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Weak water pressure

Weak water pressure? Here’s how to identify and fix the problem

There’s no point having piping hot water in your bathroom if there’s weak water pressure. It takes the joy out of every shower and costs valuable time. Low water pressure can also make sinks difficult to fill and affect the power of hoses. The time it adds to the cycle of washing machines and dishwashers costs more energy, and that’s bad for your power bill and the environment.  Many people try workarounds or simply put up with the inconvenience of low water pressure. But many of the repairs are quick jobs for experienced plumbers, and there are a few DIY remedies you can try. Twin Electrics & Plumbing has been dealing with water pressure issues for over four decades, so we’ll help you identify your problem. We’ll start with some more manageable issues and work our way to more sophisticated solutions.  On this article:
  1. Poor hot water pressure at a single fixture
  2. Multiple taps and fixtures with weak water pressure
  3. When the whole house is affected
  4. Are your neighbours affected?
  5. Water tank + water pressure booster pumps
  6. Remember the dangers of DIY solutions

#1. Poor hot water pressure at a single fixture

If you’re experiencing weak water pressure at a fixture that delivers hot water, like a shower, you’ve partly isolated the cause already. That’s usually good news. You can work your way through a logical process of checks and repairs that will begin easy and gradually become more significant as you move toward the supply line.  For instance, your showerhead could be malfunctioning or blocked. That would be a relatively easy and cheap fix. The more likely cause will be a sediment build-up in the hot water system, which will find its way into the narrow pipes that supply water to your showerhead. Call a qualified plumber to flush the hot water system and clean the lines. Even if this isn’t the immediate cause of the issue, flushing the system will save you some inevitable grief. Few systems can operate for long periods without developing what’s known as ‘scale’.  If a clean hot water system supplies the tap, shower or appliance, the likely culprit will be an individual pipe. That’s the most expensive cause, but if we can access the pipe easily, you may be able to avoid a costly excavation.

#2. Multiple taps and fixtures with weak water pressure

If more than one fixture is dribbling rather than blasting water, it’s likely to be the pipes. Several issues can occur with the supply line, including bent pipes, corrosion and gravity. At least you’ve isolated the problem to a particular part of the house. It will inevitably require the expertise of a plumber, but hopefully, the issue is limited to one section of the supply line.  Bent pipes are one of the reasons you have regulators at essential junctions of your water supply to control surges. Water will often travel along bent pipes without affecting your water pressure. But in some cases, it could slow the flow. In that case, it may simply be a case of replacing one section of pipes. The location of the offending section will determine the cost. An easily accessible pipe could be a quick and cheap fix, so don’t assume the worst. Call a certified Melbourne plumber to assess the damage and provide a quote.  Old corroded pipes will not be the best result for your bank balance. It’s a significant installation. But unfortunately, if the pipes cause poor pressure, you’ll be choosing between slowly waning water supply or investing in modern pipes. It may be a high cost, but it should be a remedy that lasts for many years to come. .st0{fill-rule:evenodd;clip-rule:evenodd;}

#3. When the whole house is affected

When every tap, fixture, and appliance performs poorly, there’s a long list of causes and cures. Some remedies are as easy as twisting a dial. Others may either require significant plumbing, additional supply or pumps.  Weak water pressure | poor water pressure signs Check the water metre valve to make sure it’s fully open. Technically, the valve doesn’t belong to you, but at the very least, you can check to see if it’s open. If your water pressure is noticeably lower after a technician has carried out any kind of repairs to your home, your water metre valve could be the culprit.  Check the main water valve inside your home. You’ll find it close to the incoming supply pipe, and it usually looks like a dial or small wheel. Unlike the water metre valve, this dial is okay to check by turning it physically. This valve is the one you generally use to shut off your water when you have an emergency, and considering how easy it is to turn, it’s also easy to make a mistake when turning the water back on.  Check the pressure regulator in your home. A fully functioning regulator can save your pipes by adjusting the supply during surges. A malfunctioning regulator can unnecessarily lower your water pressure. How will you know if the issue is the setting or a malfunction? Again, it’s safer and more cost-efficient to ask a plumber to check it. If you set the regulator too high, you may create worse problems by forcing too much water into the supply line. 

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#4. Are your neighbours affected?

It’s a question many people fail to ask. We all tend to get fixated on our problems, but a quick friendly chat with a neighbour may determine the exact nature of the issue. You could be living in an area that simply doesn’t have strong water pressure. The pipes may be fine, but the supply is simply weak. If that’s the case, read on to discover a great solution. Incorrect pipe sizes are a common cause. Let’s be honest here. Not all plumbers are created equal. Our certified crew of technicians wouldn’t dream of installing a small supply line that squeezes your main supply into a narrow pipe. In that situation, it’s just as bad as a blockage. If you’re the victim of poor installation, it can be frustrating and costly. But it’s relatively easy for an excellent plumber to re-pipe your supply line, particularly at the point where the mains meet your home’s system. 

#5. Water tank + water pressure booster pumps

When all else fails, the powered blades of a pump can help to increase or regulate your water supply. These devices only function when water is needed. That means you’re not wasting energy.  Of course, you can’t turn a weak supply into high pressure without storing water. Talk to Twin Electrics & Plumbing, the water tank specialists, for the right advice on the size and type of tank you need. Provided you’re following regulations, it’s not a complex installation, and it will provide many more advantages, including an additional water supply.   You can set your pump to control water pressure depending on your household needs. Generally, that will be around the 50 PSI mark (PSI is how we measure pressure). Less than 40 PSI may be too weak. More than 60 could damage pipes.  For that reason, you need a plumber to advise you on your supply line’s ability to handle the extra pressure. Some older pipes could be damaged if you set the pressure too high. You also need to make sure you are allowed to add a pump. Knowledgeable technicians, like the Twin Electrics & Plumbing crew, usually know which regions can legally use pumps. 

#6. Remember the dangers of DIY solutions

Cleaning a fixture can’t hurt, but beyond simple maintenance, most of your issues with weak water pressure will require a qualified plumber. The important thing is to make sure you choose a certified technician with good experience, training and equipment. With the latest equipment at their disposal, Twin Electrics & Plumbing’s dedicated plumbing team can often clear blockages without excavation, which means more cost-efficient solutions. 

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