Everyone likes good water pressure when taking a shower. If you’ve noticed a decrease in your water pressure, you could have a bigger problem than not being able to rinse off properly. It could mean that there is an issue with your plumbing. Here are some common problems that might cause decreased water pressure:
Leaking or clogged pipe.
If you have a leaky pipe or a blockage, it will drop the water pressure. A leak is the worst cause of decreased water pressure because a leaking pipe could mean you have extensive water damage in the walls or ceiling. If it’s been leaking for a while, you might have to deal with mold or mildew, replacing insulation, framing and drywall. If you suspect you have a leak, see water stains or hear dripping, turn off the water supply and call a plumber right away.
This is the best-case scenario for dropped water pressure and the easiest to fix. If you can see that your shower head is clogged, you can simply unscrew it and soak it in a cleaning solution before scrubbing all the little nozzles with a brush or old toothbrush. Reinstall and enjoy your renewed water pressure! Learn how to clean a showerhead with vinegar.
Issue with the diverter valve.
If you have a shower and bathtub combo, you will have a diverter valve. It is controlled by the knob or handle that diverts water from coming out of the bathtub faucet up to the showerhead. These valves can wear out over time and start to malfunction, not sending enough water up through the showerhead to provide good water pressure. A plumber can come take a look and fix the diverter valve for you.
Limitations with the pressure balancing valve.
If your shower is controlled by a single knob or handle to control both the flow of water and the temperature, it uses a pressure balancing valve. Unfortunately, this type of valve has limitations. When you flush a toilet or run another appliance, the water is diverted to fill the toilet tank or to that appliance, which causes a drop in the cold or hot water line going to your shower. It might take the balancing pressure valve some time to adjust. When it does that, it might reduce the water pressure in the hot or cold water, whatever is being used by the other appliance, to compensate. This will cause a temporary loss in water pressure.
Issue with the water pressure reduction valve.
If you have issues with decreased water pressure throughout the entire home, it could be a problem with the water pressure reduction valve. This valve is connected to the main water line near where it enters the home. If the valve is broken or out of adjustment, it could cause an issue with your water pressure. You should have it inspected and repaired by a certified plumber.
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