Good water pressure matters. It helps you to clean more efficiently, take more comfortable showers, and keep your pipes in good condition. However, there will be times here in Los Angeles when the water pressure is not operating as you would like. The water pressure can change for a number of reasons. One way to fix it is to call in the professionals at JW Plumbing, Heating & Air. Here are some easy-to-solve water pressure problems in the meantime.
How Widespread Is the Problem?
Before you begin troubleshooting a low water pressure problem, you need to know how widespread it is around your house. You should determine if only one faucet is experiencing the problem. Then, you need to find out if it is happening throughout your residence. If it is happening throughout your property, check in with your neighbors, too.
If it turns out that this is a neighborhood-wide issue, then you need to get together with the community and put together a formal complaint to the area’s provider.
When it is just your home that is having the issue, you’ll have to figure out how the problem occurred. It may only be one faucet that is affected. Others find that they cannot water their lawn and wash the dishes at the same time. There are viable reasons and solutions for most scenarios. Often, water pressure problem scenarios are easy to solve.
Look for Leaks
It is not uncommon for a leak to be the culprit of poor water pressure. Your job is to inspect your house’s pipes. Water should never be spilling out of them in any amount. You need to find out if any of the leaks are visible. If they are not obvious, you are advised to turn off your residence’s main water valve and wait two hours. Check the reading on the water meter and take note. Wait two hours, and then turn on the main water valve again. Recheck the reading on the water meter.
If the reading on the meter increased, you have a leak. Since you were not able to find it, call in the professionals who can complete a thorough inspection. Plus, if there are leaks, it means that your pipes are likely damaged in some shape or form. It is better to get the pipes with the problem replaced before they truly become an expensive issue.
How Old Are the Pipes?
When you purchase a home, it is a good idea to know the age of its components. You can factor the age of the components into the purchase price. If something is due for replacement, that is an additional cost that you are going to incur.
If a home has pipes that are over 20 years old, they are probably made from steel, which tends to corrode. Once the corrosion is significant enough, the water simply cannot make its way through to its destination. A water pressure problem due to corroded pipes will develop over several years. It is so gradual that you are not going to notice the issue until the corrosion is thick.
The corrosion takes place on the inside of the pipes, so it will not visible without a thorough inspection. This is an inspection best left to the professionals. You may have to re-pipe your house with copper or plastic.
Check the Pressure Regulator
Sometimes, low water pressure is caused by a faulty pressure regulator, also known as the pressure-reducing valve. You probably have a water pressure preference. This is one reason why there are so many types of showerheads available on the market. You can achieve a comfortable shower by purchasing a shower head that delivers. For the rest of your home, though, you have to strike a water pressure balance.
If the water pressure is too low, then you can barely get any chores done. If the water pressure is too high, however, it can burst your property’s pipes. Therefore, the pressure regulator is an important component. It should be pointed out that all houses do not have a pressure regulator. If yours does, it needs to be checked.
A sudden drop in water pressure is a sign that the regulator is the culprit. You can test it to find out. While this can be completed as a DIY project, you are encouraged to turn to professionals.
Identify Faulty Valves
Whether they are caused by pressure, weather, or something else, loose valves can impact your home’s water pressure level. Therefore, you need to check out all of them if you suspect a problem occurring throughout your household.
Start by inspecting the main valve. You are advised to make sure it is wide open. If it is not, then this means that it slipped. When there is low water pressure occurring at a single fixture, check its valve. You are looking to see if it has slipped.
If the problem is occurring for only one fixture, watch for:
- Flow restriction
- Clogged aerator
- Dislodged washer
- Partially closed supply stop valve
Is There Mineral Deposit Buildup?
Mineral deposit buildup is common in pipes and water heaters. When a water heater’s tank has not been flushed out, the buildup does not allow the water to become properly heated. Therefore, you end up with lukewarm water at best if you spot the problem early enough.
Mineral deposits like corrosion begin to restrict the flow of water to its destination. Since the buildup is so slow, you are not going to notice it right away. Instead, when you realize that the water pressure is compromised, the buildup will be significant. In this case, just like in the instance of corrosion, the solution is often to re-pipe the entire house.
Once the job is complete, have a conversation with the professionals and find out how to prevent significant mineral buildup in your pipes going forward. You should know how to actively clear out clogs so that this portion of your home’s infrastructure remains intact.
Install a Booster
Some professionals point out that water pressure is affected by distance. A neighborhood has a central point, for example. Then, your water pressure is going to depend on your house’s proximity to that central point. If you are far away enough, gravity is just going to kick in. Simply because you are farther away, the water pressure will not be equal to a neighbor who is closer.
One solution is to install a device known as a booster. The water pressure booster pump is worth considering if you live on a hill or are farther away from the central source. You are still encouraged to seek the advice of a professional. You do not want to accidentally damage your pipes by overdoing it.
Do you want to have a professional team assess your home’s water pressure? Give us a call at JW Plumbing, Heating & Air today and schedule an appointment in Los Angeles. We offer a wide range of plumbing and HVAC services.