If you find that you can’t wash dishes when the hose is on outside, you may need to troubleshoot your home’s water supply. There are a few things that can be causing low water pressure in your home. The problem arises most often when you have multiple plumbing fixtures running at the same time. Although a slight decrease in water pressure is normal when more than one water source is being used, a significant drop in pressure could be a sign of a bigger issue.
If you have an undetected leak somewhere in your home, low water pressure is the least of your problems. In fact, you should count your blessings that you got a heads-up, because if you allow the water to build up over time, it will lead to a super high water bill, weaken the structural integrity of your home and lead to mold and mildew growth.
Any damage to the pipe that results in a leak will result in lower water pressure. The issue here is how to determine if you have a leak or not. Read the meter and not your bill. To do this, shut off all water taps inside and outside your home. Read the meter after doing this and return two hours later. If your water usage has gone up, chances are you have a leak and need to contact a plumber as soon as possible.
Mineral Deposit Buildup
In older homes or homes built with galvanized iron pipes, mineral deposits will naturally build up over time. Your pipes are susceptible to mineral buildup from the deposits that water leaves behind when traveling through your home. Even a small amount of sediment can lead to a blockage in your home’s plumbing. Although these minerals do not pose a health threat, this will restrict your flow and pressure.
If you believe the problem to be a result of mineral deposits, your only solution is to replace the affected plumbing with copper or PVC. Contact a reputable plumber for an estimate so you can gauge the extent of repairs that may need to be made.
If the low pressure condition is present throughout the system, you should check your PRV. A water pressure regulator is a bell-shaped device generally found below the front hose connection of your home. If the PRV is improperly adjusted, or has failed, it can result in a pressure loss, or even no water.
The regulators are typically preset by the manufacturer and don’t need to be adjusted. There are times, however, when a pressure regulator goes bad and needs to be replaced. This is something a professional plumber should be called in to repair. An incorrect installation can lead to even more water flow problems. A licensed plumber can easily fix and replace a pressure regulator at a reasonable cost.
Low Pressure When Using Hot Water
If the low pressure seems to only be affecting the hot water, there could be a problem with your water heater. The most common sign of a failing water heater is a lack of sufficient hot water. Check to see if your water heater’s pilot light has gone out. If the pilot is lit and you don’t notice any signs of a leak, your hot water heater could be at the end of its life.
Check the shut-off valve near the water heater, making sure it is fully open. If these troubleshooting tips do not solve your issue, consult a licensed plumber to evaluate the condition of your water heater and determine if it is affecting your water pressure.
Demand on Your Water System
If your water pressure seems slightly lower at certain times of the day, you could be seeing the result of a peaking demand on the water system. There are typically two peak periods throughout the day. The first one occurs early in the morning when most people are getting ready for school or work. The other is in the evening when people are getting home from work. During this time they are often washing clothes, showering, or watering their lawns. As a result, you may notice decrease in pressure, however you should still have sufficient water providing you don’t also have any issues described in the troubleshooting steps listed above. You may want to alter your schedule a bit to avoid these times of peak water usage.
When it comes to your home’s water pressure, the list of culprits is long. To properly diagnose the problem, it is best to consult a professional. The last thing you want to do is to make any problem bigger than it already is. Reilly Plumbing can help determine the exact cause of the low water pressure issue in your Long Island home and provide all necessary repairs in a professional and timely manner.