Learn The Causes of Low Water Pressure In House & the 10 Best Cures

Water Main Service
November 7, 2023

by David Balkan

Low water pressure caused by a clogged lead water service line.

Decreased or low water pressure in house conditions can be caused by various factors. It can also happen gradually, or suddenly as well. Instead of concentrating on the causes, let’s explore and provide you with a list of the 10 most common cures.

Some cures for low water pressure in a house are relatively simple and quick, while others will require the skills of a knowledgeable tradesperson, or a licensed plumber. One key is being self-aware of your skill level, the tools required, and the extent of the work required. With that being said, what follows is a helpful and enlightening top 10 list.

Understand about the flow of water & water pressure by watching the video below

A Top 10 List of Cures for Low Water Pressure in House

There are many causes of low water pressure in the house, what follows are 10 on-point cures for this bothersome issue.

1. One of the simplest and easiest cures for a localized low water pressure in house issue is to remove and clean out all sink faucet strainers. The same can be said for shower heads, as mold and sediment can build up in shower heads as well. Debris, sediment, and even mold growth can clog your plumbing outlets. These cure takes minutes, require no special tools, and require a low skill level.

2. If you’re suffering from low pressure in house or a section of your house, the simplest thing to do is to make sure all of your water valves are fully opened. First, check your main control valve on the house side of your water service line. Then work your way back through your entire plumbing system.

Of course, if the low water pressure issue is localized, check the control valve for that section of your plumbing first. Always remember that no matter the size or type of water valve, never use brute force to make it turn.

3. What causes low water pressure in the whole house is typically an undersized or clogged water service line. In those relatively rare cases, low water pressure in house conditions must be cured by replacing the water service line from the house to the connection on the public water main. This is the most expensive of all the cures for low water pressure in house.

When Would A Water Service Line Replacement Be Needed?

A full water service line replacement would be required only under certain circumstances and be a way how to fix low water pressure in a house. Those circumstances would include if your water service line ruptures, is filled with corrosion, or is too small to properly service the needs of the plumbing fixtures in the building. Whenever you must replace your water service line, it’s vitally important that the water line be sized out properly by your plumbing contractor.

What About The Tap Connection To The City Water Main?

In some cases, the tap connection, the connection from the city water main to your service line, may be clogged or undersized. In most cases, this condition would also require excavation work.

4. Deciding whether to replace a section of the inside piping or a whole house re-pipe is a big decision as a cure. This cure must be carefully determined before undertaking any work. In some cases, there may be a small section of galvanized, or undersized pipe. In those cases, a relatively minor plumbing repair can be done.

The Issue With Galvanized Pipe and Home Plumbing Systems

However, in other cases, such as a home being plumbed entirely in galvanized pipe, the entire system may be restricted by corrosion and rust. The buildup of mineral deposits, rust, or debris inside water pipes can restrict the flow of water and create low water pressure in house issues. It’s always important to determine if this condition is local to one or two fixtures, or the entire house.

5. As stated above, over time pipes can corrode. However, if your water pipes are copper or brass, no matter how old they get, the inside of the pipes should never fill with corrosion and become restricted. An easy way to determine if this is a possible cause of low water pressure in house would be to check the plumbing material by using a magnet. Only galvanized pipe is magnetic, a magnet will not stick to copper or brass plumbing.

6. In rare cases an ill-adjusted water pressure regulator must be readjusted to correct a water pressure issue. Only a small percentage of buildings have such a device, and it is advisable use to a licensed plumber to deal with this device. A malfunctioning or incorrectly adjusted water pressure regulator will cause a drop in water pressure throughout the house.

7. In some cases (as stated above) the plumbing may be undersized. You would know that when using multiple water fixtures or appliances, such as showers, a washing machine, or a dishwasher simultaneously temporarily lowers your water pressure. No plumbing system is designed to allow this to happen – it is not normal!

How Are Home Plumbing Systems Designed?

All properly designed plumbing systems are designed to allow for multiple plumbing fixtures to operate properly simultaneously. In these cases, it’s up to you to decide whether to live with the low water pressure in house issue or upgrade the section of your water pipes in question.

8. Sometimes a drop in your home’s water pressure is completely unrelated to you or your plumbing system. This brings up another potential easy cure for low water pressure in house, and would be to call 311 (or the equivalent number in your area). If your local water authority (in NYC it’s the NYC DEP) is doing work in the area, either a repair or an upgrade, they may have shut your water off. In some cases, it may be a partial shutdown, where your pressure will be lower, but not eliminated.

Steps to take when the local water authority is doing street work

A way to eliminate a potential issue after the local water authority completes its work is to close your main water supply valve. This will lessen the chance of, the amount of sediment and rust, entering into your home plumbing. After the DEP has completed their work, open a faucet on an upper floor, and remove the sink strainer. Then very slowly reopen your main valve. Be careful to allow all the air inside of your pipes to escape, and for any sediment and debris to run out of your faucet as well.

9. In some cases, if lower pressure pertains to your hot water exclusively, the cure may be to replace components inside the water heater, or the hot water itself. This is another case where the cure for low water pressure in house must be determined as either system-wide, localized, or a component.

10. In some cases (virtually never in NYC) the cure for low water pressure in house involves the pump for a well water system. In NYC wells are not permitted as a source of drinking water. Some folks in NYC do have wells and pumps, but they are intended for use in irrigation, watering landscaping, etc. In these cases, the cure for low pressure would certainly be to contact a professional familiar with wells and pumps.

A Conclusion About Low Water Pressure In House Cures

It should become readily apparent that it’s most important to identify the specific cause and cure of decreased or low water pressure in house issues is a sensible step-by-step assessment, and then the appropriate first step as a cure. Depending on your assessment (as stated above) the cure may be simple and DIY, or plumbing repairs may be needed.

Making A Plumbing Hiring Decision Should Be Methodical and Never Rushed

Another great bit of advice is never to rush into a hiring decision, and to always consult a professional plumber when the issue is above your knowledge or skill level. Never forget that your drinking water supply is a vital and required resource and not something that can be contaminated or handled improperly.

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David Balkan

David Balkan is the CEO of Balkan Sewer And Water Main, the largest and most trusted service in New York City. David is extremely active in various NYC plumber organizations being the Chairman of the Subsurface Committee in the Master Plumbers Council, and Vice President of the Subsurface Plumbers Association. In addition David’s expertise is respected by officials of New York City agencies such as the NYC DEP, NYC DOB, and the NYC DOT. He frequently provides valuable input on a variety of industry related matters.

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