Water pressure affects a lot of the daily activities in your home. From good showers to properly working dishwashers and use of sinks and more, a lack of water pressure can throw a wrench into your day. If you encounter water pressure problems in your house, you can likely trace the problem to one of a few causes. Identifying the cause will help you get the problem fixed or at least give you an idea of how long you have to deal with it.
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No Water At All
If you have no water at all and the pressure is literally gone, you likely have an interruption in water service, which could be the result of nonpayment of a water bill that is overdue or a construction project has forced the crew to turn off water to a certain street while work is done. You can find out which of these is the case with a quick call to the local water utility company, which should have an answer for you on either of these issues.
Whole House Low
Homes that have water flow where the water is slowly trickling out or flowing at much less than normal amounts may have a problem between the water meter and the house. Outdoor water line leaks are not common, but they do happen from time to time. If the water supply to the house is leaking because of a broken pipe, the pressure will be significantly lower. Occasionally you may also encounter brown water coming through faucets because of the mud around the leak, although this may not happen. A pressure-reducing valve installed on your home’s water supply may also weaken the flow of water to unacceptable levels. You may wish to remove it to restore pressure.
Loss of water pressure at a single faucet while the rest of the home’s pressure is fine indicates a potential problem with an aerator installed on that particular faucet. An aerator is a screen that covers the end of the faucet where the water exits. If it gets rusty or clogged with sediment from hard water, it can slow down the flow of water and appear as a pressure problem. These aerators are easily unscrewed and cleaned.
When cold water runs normally and there is a pressure problem with the hot water, the problem is likely with the hot water heater. Check the heater’s shutoff valve. If it is not opened up entirely, open it all the way. If it is partially or completely closed, the hot water will not flow through the pipes appropriately.
Check your home's master shutoff valve, which should be left open completely. Partially closing the valve that allows water into the home will affect the pressure available to all outlets throughout the home.
A lack of water flow in cold weather may indicate frozen pipes. Water cannot pass through pipes that have ice inside them. They may also burst and cause flooding in the home, which is a potential cause of a lack of water pressure if the weather is below freezing and the water hasn’t been running for some time.