A functional home plumbing system serviced by a professional plumber has the right amount of water pressure, affecting how effectively you perform several household tasks. For example, water determines how much joy you get from a shower and how fast you rinse your dishes when washing them at the kitchen sink.
Filling the bathtub can take ages, and rinsing off the shampoo from your hair can be a dreadful experience if the water pressure in your home is low. Sometimes, an easy fix will take care of the problem. Other times, though, you need to call in a professional plumber. Read on to learn common causes of low water pressure in your home.
1. A Partially Open Main Shutoff Valve
A wrongly positioned main shutoff valve can cause low water pressure because this valve determines the amount of water that enters your home. Completely shutting it off will cut off your home’s water supply. So, the main shutoff valve should be the first thing you check if the water pressure is low.
You can find this valve either in the basement or the exterior wall of your home’s utility area. It’s typically on the street-facing side of your home as city water typically enters the home from this side. If the handle for the shutoff valve is wheel-like, make sure it’s turned all the way counterclockwise.
If the handle is a lever, it must be parallel to the direction of the pipe. A partially open main shutoff valve is common when a homeowner fails to return it to the right position after having some plumbing work done. This valve is under the control of your household.
2. A Partially Open Water Meter Valve
The water meter valve is similar to the main shutoff valve in that this valve is the main water source. It’s the city, however, that controls it — not the homeowner. For that reason, only in case of a plumbing emergency should you tamper with the water meter valve.
There’s no harm in checking it, though. The water meter valve is often located beside your water meter. The valve is parallel with the water pipe or supply line when it’s open. Any other position will alter the water flow to your home, in which case you should contact the Irving, TX water department to advise you on how to restore your water pressure.
3. Issues Related to Your Hot Water Heater
Surprising as it may seem, your hot water heater can affect hot or cold water pressure. A hot water heater can lower water pressure in one of two ways. The first is hot water buildup. Sediments like minerals gradually accumulate in the heater tank and connected pipes. As the buildup increases, it restricts the inflow or outflow of water depending on its location.
The second way a hot water heater reduces water pressure is through the water heater valve. If the heater’s shutoff valve isn’t fully open, your home will have low water pressure. In this case, fully opening the valve will restore the water pressure. Keep in mind that water heaters can be dangerous as they generate immense pressure, so it’s best to let a professional plumber handle it.
4. A Clogged Aerator Screen
The mesh screen at the end of a tap is called an aerator screen. It has numerous small holes that control water flow, making it an effective solution for water conservation and water flow management. If it becomes clogged, water flow through the aerator diminishes. Remove the tap, soak it in vinegar solution and hot water to remove the mineral or sediment buildup. If the buildup proves too difficult to remove, replace the tap.
5. Corroded or Clogged Pipes
If none of the causes mentioned so far are behind the low water pressure in your home, then you might have a bigger plumbing problem on your hands. One such problem might be corroded or clogged pipes.
A clog restricts the flow of water in a pipe while increasing pressure in the area behind the clog. Eventually, the pipe may burst. Older homes are more susceptible to the corrosion of pipes. Discoloration and an unusual taste may indicate corrosion if they occur alongside low water pressure.
6. A Faulty Water Pressure Regulator
Your home likely has a water pressure regulator that controls water flow. If the water pressure regulator malfunctions or becomes worn, the water pressure in your home may fluctuate by going exceedingly low or high. The change in pressure is usually abrupt and noticeable throughout the home.
You can use a water pressure gauge to measure your home’s water pressure. Call a professional plumber to replace the water pressure regulator if you suspect that it may be faulty. The replacement procedure requires shutting off the water meter valve, which is the city’s property, and licensed plumbers have the permits to handle them.
7. Leaks in Your Plumbing System
Regardless of their location in your plumbing system, leaks eventually lead to plumbing problems. Among these problems is low water pressure. Some leaks are easy to identify as they result in the accumulation of water in visible areas. In many cases, though, they are out of sight, and you need to hire a professional plumber to inspect your home and locate the leaks.
Consult the Irving, TX, Water Department and Call a Plumber
Unexpected changes in your water usage are usually signs of plumbing issues, and obtaining a statement of your water consumption from the Irving water department may help identify the cause. However, note that even though the statement from the water department may provide you with some useful information, it will likely not give you the answers you need.
For that, call a professional plumber to inspect your home and figure out what’s causing the low water pressure. Choose a plumbing company with extensive experience serving homeowners in Irving, TX. Your plumber must also be licensed and insured. Call Tioga Plumbing & Electric today to get a lasting solution for the low water problem in your home.
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