You turn on the tap to brush your teeth and the water only trickle. In the kitchen, there is not enough pressure to rinse of the crumbs off your breakfast plate! The dishwasher takes forever, and a wash cycle set for 27 minutes ends up lasting an hour and a half. Low water pressure is aggravating enough in the shower, imagine when your entire house is affected!
The first step in identifying the problem is going to the source. Find your water main, inside the house and check if the position of the shut-off valve. This seems simple, but a shut-off valve in a semi open position will not let as much water go through as a shut-off valve in a fully open position. After you have completed this step, check the taps.
Still not enough pressure? Measure it. Ideally, you are looking for water pressure between 45 and 55 psi. To figure that out, get a gauge at the hardware store, follow the instructions and measure the pressure at the tap. If the pressure is lower than 40 psi, check the pressure-reducing valve in your plumbing system, it might be malfunctioning. On the same topic, you never want to have water pressure that exceed 80 psi as it will damage your plumbing.
If these two are checked and the water pressure is still low, check with your neighbours. If they are experiencing the same problem, chances are the city is reducing the pressure. If that is the case, your only option is to install a pressure increasing kit for your house. If the city is not the cause, the water meter valve might be the issue. Verify that it is in fully open position and check the pressure again. If you are not on city water, your well pump might not be working properly, and it is worth investigating.
After all those verifications, your own blood pressure must be going through the roof. Don’t let that get to you. If the pressure at the tap is still slow, this means you have something obstructing your pipes. In galvanized pipes, it might be corrosion or debris that have gathered and are slowing the flow of water. If your water is hard, which mean that it contains a lot of minerals, there might be mineral build up inside the pipes.
Another thing you may want to check, before you invest in new plumbing, is whether there is a leak, somewhere in the house, that you were not aware of. Such a leak would drain the pressure out of your system and cause all the pressure issues at various points in the house. This is an important thing to look for and to fix as leaking water would cause other damage to your house and become an ideal environment for mold to grow.
Regardless of how frustrating low water pressure is, it is a sign that your plumbing system needs your attention. Don’t ignore it and contact your Sydney plumber right away.