How to Improve Water Pressure in Your Home
There’s no disappointment like stepping into a shower, only to find a trickle pouring out instead of a blast of hot water.
Not only is low water pressure frustrating for your morning routine, but it can also limit your choices when it comes to bathroom renovation. If you’re replacing your shower head, for example, and it requires a certain amount of pressure, you may not be able to get the one you want.
If you’ve noticed your water pressure is weak, the good news is there are ways to fix it. Let’s take a look at potential causes for low water pressure, and the best solutions.
Check with your neighbours
It’s possible you’re not the only one who is having issues with low water pressure. One of the best steps you can take to resolve your water pressure problems is to determine whether it is just your house, or if your whole neighborhood is experiencing low water pressure.
If everyone has the problem, it’s likely that the issue is with the area. If it’s just your house, however, it’s probably a problem localised to your own pipes. Contacting your regional water supplier is the best step if the whole neighborhood is experiencing a problem, but if it’s just you there are some straightforward ways to fix it.
Test the pressure
You can figure out whether your water pressure is the low side of normal, or just plain low, by performing a water pressure test. There are cheap and easy to use pressure testers that attach to your hose.
To test your water, simply make sure all the taps in your home (including water using appliances) are turned off. When this is done, turn the hose on with the pressure tester attached.
A quick DIY route to find out is to run an outlet into a jug for six seconds; check how many litres are in the jug and times this by 10. This will give you the litres per minute range — anything under 10 litres per minute is considered a low flow rate. Your installer will need to check that any product being installed is fit for use against the given flow rate or make amendments to your system to provide the flow rate needed.
Clean off hardened minerals
A common reason for water pressure to drop is mineral deposits blocking off the exits to pipes. You can help remove this by filling a plastic freezer bag with vinegar, and rubber banding it around pipe exits such as your shower head.
If you leave this on overnight, the acid from the vinegar will help dissolve mineral deposits, leaving these common exits free of deposits. However it may damage your shower head.
Adjust the pressure reducing valve
Sometimes a quick fix is to loosen the pressure reducing valve. This valve is located near your water meter. To adjust the water pressure, loosen the valve’s locking nut, and then turn the bolt clockwise. Once you’ve adjusted the pressure, tighten the locking nut once more.
This may be enough on its own to restore pressure to your home.
Lift your tank or add a pump
You can also lift your tank to provide better flow rate. But this is not a small task and, more often than not, can work out as an expensive way to increase pressure as you’ll need to alter and recommission pipes.
The most effective way to improve pressure is to add a pump to the water system. There are three main types of pump categorised as Positive, Negative and Universal.
- Positive pumps should only be used when you have a constant supply and where your products have low working pressures. These are installed in most cases, but they often work intermittently due to a high working pressure requirement.
- Negative pumps work with an air pressure switch, so any device turned on with the supply will kick the pump in.
- Universal pumps do both of the above, with one side being generally for lower pressured hot feeds and the other for higher pressured cold feeds.
If your outlet requirement is over 0.3 bar of pressure on your shower or any other service the pump is attached to, always install either a negative or universal pump.
Hire a professional
A plumber can help by clearing out our replacing pipes that are clogged, installing a water pressure boosting pump, or finding an underlying cause to the problem you may not know about.
For all of your bathroom needs, visit one of our bathroom showrooms near you today.