When you first notice water coming from a faucet at lower pressure than normal, you may think of it as a nuisance that will go away. Then you’ll find out how aggravating an issue low water pressure in a house really is. It takes forever to fill up the bath, taking a shower turns into an ordeal, and appliances like the dishwasher and the laundry machine may struggle to get their basic tasks done.
Why has the household water pressure dropped? We’re going to consider this press(ure)ing problem and what you can do to get water back to flowing the way it should in your house.
ONE: Municipal Problems
It’s not you. It’s them. And by them we mean the utility company. If water pressure has dropped at all the taps in your home, it’s a strong possibility the issue stems from a general drop in pressure from the water main. There are many sources for this problem (the fire department may have drawn on large amounts of water to put out a fire nearby), but nothing you can do about it. Check with your neighbors to see if they are experiencing similar trouble or call the water department.
TWO: Partially Shut Water Main Valves
Your house probably has two shut-off valves for the water main. One is on the street side of where the water main connects to the building, near the water meter. The other is often located inside the basement or a garage, or else by the exterior wall where the main enters the house. Either valve may have loosened and partially shut, cutting off the water flow. Check on both valves to see if they are fully open. If they’re stuck, you may need to call a plumber.
THREE: Pressure Regulator Failure
The pressure of the water from the municipal system may be too high for the plumbing in your house. A pressure regulator is installed to remedy this. If you aren’t the original tenant of the house, you may not even realize you have this regulator in place. If the regulator malfunctions, if can cause the water pressure to plummet. (Conversely, it may cause a pressure spike.) Please don’t try to change the regulator yourself. A professional plumber can easily have a new one installed.
FOUR: Major Water Line Leaks
This is one of the most serious causes behind a drop in water pressure—in fact, low water pressure is more a warning sign of a serious problem, rather than the actual problem! If you see damp patches on the lawn near where the water line runs, call a licensed plumber right away. The water line needs to be repaired or maybe even replaced. If it isn’t done soon, you may lose water entirely and the lawn suffer from damage.
There are other causes that might lurk behind low water pressure. No matter the trouble, the professional plumbing in Chapel Hill, NC necessary to diagnose and solve it is easy to find: call us any time of the day or night.