of every water source. For instance, the showerhead may be okay, but the pressure in the kitchen sink could be disappointing. A localized pressure issue like this example implies that there could be a buildup of debris and minerals partially blocking those specific pipes.
Accumulation of this nature normally takes several years to develop, and can ultimately result in the blockage of the pipes. As a result, the blockage prevents all the water from coming through, which leads to lower water pressure.
Thankfully, the process of removing a mineral build-up in your faucet is pretty straightforward, and only requires items you likely already have around the house. You’ll want to gather white vinegar, a rubber band, and a plastic bag before getting started.
- First, fill the plastic bag with vinegar
- Then, use the rubber band to attach the bag of vinegar around the showerhead or faucet
- Let everything soak for a few hours. During this time, the vinegar should help break down the debris and minerals so they’ll easily wash out and clear your faucet
- After soaking, remove the bag and run your faucet. At this point, hopefully, you’ll notice the water pressure is back to the same level as the rest of the house
As you can see, there are several different reasons that could explain low water pressure in your house. Start by considering whether the water pressure is in your whole neighborhood, just your house, or even just one shower or faucet to determine which solution to try first. Particularly for some of the causes that can have additional issues beyond low water pressure, it’s important to diagnose and resolve the problem as soon as possible.
Beyond the solutions provided above, there could also be more complex repairs necessary. If that’s the case for your home, we recommend getting the services of a professional plumber. Working with a professional for complex issues will help you avoid costly damages and also ensure the problem is fully resolved.
Ultimately, we hope this article helps show that you don’t have to live with low water pressure in your house. Depending on the cause, there are several simple solutions to try, some of which can be done quickly and easily on your own. Fixing your low water pressure can even lead to preventing other issues while also improving your quality of living, so we encourage everyone to resolve their low water pressure issues.