Why Is My Water Pressure Low? A Detailed Guide

Why Is My Water Pressure Low? A Detailed Guide

If you have a sudden and unexplained drop in water pressure, the first thing you should check is your shut-off valves. This includes the main water valve and your water meter valve (if you have one).

If closing these valves or clearing minor clogs doesn’t fix the problem, it’s time to call in a pro.


A leak in a pipe is one of the most common causes of low water pressure. This occurs when a pipe develops cracks or bursts, restricting the flow of water through the pipe. Leaks are particularly problematic if they are located within the home, as they can cause significant damage to the property. Fortunately, homeowners can often determine the scope of the problem by performing a few simple tests.

First, homeowners should determine how many fixtures are experiencing the problem. This will help them narrow down the possible culprits. If the issue is affecting just one fixture, it could be an easy fix. In other cases, the issue may be a sign of a larger problem with the plumbing system itself.

Another cause of low water pressure is mineral deposits. These can clog the aerators of faucets and shower heads, reducing their flow and decreasing water pressure. If this is the case, simply removing the aerator and cleaning it out should restore the proper water flow.

Over time, pipes corrode due to minerals and other materials in the water. This can cause the inside of the pipe to erode, reducing its diameter and leading to reduced water flow. This can also occur in hot water tanks, which are especially susceptible to corrosion from sediment and rust. Homeowners can test their pipes for corrosion by adding drops of food coloring to their toilets. If the water in any of the toilets starts to change color within five minutes, this is a sign that there is a leak somewhere in the house.

Sometimes, the cause of low water pressure is a temporary issue caused by city-wide work, and this can be difficult to spot. Luckily, homeowners can check their home’s two main shut-off valves to see if they have been closed or partially closed. One is located on or near the meter and the other is on or close to the house. Homeowners should make sure that they have both of these turned on and open fully.

Additionally, homeowners should take a reading of their water meter when they are not using any water in the home, wait fifteen to thirty minutes, and then read it again. If the meter has changed dramatically during this time, it could indicate a large water leak in or around the house.


Corrosion is a natural phenomenon that changes pure metals into undesirable substances when exposed to water and air. Corrosion is a common cause of pipe failure, and it can be very serious if not prevented. Corrosion can lead to water toxicity, leaking pipes and a loss of efficiency. It can also be a significant contributor to low water pressure, especially in older homes with galvanized pipes.

If your home has old galvanized pipes, you may see signs of corrosion including rusty, discolored water or a metallic taste. These symptoms are caused by the oxidation of the copper and iron in the pipes over time. Fortunately, these symptoms usually occur in only one area of the house and can be corrected by simply replacing the old pipes with new ones.

Hard water can cause calcium buildup in your pipes, which can reduce their diameter and lower your water pressure. If you decide to repipe your home, it is best to have your plumber install a water softener at the same time. This will prevent the problem from recurring in the future.

In addition to lowering your water pressure, corrosion can lead to leaks and even break down the pipe itself. For example, when galvanized pipes corrode, they can develop small holes in the surface of the pipe. These small holes can then become larger as the pipe continues to corrode. This can result in low water pressure in the house and can also affect the flow of other water in your home, such as rainwater.

Corrosion can also increase the concentration of metals like copper and lead in your drinking water. Water testing can be done to measure corrosivity and identify any levels that are above recommended or health-related standards. In most cases, the high concentrations of these metals are due to plumbing components like solders and valves that are corroding. The simplest way to test your water for corrosivity is by collecting the first water out of your faucet in the morning. Copper and lead concentrations will be highest in this first water of the day since it has been sitting in the plumbing system longer.

Pressure Regulators

A water pressure regulator, or PRV (pressure-reducing valve) reduces incoming water pressure to a level that is safe for your home plumbing and appliances. It is typically installed where the water line enters your house, right after the main shut-off valve. Without a pressure regulator, high water pressure can wreak havoc on your home’s pipes and fixtures. It can cause a constant strain that wears down pipes, joints, and connections over time, leading to leaks, bursting pipes, and even water damage to your home’s interior.

A pressure regulator works by reducing the incoming water pressure through the use of an inner mechanism. This mechanism constricts a diaphragm when water pressure is too high, allowing only a specific amount of water to flow through it at any given time. As the incoming water pressure decreases, the diaphragm expands and allows more water to pass through it, lowering the incoming water pressure to a safer level for your home’s plumbing system.

In order to properly adjust a water pressure regulator, you will need to locate the valve and loosen its locknut (it may be a bit tight), and maneuver its screw. Turning the screw clockwise will increase the pressure, and turning it counterclockwise will decrease the pressure. Once you have reached your desired pressure setting, re-tighten the locknut and test the water pressure in your home again.

If you are experiencing high or low water pressure throughout your home, it may be time to replace the water pressure regulator. It is a relatively inexpensive piece of equipment that can be purchased at most hardware stores, and it’s a good idea to have a professional do the installation – especially if they’re good much like the Newark plumbers. A plumber will be able to determine the correct size and style of pressure regulator for your home, as well as help you understand how to properly maintain and adjust it. In most cases, a new water pressure regulator will last for 10-15 years before it needs to be replaced. However, this varies depending on its quality and your home’s water pressure.

Water Heater

Sometimes water pressure drops suddenly, and it can be difficult to pinpoint the cause. Other times it occurs slowly over time, going unnoticed until the pressure gets too low to be comfortable. In these situations, it’s important to keep in mind that the problem could be caused by something as simple as a shut-off valve not being opened all the way or a filter that’s become clogged.

One of the most common causes of a slow drop in water pressure is mineral build-up on the inside of your water heater tank and pipes leading out of it. This is a common issue in areas with hard water. Over time, calcium and other minerals build up on the interior of your tank and restrict how much space water has to move in and out of it.

It’s also possible that your water pressure problems are caused by a high-pressure water supply line from the city. If this is the case, contacting your local water department should be your next step. They will be able to let you know if they are working on any projects, doing any hydrant flushing or having other issues that may cause your low water pressure.

If they determine that the problem is not theirs, they will likely recommend a professional plumber to come and check out your plumbing system to see what the cause is. A plumber can help you increase your water pressure by installing a water pressure booster, which will improve both your water flow and your water pressure.

Water pressure in homes generally falls within a range of 40 to 80 pounds per square inch (psi). If you have high water pressure, this can damage your fixtures, water leaks and cause overwork on the water heater and other plumbing systems. This can lead to shortened life for your equipment and increase your utility bills. In addition, having high water pressure can be dangerous for you and your family. To learn more, or to have your water pressure checked and adjusted by a plumbing expert, call the team at King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing.

Blanca Stoker