Kitchen sink with low water pressure

Why You Have Low Water Pressure & What You Can Do To Fix It

Kitchen sink with low water pressure

Low water pressure is a common issue home owners sometimes face. It can be frustrating and sometimes costly if you do not know what you are looking for.

Sometimes it can be as simple as cleaning your aerator on your faucet. In some extreme cases, your main water line from the city might be leaking and slowing down the pressure entering your home.

There’s multiple scenarios that could cause a slow down in the pressure you’re receiving for each fixture. Here is a quick list of common issues that result in lower water pressure.

  • Clogged Aerator (Rust or debris)
  • Galvanized water lines that have succumbed to inner rust and corrosion
  • Water leak outside of home underground
  • Water heater needs replaced
  • Partially closed shut off valve on water main

Most kitchen and bathroom faucets have aerators. These are put in place to prevent rust and debris from slipping through into your water. It’s basically a filter for your fixture.

While this is always great to have, it can also work against you. If your home is lined with old galvanized iron water lines, these commonly start to rust and corrode from the inside out. So when there’s a surge in pressure, rust particles can break loose inside the galvanized pipe and make its way to your faucet.

So the aerator on your faucets do their job of catching the rust particles. But, these particles can build up enough to restrict or even cut off the water coming out of your faucet.

By cleaning your aerator on your faucets, it can restore water pressure back to normal. Unfortunately, this will not permanently fix your rust problem. Galvanized pipe will always continue to rust and it’s best to have them replaced with copper water lines.

These will never rust and always maintain maximum water pressure. Bathtub and standup shower faucets are not so easy to clean. Most have stems or cartridges that cannot simply be screwed off and cleaned. They must be taken apart and picked clean. In some circumstances they must be replaced.

Sometimes, low water pressure can be caused by a leak outside of your home on your water main that leads to the city main. This is a deeper issue that is sometimes not noticed right away. It can be a gradually progressive leak that will get worse over time.

Water mains underground are made up of lead or galvanized pipe. Newer homes typically have copper water mains. If you have a leak on your water main outside of your home, the only way to fix the issue is to dig up the area and replace the effected pipe.

Another common cause of low water pressure, especially hot water pressure, is a bad water heater. This will cause a major slow down in hot water. You will also notice a decrease in the amount of hot water you are able to use before you run out. This issue is solved by simply replacing the hot water heater with a newer, maybe even larger tank.

Another hidden culprit of low water pressure could be broken or frozen water valves. These can be an issue with older homes. Valves sometimes stop working due to age and rust. When you are unable to turn the valve to shut off or turn on the water, this is called a frozen valve. When your valve is broken, it can restrict your water pressure to almost a dead stop. There are no fixes for a frozen or broken valve, so they must be replaced.

These are just a few examples of why your water pressure might be slowing down. The issues can run a lot deeper and should be handled by a professional plumber. If your home is suffering from water pressure problems, give O’Bannon Plumbing and Sewer a call today for a free in-home estimate. We can diagnose and fix all water pressure issues you may be suffering from. Don’t hesitate, call today! (773) 862-5112.

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