Whether it’s been a long day at work, a session at the gym, or you just want to wash off the grime of the day, a steaming hot shower is what everybody looks forward to. If there’s a dribble of hot water coming from your showerhead, there’s nothing worse. After all, we call them showers, not trickles.
If your shower is more of a slow trickle than a blasting jet, that’s low water pressure. Not only irritating but it can be costly to resolve. Here’s how you can find out what may be causing it and, better yet, how to fix it.
How to Test the Water Pressure in Your Shower
You can test the water pressure in your shower with a 1L jug and your phone’s stopwatch using the following steps.
- Place the jug under your shower head.
- Turn on the tap in your shower to full and start the stopwatch.
- Stop the timer once the jug is full.
If the jug took longer than 6 seconds to fill, you have low water pressure.
Another way is to call your trusted plumber who will have a water pressure gauge to test the flow.
What Causes Low Water Pressure in the Shower
Before fixing your water pressure in the shower, we first need to determine what may be behind its poor output. Below are some of the reasons for low water pressure.
1. Blocked or Leaking Pipes and Fixtures
Low water pressure is most often caused by blockages or leaks in your plumbing system. Old pipes, or those subjected to water pressure higher than 60 psi, are vulnerable to cracking or small holes appearing and thus leaks. Leaks in your pipes contribute to low water pressure as the openings allow water to exit before reaching the showerhead. Blocked or leaking pipes need to be fixed by a licensed plumber as soon as possible. They can lead to more costly issues down the track like structural damage should the pipe burst, cause irreparable damage to your plumbing and require complete replacement, or create toxic mould buildup and need removing.
2. Low-Flow Showerhead
Water-saving, or low-flow, showerheads may be another reason your water pressure is down. These fixtures restrict water flow to conserve the amount of water used to reduce utility bills and conserve precious water. While the speed of the water released remains almost the same, an easy way to tell if you have a low-flow showerhead is if your shower resembles more of a misty spray or feels light on your skin.
3. Worn-Out Mixing Valve or Obstructed Shut-Off Valve
If your shower features a single handle, it may have a mixing valve as part of its plumbing system. Mixing valves control how much hot and cold water flows through the showerhead, and when it’s worn out from extensive use and age, temperature and water pressure can fail.
Another common reason for experiencing a drop in water pressure is an obstructed shut-off valve. If you’ve had work done to your home recently or moved into a new place, it’s essential to check the house’s main shut-off valve. Poor plumbing companies shut off the water valve and accidentally forget to turn it back on once they’ve completed the job.
How to Fix Water Pressure in Your Shower (and other taps)
1. Switch Out Your Existing Showerhead with a New Model
If you have a low-flow showerhead or believe your current fixture is too damaged to continue using, it’s easy to swap out the old showerhead for a new one. There are showerhead options designed to counteract low water pressure. Asking your licensed plumber to replace the showerhead could be a more prudent option before you begin trying more expensive solutions.
2. Check Your Plumbing Valves
If nothing seems amiss with your plumbing, and there is low pressure at other taps as well, you can check that the stop cocks are entirely open. These are located under basins and sinks in the kitchen, bathroom & laundry as well as beside the WC.
3. Take Showers During Non-Popular Times
Most people don’t realise that sometimes the best alternative is to take showers during off-peak hours. Certain times of the day, like 7 am to 9 am and 5 pm to 7 pm, tend to be more popular than others and decrease water availability since there is more demand. Adjusting your shower schedule is simply the most cost-effective way of combating low water pressure when you go to shower.
4. Call a Licensed Plumber and Schedule Regular Inspections
Don’t forget you can always call a licensed plumber to take care of the problem for you. Most of the time, it only requires a quick maintenance inspection to resolve the issue and note whether there are any underlying problems with your plumbing. Like us at Andrew Vanny Plumbing, calling a licensed plumber guarantees the job gets done the first time correctly and no longer plagues you in the future.
It’s just as important to schedule regular inspections once or twice a year as these issues are preventable. At Andrew Vanny Plumbing, we offer a wide range of bathroom and plumbing services covering maintenance, installation and repair, and even emergency plumbing services, so you don’t have to go without.
Sick of low water pressure? Don’t put up with it!
Call us at Andrew Vanny Plumbing at 0480 009 605 or email us at email@example.com to get the issue solved today!