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Increase Home Water Pressure: Tips and Solutions

Water pressure is the force behind the rushing water when you turn on a faucet or flush a toilet. Measured in pounds per square inch (psi), water pressure keeps our homes functioning smoothly. Most households operate best with water pressure between 40 and 60 psi, so municipal water supplies typically aim for a sweet spot around 50 psi at the water meter.

Several factors influence the pressure you experience in your home. If you are having problems, understanding these factors can help you determine which low water pressure solutions might help.

Causes of Low Water Pressure

Low water pressure can turn simple tasks into frustrating ordeals. Here are the most common culprits behind this household nuisance:

Clogged Pipes

Over time, minerals from hard water can accumulate inside your pipes, much like cholesterol in arteries. This buildup narrows the passageway for water, resulting in reduced flow and pressure. In older homes, this issue is particularly prevalent, especially in areas with high mineral content in the water supply.

Leaks

Detailed view of metal pipe covered in water droplets in Lakeland

A small drip might seem insignificant, but leaks can dramatically impact your water pressure. Whether it’s a visible leak under the sink or a hidden one within your walls, any escape route for water means less pressure where you need it. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average household’s leaks can account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year – that’s enough to wash 300 loads of laundry!

Corroded Pipes

If your home was built before the 1960s, it might have galvanized steel pipes. While durable, these pipes are prone to corrosion over decades of use. As they corrode, the internal diameter shrinks, restricting water flow and reducing pressure. Replacing these old pipes with modern materials like copper or PEX can be a game-changer for your home’s water pressure.

Faulty Pressure Regulator

The pressure regulator in your home ensures that the municipal water supply doesn’t overwhelm your plumbing system. When this device fails, it can lead to either too much or too little pressure. If you notice a sudden change in water pressure throughout your entire home, a faulty regulator might be the culprit.

Municipal Supply Issues

Sometimes, the problem extends beyond your property line. Local water main breaks, routine maintenance, or even drought conditions can affect the pressure in your neighborhood. If you suspect this is the case, a quick chat with your neighbors can confirm if it’s a widespread issue.

Partially Closed Main Shutoff Valve

Close-up of red pipe against white wall

After maintenance or repairs, it’s not uncommon for the main shutoff valve to be left partially closed. This valve, typically located where the main water line enters your home, controls the overall flow into your plumbing system. Ensuring it’s fully open is a simple yet often overlooked solution to pressure problems.

Elevation

The height of your home in relation to the water source also plays a role in pressure levels. Water pressure decreases with elevation gain, so if your house is situated on a hill or if you have multiple stories, you may notice weaker water pressure on higher floors. Installing a pressure booster pump can help mitigate this issue, ensuring consistent pressure throughout your home.

Distance

The distance from the water tower or pumping station  to your home also impacts water pressure. The longer the distance, the more water has to travel through pipes and fittings, resulting in lower pressure at your faucet. If you live in a rural area, this may be a contributing factor to low water pressure.

Time of Day

Even the time of day can influence water pressure. During peak usage hours, such as early morning and evening when many people are showering and using appliances, the demand for water is high. This can cause a temporary drop in pressure until demand levels subside.

How to Increase Home Water Pressure

Here are some possible solutions to fix low water pressure:

Check and Clean

Start with the simplest fixes:

  • Inspect your main shutoff valve to ensure it’s fully open.
  • Clean faucet aerators and showerheads regularly. Soak them in vinegar overnight to dissolve mineral deposits, then gently scrub with an old toothbrush.

Install a Water Pressure Booster Pump

For homes with chronically low pressure, a booster pump can be a worthwhile investment. This device increases pressure throughout your entire plumbing system. These are especially useful for homes in areas with naturally low water pressure or those at higher elevations.

Upgrade Your Plumbing

If your home still has old galvanized steel pipes, replacing them with modern materials can significantly improve water flow and pressure. Copper and PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) are popular choices for their durability and smooth interior surfaces. While a whole-home repipe is a substantial project, it can resolve numerous plumbing issues beyond just water pressure.

Address Pressure Regulator Issues

A malfunctioning pressure regulator can wreak havoc on your home’s water pressure. If you suspect your regulator is the problem, it’s best to consult a professional plumber. They can adjust the regulator or replace it if necessary.

Tackle Leaks Head-On

Leaks are not just water-wasters; they’re pressure-sappers too. Conduct a thorough inspection of your home, looking for:

  • Dripping faucets
  • Damp spots under sinks
  • Water stains on ceilings or walls
  • Unusually lush patches in your yard (which may indicate an underground leak)

Fixing leaks promptly can have an immediate impact on your water pressure. For hidden leaks, it’s worth calling in a professional who can use specialized equipment to detect and repair the problem.

Consider a Constant Pressure Valve

For homes with fluctuating water pressure, a constant pressure valve can be a game-changer. This device maintains steady pressure regardless of demand, ensuring consistent flow even when multiple fixtures are in use.

Care & Maintenance to Maintain Good Water Pressure

Increase Home Water Pressure

Prevention is often the best cure. Regular maintenance can help you avoid pressure problems before they start.

Routine Cleaning and Inspection

Make it a habit to clean your faucet aerators and showerheads every six months. This simple task can prevent mineral buildup that restricts water flow. Additionally, schedule an annual plumbing inspection with a professional. They can catch potential issues early, saving you from major headaches down the line.

Monitor Your Pressure

Install a pressure gauge on an outdoor faucet or utility sink. Check it periodically to track any changes in your home’s water pressure. This proactive approach allows you to address issues before they become severe.

Water Heater Maintenance

Sediment buildup in your water heater can affect pressure and efficiency. Flush your water heater annually to remove this sediment. It’s a simple task that can extend the life of your appliance and maintain good water pressure.

When Water Pressure is Too High

While low pressure is a common complaint, excessively high pressure can be just as problematic. Pressure above 80 psi can lead to:

  • Damaged pipes and fixtures
  • Increased likelihood of leaks
  • Wasted water and higher utility bills
  • Reduced lifespan of appliances like washing machines and dishwashers

If you suspect your pressure is too high, consider installing a pressure reducing valve. This device can protect your entire plumbing system from the damaging effects of high pressure.

Your Florida Plumbing Experts

Stronghold Plumbing & Septic is here to help with your low water pressure issues or any other plumbing needs. When you need to increase home water pressure, or require a Lakeland plumber, call the plumbing company that responds in minutes, not days.

Contact us today – and ask about our free plumbing estimates!

FAQ’s – Increase Home Water Pressure

How do I know what’s causing my low water pressure?

Several factors can contribute to low water pressure, including distance from the water source, elevation, time of day, and plumbing issues. It’s best to consult a professional plumber for an accurate diagnosis and solution.

Can I fix low water pressure on my own?

In some cases, simple solutions like cleaning faucet aerators or adjusting shutoff valves may improve water pressure. However, for chronic low pressure issues, it’s best to consult a professional plumber.

How can I prevent low water pressure in the future?

Regular maintenance and monitoring your home’s plumbing system can help prevent low water pressure. Additionally, addressing leaks and considering a water pressure booster pump can also improve water flow.  So, it is important to take care of your plumbing system regularly.

Is low water pressure dangerous?

Low water pressure itself is not necessarily dangerous, but it can be a symptom of larger plumbing issues that could potentially pose a safety hazard if left unresolved.

Should I be concerned about high water pressure?

High water pressure can cause damage to your pipes and fixtures over time and lead to wasted water and higher utility bills. It’s best to address high water pressure with the help of a professional plumber. 

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