Low water pressure in your home can be caused by anything from clogged pipes to issues with your water supplier. You’ll be able to fix some problems yourself, but others will require some professional help.
Having low water pressure can turn from a minor nuisance into a major stressor—all in the time it takes to fill up your bathtub!
While it could be an indication that a valve is not fully open, it could also indicate that your entire house needs to be repiped.
Signs of low water pressure
Showering, washing dishes, cleaning, and cooking are all made more difficult by low water pressure. With all of the negative effects that low water pressure can have, it’s important to keep an eye out for any signs of low flow.
- No or little strength from faucets, hoses, and water fixtures
- Your washing machine isn’t fully cleaning your clothes
- Your dishwasher isn’t cleaning dishes properly
- Visible water leakage around fixtures and pipes
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Common causes of low water pressure
Water pressure problems that affect the entire house suggest a variety of problems. If your home's water pressure appears to be low, the first step is to identify the cause.
Here are a couple of common causes of low water pressure in the house:
- Issues with your water supplier. If others in your neighborhood are experiencing similar problems, it might be worth contacting your water supplier to see if they’re working on a solution.
- The water meter valve isn’t open all the way. This valve is located next to the water meter on the city supply pipe serving your house.
- Your pressure regulator is failing. This valve reduces the input pressure in your plumbing system to a safe level that will not harm your pipes. It can also have the reverse effect of causing a sudden drop in your water pressure.
- Clogged or corroded pipes. Pipes rust on the inside (so you normally can't see it), but the buildup of corrosion and scale eventually seals off the pipe over time.
- Leaking pipes. A leak can misdirect the water supply so you don’t end up getting the full flow of water from your faucets.
Keep an eye out for these signs—as the sooner you catch them, the likelier it is you’ll be able to solve the problem of your low water pressure!
How to fix low water pressure in your house
Now that you've determined the source of your low water pressure, it's time to look at possible solutions.
- Guarantee all water valves are open fully. For gate valves, spin them counterclockwise to make sure they’re open, and for ball vales, turn the lever until it’s parallel to the pipe.
- Use plumbing chemicals to clear your pipes of buildup.
- If there’s buildup on your showerheads or faucets, scrub them thoroughly to get rid of any obstructions.
- Try to work together with your housemates to reduce the load on your water supply. Plan on running the dishwasher or washing machine at night, when no one is showering or cooking.
When to call in a professional
While a number of these issues can be solved yourself, there are a few severe problems that require the help of a professional plumber.
- Any serious leaks. These often point to a widespread problem with the pipes in your home and will need more extensive repairs.
- Severely corroded pipes. Similarly, pipes that have corroded to the point of irreparability might require a full repiping of your home.
- Broken pressure regulator. This is not a do-it-yourself project because it requires turning off the water and replacing the pressure regulator with a similar model.
What home insurance will cover
If you determine that you need a full pipe replacement, or even just need some small repairs here and there, there’s a chance it’s covered by your
The majority of homeowners insurance policies will cover damage caused by burst pipes if the collapse is abrupt and unforeseen.
Water damage that happens over time as a result of a leaking or rusted pipe, on the other hand, is often not covered. A lack of maintenance, sewage backup, and mold are usually not covered either.
It’s best to reach out to a representative from your insurance provider to see what your specific policy says.
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Why is the water pressure low in my house?
There are several reasons why you may be experiencing low water pressure throughout your home:
Your water supplier may be having issues.
The main house shutoff valve isn’t open all the way
Failing pressure regulator
How much will it cost to repipe my house?
Replumbing a property typically costs $5,000-$7,000. The overall cost of repiping a home can reach $15,000 depending on several factors, including pipe location, bathroom count, fixture count, and the number of stories in a home.