How to Fix Inconsistent Water Pressure in Your Home
Have you ever noticed that the water in your kitchen sink gushes out like a fire hose, but when you take a shower upstairs you barely get a sprinkle? Or, maybe, some days you have really great water pressure and other days you wonder if you’ve forgotten to pay your water bill because the pressure is so low. Irregularities in water pressure between the first and second floors are normal, but there are ways you can improve the water pressure in your upstairs shower to be sure you’re getting the spa treatment you deserve. As far as fluctuations in overall water pressure throughout the entire house, that is abnormal and definitely needs to be fixed asap. This post identifies issues that can cause inconsistencies, fluctuations, or overall lack of water pressure in your home and how to remedy the situation.
What to do if Your Upstairs Water Pressure is Too Low
Water Pressure Restrictors in Faucets
Most, if not all, bathroom and kitchen hardware items come with a water pressure restrictor built-in. Their purpose is to restrict the flow of water leaving a faucet head to reduce your water usage. While the end goal is noble, they can make using your shower or faucet a pain, especially if your water pressure is already a little low.
To fix this, you can easily remove the restrictor from your faucet heads. Unscrew the heads from your faucet, whether it be your shower head or sink faucet, and look for the piece of rubber nestled against the opening of the faucet. You can use your finger or tweezers to remove the rubber, then screw the faucet head back in place. Test it out to see if that improves the pressure of your water. If not, you may need to try some of the other tests below.
Water Pressure Regular Set Too Low
As water flows through your pipe, it naturally loses pressure due to friction. For every foot of pipe it takes to bring water through your house it’s losing a little bit of pressure. So it makes sense for your upstairs water pressure to be a little lower than downstairs because the water has farther to flow through the pipes. The best practice in this situation is to call a plumber to test and possibly adjust your water pressure regulator.
Buildup in Pipes
Another issue that may cause a lack of water pressure upstairs is the buildup in your pipes. Sometimes the buildup can be found in the faucet heads and you can easily clean that yourself. Simply remove the faucet head, blast it with strong water, scrub at it to remove excess debris, then soak it in household vinegar overnight. Reattach the showerhead and test to see if that helps your water pressure at all.
If your water pressure is still low, that may indicate buildup within your pipes. For that, you will need to call a plumber to assess the situation and come up with a plan for fixing the issue.
Water Pressure in the Whole House Fluctuates Over Time
High Amount of Use on the Same Water Line
Depending on your neighborhood and city regulations, you and your neighbors may share a waterline. If you’re noticing random fluctuations in the water pressure throughout your house, check in on your neighbors. Someone may be filling up a pool, or using their hose to run a neighborhood car wash. If one of your neighbors is using a lot of water, this may affect the water pressure in your home. But don’t worry, once they’re done with what they’re doing, your water pressure should return to normal.
Faulty Pressure Regulating Valve
Sometimes, an issue with your pressure regulating valve causes the water pressure in your house to fluctuate, or trickle off over time. If you’re noticing a slow progression of decreasing water pressure, suddenly have NO water pressure, or are hearing hammering/vibrating noises from your water supply, you should have a plumber come and assess your valve to be sure it’s working properly.
Issues With the City Water Supply
Experiencing random fluctuations in your home water pressure may boil down to an issue with the city water supply. There could be an obstruction in the water line or some kind of outage. You should be able to contact the city about this issue or reach out to a plumber to come and assess the situation.
Buildup in Pipes/Old Pipes
As pipes get older, buildup often forms inside of them. Sometimes the buildup is from mineral deposits in your water. Other times the buildup is natural corrosion buildup. Either way, this issue is one you should definitely call a plumber to resolve so that you can ensure your pipes are cleaned or replaced properly.
If you find yourself in one of these situations and are a little in over your head, you should put your trust in Best Plumbing to find the best solution for you. Our team has been solving any and all water pressure issues for over 30 years and we would love to help you as well.