Yes, You CAN Improve Your Water Pressure!
May The Force Be With You!
Water pressure is sort of like tires on your car: You never really notice it until something goes wrong. Showers slow to a pathetic drizzle. The dishwasher stops cleaning dishes. Garden hoses are rendered useless. Drinking water trickles out of your faucets. While most of us simply live with water pressure problems, there are several ways you can easily improve your home’s water pressure without too much fuss.
City Water Pressure
If you get your water from your local municipality, the main lines are laid underground where water pressure is very high. Friction causes the water to lose pressure as it travels through the main line and into your house. Even more water pressure is lost as it travels through your plumbing and out your faucet. The smaller the space, the more friction builds up. If you’ve got low water pressure coming from a faucet, chances are there’s too much friction somewhere between the main municipal supply line and your sink.
While this may seem like a pretty vague diagnosis, it’s relatively easy to pinpoint the problem.
Pipes that are too small generate more friction than ones that are larger. Even a fraction of an inch can make a big difference in improving water pressure. If you have ½ inch pipes in your house, replacing just the exposed ones with larger ¾ inch pipes can significantly increase your water pressure. You could also hire a professional to replace all the plumbing in your house, which will produce even greater water pressure results. If you’re building a new house, consider upgrading to larger pipes. You’ll pay a bit more, but the “hassle savings” alone will more than make up for the extra cost.
Another common problem that can affect water pressure is a blockage or build-up in your pipes. As water travels through plumbing it leaves small mineral deposits. Over time, these deposits can accumulate on the inside of the pipes and shrink their diameter, kind of like plaque that builds up in the arteries of people with high cholesterol. This essentially makes the pipes smaller and increases friction, impacting water pressure. The good news is that this kind of mineral build-up is obvious to the naked eye, so removing a small sample section of pipe will quickly shed light on the problem. There are many chemicals available on the market that will break down these deposits and flush them from your plumbing.
If your water pressure woes are sudden, the problem could be with the main water line. You should contact your water company and inform them of the issue; they will be able to provide more information or give you next steps to follow.
Well Water Pressure
If your home uses well water, you have a water pressure tank instead of a main municipal line. The water pressure tank can be the source of a whole other set of problems in addition to the ones that city water users have. A tank that’s too small can be ill-equipped to maintain adequate pressure when water is used in several places in your home at once. The tanks can leak, too, which causes a loss of water pressure. It’s wise to have your water pressure tank checked by a plumber or well professional if you experience any sudden changes in water pressure.