Water Pressure Problems and Solving Them

Water Pressure Problems and Solving Them

Had enough of water pressure problems? Low household pressure means your water-saving faucets and showerheads perform poorly, toilet tanks are slow to refill and washing machine cycles take longer. The increasingly long wait for hot water at the tap strains patience, too.

There is really no exact standard for residential water pressure—it can range as high as 80 psi in some homes. However, it’s generally agreed that when pressure falls below 40 psi it becomes symptomatic as well as an ongoing source of annoyance.

Where do water pressure problems originate and what can be done to resolve them? Here are some possibilities:

  • Shutoff valve not fully open. Often, main water shutoff valves are difficult to turn so a partially closed valve is a frequent occurrence. A shutoff valve that is sticky shouldn’t be forced, however. If you suspect the valve isn’t open all the way, have a qualified professional plumber check it out.
  • Pressure-reducing valve defective. Water pressure straight off the municipal main is usually too high for household plumbing. A pressure-reducing valve in your supply line reduces municipal pressure to residential limits. However, if the valve is defective or maladjusted, water pressure may be reduced too much. A plumber can put a gauge on the system and get an accurate pressure reading.
  • Mineral deposits in supply lines. Particularly in areas with hard water, mineral deposits such as calcium carbonate may accumulate in water pipes over the years. Eventually, this accumulation obstructs flow, reducing water pressure in parts or all of the house. Re-piping can restore normal flow and pressure.
  • Underground leaks. The water supply line running to your house is about four feet underground. Leaking underground pipes may affect indoor water pressure. Signs on the surface include an area of ground that is always soggy or where grass and vegetation grows faster.

For the services of a qualified plumber to diagnose and resolve water pressure problems, contact the professionals at Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz areas of California about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).