Low water pressure is a fairly common problem that can be quite annoying. You go to turn your faucet on to fill up a pot for cooking only to find that barely any water flows or you try and take a shower and only a trickle comes out. Low water pressure can happen for a variety of different reasons, so it’s important to understand the possible causes to help you know when you should call a plumber.

Why Your Water Pressure Is Suddenly Much Lower

There are occasionally times when you’ll suddenly have reduced water pressure at every plumbing fixture in your home. This can often happen when work is being done on the municipal water system or if a water main breaks somewhere in the nearby area. Although there isn’t anything you can do in this situation, your normal water pressure will usually be restored within a day or two at the most.

This type of situation will affect all of the houses in the area, so you may want to check with your neighbor to see if their pressure is also low. You can also contact the municipal water department and they’ll be able to tell you if there is some issue that’s causing your water pressure to be low. If you continue to have low water pressure for more than a few days or only your home is affected, it typically indicates that there is an issue with your plumbing or water supply.

Another common situation is when your water pressure drops any time you’re using multiple plumbing fixtures at the same time, such as when showering and running the dishwasher or washing machine. The main water line coming into your home can only supply so much water at a time. As such, it is common to have slightly reduced pressure whenever you’re using lots of water at one time. However, the pressure shouldn’t decrease by all that much. If it does, it could also mean that your home has one of the following issues.

Plumbing Leak

A small leak in a water line typically won’t have much of an impact on your water pressure, but a leak in your main water line definitely can. Luckily, this issue will be something you’ll usually notice fairly quickly, as it will often cause your basement, crawl space or yard to start flooding. If you suspect that your water line is leaking, you should immediately call the water department. They will then shut off your water supply, which is important for lessening the chances of extensive water damage and preventing your water bill from skyrocketing.

Clogged or Corroded Water Lines

If your water pressure decreases a lot when using multiple fixtures, it could indicate that your main water line is clogged with mineral deposits or has lots of corrosion inside it. Either of these issues will reduce the diameter of the pipe so that less water can flow through it at one time. Any time the water flow is reduced, the pressure will also be lower than normal.

Partially Closed Shut-Off Valve

Any time you’re dealing with low water pressure, it’s a good idea to check the main shut-off valve near your water meter. There is always a possibility that someone accidentally messed with the valve, so you should check to make sure it is fully open. The city also has its own shut-off valve out in the street or in your yard near where your water line meets the water main. If they were recently doing work on the water lines in your area, there is also a chance that they didn’t fully open this valve when they were done. If you or a plumber can’t determine why your water pressure is low, you can call the water department and they will send someone out to make sure that the valve is all the way open.

Malfunctioning Pressure Regulator

The pressure in the municipal water system is often much higher than what a home’s plumbing can handle. This is why many homes have a pressure regulator on the main water line near the water meter. Most regulators have a gauge that shows what the current water pressure is. Ideally, your water pressure should always be between 45 and 60 psi. If the gauge isn’t working or it shows your water pressure is under 40 psi, you’ll want to have a plumber inspect the pressure regulator. The regulator can sometimes fail and reduce the pressure more than it should, but sometimes all you need to do is have the regulator adjusted to the correct pressure. We wouldn’t recommend trying to adjust the regulator yourself, as you could easily set the pressure too high and potentially damage your pipes and plumbing fixtures.

If you’re experiencing any plumbing issues in Port St. Lucie or the West Palm Beach County area, Legacy Plumbing Experts is here to help. We specialize in all types of repair and installation services so give us a call for all of your plumbing, water and sewer needs.

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