Water Pressure Problems
How To Resolve Water Pressure Problems
Water pressure problems in the home usually create only minor annoyances, though if bad enough, can certainly become intolerable. In some instances, a fix is rather simple. In other cases, some serious plumbing issues may have to be addressed. Before calling the plumber or the water department, or the drilling accompany if you are on a private well, it's best to be somewhat informed as to what the possible causes might be.
Knowing a few of the more common causes of water pressure problems, may or may not put you in a position to fix the problem yourself, but at least you can talk to a plumber or someone from the city, from a position of at least seeming to know what you're talking about. If the repairman has the feeling you know something about water pressure, he may hesitate in attempting to convince you that the entire house's plumbing needs to be redone.
About Pumps - Unless your water supply comes from a large tank mounted on the roof of your house, a guarantee that your water pressure will be good, your water is being pumped from somewhere else. That pump may be at the bottom of a well on your property, or if you're on a municipal water supply, may be a number of blocks away. Municipal water is distributed through a system of pumping stations, which are designed and maintained to provide water at a given pressure to all the customers on the line. If a pump fails, unless there is a backup system, water pressure for a number of customers may plummet. If this is the case, your whole neighborhood will likely experience the problem. The first thing then, if your water pressure suddenly drops, and you notice this in all the fixtures in the house, call you neighbors and see if they're having the same problem. If not, the problem may be on your own property or where the water to your house is being delivered from the street.
If your whole house in involved, the water department would be the first place to call. They will come out and attempt to pinpoint the problem. If it's not your plumbing that's broken, you probably won't have to pay a dime to have the problem fixed.
Between The Street And Your House - If the water pressure problems have existed for some time, and your neighbors aren't experiencing them, it could be a broken water main coming into your house, or a leaking main. It could also be a faulty valve or one that is partially closed. If at some point in time the water to your house was shut off, and the valve not fully opened, the result could easily be a noticeable loss of pressure. There are at least three places to look. The valve, which allows water to flow from the municipal line into your house, the water meter, often located just on the "house side" of that valve, and a valve where the water enters your house, usually near the foundation, or in the basement. If you have nothing else to do, take a few minutes and find where these valves are, and how to turn them on or off. That is in itself a valuable thing to know.
While a water meter usually plays a passive role and does not control the water pressure, a faulty meter could result in the line becoming partially blocked with a foreign object, and that would affect the pressure. The water department would be the one to verify, and fix, that problem. Next, ask yourself if there is anything between the street and your house that could have damaged the water pipe. The main pile should be deep enough to protect it from damage from, for example, an automobile driving over it, and also should be deep enough to prevent freezing during cold snaps. If possible, try to get an idea how deep the main pipe is. If too shallow, the pipe may have been damaged by a heavy weight caused by heavy equipment, or cracked if the water happened to freeze.
Check Specific Valves - If the water pressure in the home is confined to one or two fixtures, check the fixtures themselves, for faulty or plugged valves. Plugged valves or constricted pipes are more common in plumbing that is very old, especially in areas where the water may contain a significant amount of minerals.
There is of course always the possibility that poorly laid out plumbing is to blame, if for example, one cannot take a shower while someone else is doing the dishes. On a wider scale, there are times when even the municipal water pressure may be lacking, such as when everyone decides to water the lawn at once.
Think in terms of pumps, pipes, and valves and at least you'll be able to better explain your problem and ask the right questions.