Low water pressure in your shower makes life difficult. It's hard to rinse anything clean when there's insufficient force behind the water. Several factors can contribute to low water pressure. Major problems throughout a home will require a professional plumber. However, you can fix minor problems within the shower faucet itself. All you need are a few tools and a little time to increase the water pressure and improve the performance of your shower.
Things You'll Need
- Old rag
- Flat blade screwdriver
- Replacement shower head
Locate the water shut off valve for the shower. It may be behind the wall where the shower head is. It may be behind an access panel in another wall. Also, look in the basement below. Once you find the valve, make sure it's turned completely on so the water flow to the shower isn't restricted.
Wrap a rag around the pipe the shower head is attached to to protect it from damage. Place pliers over the rag and onto the pipe to hold it securely. Use a second pair of pliers to unscrew the shower head from the pipe. Place the shower head in a container. Pour enough vinegar over it to cover it. Allow the head to soak for a couple hours to remove mineral deposits. Rinse it off with water and reinstall it.
Remove the shower head from the pipe in the wall. Look in the open end of the head for a small mesh screen. Carefully remove it with a screwdriver. Clean it well under running water to boost shower pressure. Replace the screen and reinstall the shower head.
Remove the shower head from the pipe in the wall. Use a flat blade screwdriver to remove the gasket inside the open end, if applicable. Look for a piece of plastic with a hole in it. This is used to restrict water flow. Carefully pry it out of the shower head with a flat blade screwdriver. Reassemble the head and reinstall it.
Remove the shower head from the pipe in the wall. Replace it with a quality shower head in order to increase the water pressure. Often, cheaper, lower end shower heads don't perform well. Use an ultra-flow head that's designed to boost the water pressure.
Tips & Warnings
- All shower heads sold in the United States contain flow restrictors. They are designed to save water and energy. Removing the restrictor will increase the water pressure in your shower. However, this will increase your water usage. Hold onto the flow restrictor in case you need to reinstall it.
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