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  • Writer's pictureHandsome Hank

How Low Water Pressure Heightens Tensions

Low water pressure is a cosmic waste of time.

We’ve all seen the Seinfeld episode where Jerry purchases black market high-pressure showerheads due to the inefficient low-pressure showerheads in his apartment building. As usual, the show nailed a very real, irritating issue we all face—low water pressure in our homes.

On top of a sub-par showering experience, low water pressure also throws a wrench into washing laundry and dishes, and your sink’s faucet stream comes screeching to a halt. Needless to say, low water pressure leads a lot more gritting of your teeth and cracking of your knuckles in your household.

If you’re currently dealing with the pitfalls of less than stellar water pressure, Megan Drew is offering simple solutions that can solve the problem quickly and conveniently!

Shower Yourself with Solutions

One of the more common and obvious reasons for a weak shower, is your inefficient showerhead. And the same goes for other faucets and fixtures.

Before looking to replace anything, investigate whether or not there’s any clogs in the area that could be slowing your bathing experience to a drip, and try cleaning or using limescale (a whitish deposit on the inside of pipes, pots, and kettles, caused by minerals leeched from the water). You may need to replace your faucet aerator (found at the tip of modern indoor water faucets), or you could purchase a new, more efficient fixture altogether!

It should be noted that calcium, magnesium, and other hard minerals in your water are common causes in gumming up your drain over time. Thus, replacing fixtures may not suffice as a long term remedy to your problem, because the minerals create residue in the tiny holes of your showerhead.

Applying a residential water treatment, namely a quality water softener, could be the most relevant and beneficial course of action.

Pesky Piping Clogs

Clogs aren’t mutually exclusive to your fixtures—they’ll also infract upon your piping. In fact, clogged pipes are one of the main causes of slowed water pressure. It’s is a more serious problem than gunky fixtures because it’s a foundational issue.

As a green friendly plumber, we suggest avoiding using corrosive chemicals to clean your pipes and to try sticking to natural pipe cleaners with vinegar and baking soda. Please note that these methods are catered towards drain pipe as opposed to your home’s water pipes. But it’s always worth a shot, because it can work on your water pipes and save you from costly service calls in the process.

In the case where pipe clogs are beyond DIY remedies’ scope, you’ll need to call a plumber and we know just the guy!

Nothing but a Valve Thing, Baby

If your home is connected to a municipal water supply, there’s a valve connected at the street level outside of your home by your water meter, and there’s your main water shut-off valve, found most commonly near your water heater. Provided either valve is even slightly shut, there could be issues with water pressure.

It’s a lower percentage play, but it’s always a good idea to check everything before dropping money on a service call that could have been sidestepped, including these valves. Plus, if the change in pressure is sudden, there’s more of a chance there’s a valve obstruction.

Check both your valves and ensure they are both fully open, although your water meter valve is operated via the municipality.

Under (Regulated) Pressure

Your home might have a pressure regulator valve easing water pressure, since high water pressure causes stress on appliance. It protects your pipes and extends the shelf-life of fixtures and appliances.

Regulators fail because of sediment buildup in the valve causing blockages, pump problems, and short cycling. If your regulator fails, your water pressure could either drastically increase or decrease. While it’s best to call a plumber if you think your regulator is the root of your out-of-whack water pressure, you can check to see if it’s set too low to meet your lifestyle needs.

A good indicator of regulator issues is losing pressure when showering at the same time the dishwasher is running.

Pipe-Devouring Corrosion

If your pipes are older, they may be galvanized iron which are susceptible not only to scale clogs, but also corrosion obstruction. It’s brought on by high levels of acid (with low pH), alkaline, dissolved oxygen, sulphate and iron bacteria, dissolved solids, temperatures, and sediments in your water.

Feel the Heater

Issues with your water heater could be the chief culprit in hindering your water pressure. If the reduced pressure is most poignant when you’re using hot water, it’s an indicator that the problem stems from your water heater and it may be inefficient in meeting your usage needs.

Hard water may also be building up in pipes and blocking flow into your heater, leading to slackened water flow.

If you can’t solve your water pressure problem on your own, Megan Drew’s steady stream of expertise of experience will ensure you water pressure is to your satisfaction. Call us today at 647-297-9852 or contact us through our website if you have any plumbing issues and live in Markham, Stouffville, Uxbridge, or anywhere in the York Region!

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