Low water pressure can happen for many reasons. While it can indicate a broken pipe or problem in a sewer line, there may be other causes you can address on your own. In short, you’re not destined to be stuck with weak water pressure. The following tips can help increase water pressure so your home is more comfortable for you, your family, friends, and guests.
How to Increase Water Pressure
1. Identify the Source of the Problem
The ideal water pressure for homes is around 45 to 55 psi. If you think your water pressure is low, you can test it by attaching a pressure gauge to an outside water spigot and turning on the water. The water meter shutoff valve must be fully open to get an accurate reading.
Not all water pressure issues originate in your home. Don’t be embarrassed to check with neighbors; if they’re also experiencing issues, the problem may be in your city or municipal water system. But if your water supply comes from a well, check the well pump. Centrifugal, submersible, and jet well pumps require maintenance and can develop mechanical issues. These must be fixed to increase water pressure.
2. Flush Out Pipe Clogs
Household waste, debris, and mineral deposits can restrict the diameter of pipes, reducing water pressure. The only way to reverse this is to clear out the blockages. One home DIY remedy is to fill a plastic bag with vinegar and place it over a faucet or shower head. After it soaks overnight, rinse off the fittings. If this doesn’t work, or you have old, galvanized steel water pipes, call a professional plumber.
3. Open the Main Water Valve
The main water valve is usually located near the water meter. Sometimes the valve is left half open, which will limit water pressure in your home. Opening the valve all the way will allow more water to flow into your house, and therefore increase water pressure. It’s not uncommon for plumbing technicians to turn off the main valve during repairs and forget to open it all the way. If you’ve recently had plumbing work, check the valve and adjust it as necessary.
4. Check the Pressure-Reducing Valve
Look along the water main for a pressure-reducing valve (PRV). The pressure should be pre-set by the factory, but the PRV has a screw on top for adjusting it up or down. An older valve is more likely to show signs of problems. If it’s more than 20 years old, consider calling a professional to replace it.
5. Install a New Pressure Regulator
A pressure regulator is installed at the meter or service line entry point, in homes with a public water connection. The regulator is designed to prevent water hammer and potential plumbing damage caused by rushing water. If it is faulty, water pressure can drop, affecting flow from plumbing fixtures. Fortunately, the part can be reset or replaced. You may not need a professional, but it’s often best to call a plumber experienced with this kind of work.
6. Get a Pressure Booster
A pressure booster can increase water pressure when your home is far from a municipal water source, or the water supply must be pushed uphill to reach it. You can usually install a pressure booster pump for a few hundred dollars. It’s best to have a master plumber install the system for you, which adds to the price; and since the pump runs on electricity, it may increase energy costs.
7. Fix Any Leaks
If a pipe has a hole or is cracked, water will drain away before it reaches your fixtures. Less water means lower pressure. To determine whether you have a leaking water line, turn off all indoor and outdoor faucets, turn off the water valve, and note the number on the water meter. Take another reading in two hours; if the reading still increases, a leak is likely. Call a plumber for help.
Contact a Pro to Help Increase Water Pressure
Black Hills Inc. Home Services provides all types of plumbing system repairs and can address low water pressure, no matter the cause. Whether you have a faulty valve or leaky pipe, our licensed, bonded technicians provide high-quality workmanship and employ the latest tools and equipment. You can always expect a job done right. If you need to increase water pressure or aren’t sure why the flow from faucets and fixtures is weak, give us a call at 888-834-7479 or request service online.