How to Increase Water Pressure in Your Home – The 5 Easy Ways
Low water pressure can be a major source of discomfort. It can lead to weak showers, inadequate toilet flushes, and the inability to use multiple home appliances at the same time.
Issues with pressure can be due to several reasons ranging from city-wide deficits to appliance errors in your own home. This could be the result of:
- Closed water valves
- Faulty pressure-reducing valves
- City policy
- Even debris buildups
Some people love DIY plumbing projects. Others prefer to call a plumbing professional to handle the problem. Either way, there are tons of ways to increase water pressure in your home. Here are just a few of the fixes, ranging from simple to complex, that can help you troubleshoot your low water pressure.
1. How to Increase Water Pressure Without a Pump
Low water pressure in your home can be a massive inconvenience in your day-to-day life. It can affect the way you wash clothes, shower, water your lawn, and clean dishes. Many who encounter this issue immediately decide to use a pressure booster pump. While this can be useful, there are actually several ways to troubleshoot the issue before you go out and make a purchase. It could end up being a tiny issue with the shut off valves.
The problem is that there isn’t just one fault to blame. There are so many potential reasons that could explain why the pressure is low. The first order of business should always be to check the valves by finding the water meter.
Sometimes, water pressure issues are simple installation problems or easy valve adjustments. Performing a few quick checks before calling a plumber could end up saving you money you don’t have to spend.
Recall if you have recently replaced your pipes or just moved into a new home. In these scenarios, clogged pipes are unlikely to be the reason for low pressure. A new system narrows the possibilities of what could be causing the problem. In this case, there is a simple order of events you can follow to ensure that it is not user error:
- Find the water meter
- Locate the shut off valves
- Ensure that they are fully open
Even if a valve looks open, the slightest closure could lead to massive changes in water pressure and flow. If these valves aren’t open, be sure to open them fully, and you’ll find that the water pressure increases.
If the valves seem perfectly installed and are open when you check, you might have a deeper problem on your hands. While you may assume the pressure is low, it is critical to conduct an official test. You can do this assessment yourself or call a professional.
Your city or county water department can give you a pressure reading, or you can purchase a pressure gauge and test it on an outdoor spigot. The reading you should be looking for to indicate reliable pressure is 45-55 psi.
2. How to Use a Water Pressure Booster Pump
Sometimes, an entire city or town suffers from barely any water pressure. This indicates that the city is delivering the water supply to homes at a pressure of less than 40 psi. If this is the case, increasing water pressure will require installing a water pressure booster pump.
A booster pump takes the water that comes in and uses an electric pump and pressure tank to increase the psi. You can set your pressure to your liking by using the top dial on the device.
Pumps require installation of at least 3/4 inch copper or plastic water main in the house. The system operates by pressurizing the flowing water supply with compressed air and feeding that water into the home. The installation process is straightforward:
- Attach the main water line that goes into the house to the booster pump
- Attach the pump output to the water pressure tank
- Attach the tank output to the house pipes
Booster pumps can be expensive, but they help with water flow in addition to pressure. The device makes it easy for multiple people to use the shower head or other water-based appliances at the same time. This step makes it easy to run a load of laundry even though someone has to take a shower in hot water. It adds convenience and saves time.
Read more: What causes air in water pipes
3. How to Improve Water Pressure Using the Pressure-Reducing Valve
If your city’s water pressure is high and your valves are open, the next problem to check is your machinery. Check the water main for a pressure-reducing valve. If one of these valves is present, it could be the reason for low water pressure in your shower head.
Pressure-reducing valves are present in many homes and commercial spaces. However, one improper adjustment could lead to problems like low water pressure. These devices have an easy pressure adjustment screw on the top of the valve. The typical factory preset is 50 psi, which is standard for water pressure. However, the setting of these devices can accidentally be too low.
If you believe it has been longer than a decade or two since the valve has had a replacement or repair, it is worth having a look. This device could be the reason for all your pressure issues.
- Adjust the screw so that the psi is between 45 and 55. Clockwise turns increase the pressure, while counter clockwise turns will diminish it.
- After adjusting the valve, check the water pressure in your shower head.
- If it is still running low pressure, call an expert like All Dry USA to have a look. You can find a replacement valve at most hardware supply stores and have a pro come in to do the installation.
4. How to Improve Water Pressure in Your Pipes
One major cause for low pressure in your pipes house-wide could be leaking. In addition to low pressure, leaks can also cause your water bill to skyrocket. This means you are paying more money for less water.
There are a few ways to check for leaks in your home. The most common leaks are found on the following appliances:
Find out if you have a leak by looking for:
- Water spots/stains on walls, flooring, or ceiling
- Pooling water near pipes
- A spike in your water bill
- The food coloring test
The food coloring test is perfect for finding out of your toilet has an internal leak. All you need is a tube of food coloring. The process is simple:
- Open the toilet tank
- Drop food coloring into the tank water
- Leave the toilet untouched for an hour or two
- Check the bowl to see if the dye has leaked into that water.
If there is dye in the toilet bowl, it means that you have found a leak. The flapper at the bottom of your tank is the likely culprit. You can replace this part at a local hardware supply store, or you can call us at All Dry USA for an expert replacement.
5. How to Increase Water Pressure in a Tap or Shower
Are the water pressure issues resigned to one side of the house? Do they only apply to one or two of your appliances? If your sink tap works fine but your shower head is weak, there might be a simple reason for the low pressure. It could indicate that the issue is due to buildup in your pipes.
There are a few ways to deal with this on your own. If you suspect it is the reason though, you’ll want to call us to help mitigate the issue.
The water that flows through your pipes contains debris and minerals. The buildup of these substances can occur over several years. It can end up causing a block in your pipes or faucets that leads to an undesired water pressure. One easy quick-fix for buildups in your pipes involves:
- White vinegar
- A plastic bag
- A rubber band
Here’s what to do:
- Fill the bag with vinegar and use the rubber band to adhere it around the shower head or faucet. Let this soak for a few hours.
- Once it has had time to eat away at the debris, check the water and see if it was able to disintegrate the blockage.
If it was not successful, call All Dry USA to inspect the damage. We can help replace your shower-head or remove harmful mineral deposits and increase water pressure in your home.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is low water pressure a sign of a leak?
Yes. This is the most obvious sign you are not maintaining a closed system.
Why is my water pressure low in one bathroom?
This is often the sign of a clog in the main water pipe to that bathroom. Try cleaning the pipes that enter the room.
Why is my shower water pressure suddenly low?
You most likely have hard water deposits blocking the flow. Soak the showerhead in vinegar overnight to remove this.
Will increasing pipe size increase flow?
No. The opposite is true. Assuming your starting flow rate is the same, ss pipe size increases, flow decreases.
Does reducing pipe size increase air pressure?
Yes. The small the diameter of the pipe, the greater the air pressure.
Does a shorter shower hose increase pressure?
No. The length of the shower hose does not affect the initial flow rate.
Professionals Here to Help
Diagnosing what is causing the small amount of pressure in your home is only the first step. Complex replacements, repairs, and installations follow to ensure the job is done right.
You’ve found the problem, now all you need to do is find the right company to handle it for you. Call the experts at All Dry USA to have your water pressure issue handled quickly and conveniently. Rather than wait around buying the tools and materials needed to complete the repair yourself, let the professionals do it for you. Long hot showers and clean clothes and dishes are just one call away.
Reach out to All Dry USA today to hear more about our residential and commercial water mitigation and construction services.