Low water pressure can be frustrating, but the good news is that you don’t always have to call in a plumber because it is sometimes possible to deal with this problem on your own. There are a number of common causes of low water pressure that you can troubleshoot and repair on your own, and the first step is to determine whether you are experiencing low water pressure everywhere in your house or only with specific fixtures.
If you discover that the low pressure is only affecting a certain fixture, you can try to repair this issue yourself. If the fixture is a faucet, you can gently undo the aerator in the faucet spout by hand, to remove it. Once removed, inspect the inside if the aerator for debris. Turn the tap on and flush the water line for a few seconds without the aerator in it and then rinse the debris out of the aerator before screwing it back in. You don’t want to use a wrench on it as you can strip the threads or possibly squish the aerator itself, making it impossible to thread back in and seal.
If the aerator is clear and you are still experiencing low pressure, it could be caused by the cartridge having debris stuck inside or even debris in the water lines. Close the shut off valves under the faucet completely to stop the flow of water. Un-do the water line supply hoses that connects to the faucet but leave them attached to the shut off valves. Place a buck under the cabinet in reach of the water lines. Face the open end of the water line inside the bucket and turn the valve on for a few seconds to flush out the line. Shut off the valve and repeat with the other line. This can also be done to a toilet supply line, if that’s where your low-pressure issue is. If flushing the line doesn’t correct the low pressure on the toilet, you may have to replace the fill valve.
If there is still low pressure in the faucet after cleaning the aerator and flushing the water lines, replacing the cartridge can sometimes correct this issue as the cartridge can collect debris that flows through your water over time. When replacing the cartridge, if you happen to notice long, white, paper-like strips inside, it is likely time to change your hot water tank. The long paper-like strips are from your anode rod inside your hot water tank that has worn away and clogged the hot water line going into your faucet. The anode rod is a sacrificial rod and it supposed to disintegrate over time to protect the lining inside your hot water tank. You can clear this out but until you replace your anode rod or hot water tank, it will keep happening. If the low pressure is in your shower or bathtub, a new cartridge may also be required. Be sure to shut the main water valve to the house off before pulling out a tub or shower cartridge.
If you are experiencing low pressure in ALL of your fixtures, you may have an issue with your water lines. Older water lines can rust and corrode over time. Replacing all the water lines in your home can be a big job and can be very invasive. You will be cutting open holes in your walls and ceiling. Its best to leave this to a professional plumber despite how “easy” it seems in online tutorials.
Another cause of low pressure in the entire house can be a faulty main water shut off. Older shut offs have a rubber gasket inside that spins as you spin the handle to start and stop the flow of water in your home. These rubber gaskets can swell, wear down and disintegrate over years of use. If they break apart into pieces, the pieces can block your main water supply and cause low pressure. This is also something you should contact a professional plumber to fix. As professionals, we coordinate with Epcor to have the water shut off outside the home so we can do the repair quickly and efficiently.
Whether you want to try and tackle one of these repairs yourself or you prefer to call a professional, Oliver Plumbing & Heating can help! We offer residential and commercial plumbing services as well as furnace repairs and replacements so if you are in or around Edmonton, give us a call today!