What causes low water pressure?

Written by

Tim Greenhalgh

Posted on

September 17, 2019

Low pressure can have a significant impact on daily life at home, reducing water flow to just a trickle. What’s more, some showers and heating appliances cannot function below some pressure levels, while everyday tasks like filling kettles, saucepans and bowls take much longer.

But what causes low pressure? It is most likely one of the following:

  1. Where your home is built and peak times;
  2. clogged pipes;
  3. leaks in your pipeline;
  4. partly or wholly closed valves in your home;
  5. your pressure regulator may be failing;
  6. or your taps and showerheads need replacing.

Pressure is simply the force that pushes water through the pipe system. Water pressure is measured in “bars”— one bar is equivalent to the force needed to drive water up to a height of 10 metres. Where something is affecting your pipes ability to deliver the required energy, you will experience reduced pressure in your home.

With the increase in numbers of water meters being fitted across the country, which will affect your local area, there are concerns from some consumers that this will affect pressures but rest assured – this will not happen.

Several things can cause low pressure, apart from where your home is sited, and remember the water supply company has a statutory duty to deliver a minimum one bar.

Why where your home is built may affect your water pressure 

Where your home is built will also affect the degree of water pressure. The amount of force can depend on how high the service reservoir or water tower is above your home.

For example, if you live in a property built on the top of a hill, you may experience lower water pressure than someone living in the valley at the bottom of the hill.

In addition, there are peak times of water usage. When demand for water is high, like in the mornings or early evenings, pressure can drop as more people turn on the taps, take showers, run baths and cook. You might also notice a pressure drop during the summer when people water gardens with sprinklers and hoses. It is always worth trying your taps at different times during the day to see whether it makes a difference. Also, if you are using water in multiple places throughout your property, you may begin experiencing lower pressure throughout.

How clogged pipes may be affecting your water pressure 

If you are turning on your taps and initially the water flow rate seems good, but then falls off the longer the tap remains on; you might have a clogged water pipe (this is not to be confused with your drainage pipe which are the pipes that take the wastewater away from sinks and baths). We are not repair experts, so you might want to call out a plumber to aid you here, but there are some clogged water pipe leading to reduced water flow repair guides available if you are willing to try your hand at a DIY fix.

If you own an old house which makes use of steel pipes, it could be a little worse. Unfortunately, if your pipes are corroded and therefore clogged, this can be one of the more expensive reasons water flow is reduced. The interior of the pipe can get severely corroded as the metal breaks down over time.

Why leaking pipes will cause low pressure 

As water escapes your pipes at intervals, the pressure will undoubtedly escape the system, alongside the water that you were hoping to come out of your shower or tap.

As in the last instance, it is going to be worth getting a plumber to come and take a look if you do have a leaking pipe. However, there are some guides available if you want to fix your leaking pipe solo.

How to find out if valves are the cause 

A simple fix could be merely testing your two primary shutoff valves. Your first valve, the water meter valve, usually is only used by water companies as it constitutes as their property. It will be connected to your main water meter and will be connected to your mains supply pipe.

The second valve, the house shutoff valve, will be located wherever your house mains connect to the outside. In most cases, this is underneath the kitchen sink. This is a gate valve and needs to be fully on at all times.

The last valve you may want to check will only apply to your hot water – or any water that is stored in your water heater. If the pressure of your cold tap is fine, but your warm is not, it might be that the valve in your water heater cupboard is off, or partially off. Like the other valves, check this – while the tap is running – to see if it makes an impact.

A Failing Pressure Regulator

Not all homes have these regulators – if you do have one, it will usually be where the main water line comes into the house and after the main shut off valve. These regulators are present to make sure that the pressure does not get so high that it damages your pipes.

It is worth knowing that failure in the regulator can go either way, overly high pressure, or exceedingly low. If you notice that every fixture in the home has been affected suddenly, it is quite likely to be an issue with your regulator.

You should definitely call a professional to deal with this, as replacing a regulator is complex.

Effective solutions for low water pressure

The issue of low water pressure could be down to the taps and shower heads that you are currently using. Where they have been used for an extended period – over years – their efficiency will have definitely worn down; making sure you have the most efficient fittings is to your benefit.

With Hansgrohe “LowPressure” technology, problems with inadequate water flow are resolved to ensure can enjoy using water in comfort, in a wide range of conditions.

The company has been making the highest quality products since 1901, focusing on the very best in both form and function.

They have a range of mixers and showers that can cope with low pressure of a minimum 0.2 bar as well as taps that are specifically designed to function effortlessly in low-pressure areas.

Hansgrohe manufactures overhead showers for ceiling or wall mounting, shower valves and bath valves that can be combined with matching Hansgrohe hand showers.

Non-pressurised water heaters would require a low-pressure tap, and Hansgrohe’s extensive range of taps and mixers for kitchen and bathroom includes solutions for this.

Endurance tests

Hansgrohe’s commitment to excellence means that the company only use high-quality materials approved for use with drinking water, and every part of every product is subject to intense endurance tests.

Hansgrohe product safety guidelines surpass industry specifications, and it offers result a five-year manufacturer guarantee.

The company aims for simplicity, efficiency and making their customers’ lives easier.

With Select technology, it is simple when you shower to select the water source or jet type with a press of a button while AirPower is a shower innovation that uses air to create soft droplets.

Hansgrohe EcoSmart uses flow limitation to reduce water consumption by up to 60 per cent, and QuickClean is a time-saving solution – you remove limescale residue away with a rub of the thumb.

Durable quality and environmentally responsible production methods are central to Hansgrohe’s products and business ethos. It uses renewable energies, efficient recycling systems and heat recovery methods to support sustainability with environmental and climate protection.

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