The Causes of and the Solutions to Poor Water Pressure

The Causes of and the Solutions to Poor Water Pressure
  
Nothing starts a day off quite as badly as a weak shower. If you’ve ever had to suffer through a dribbling shower, which barely warms you up or gets you clean, then you will understand the importance of home water pressure. It’s not just the shower either – doing dishes is doubly annoying when the water pressure is bad. Washing your hands takes twice as long. Watering the garden becomes a long chore. And filling up a pasta pot to start dinner is a drawn-out affair.

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What exactly causes this poor water pressure though, and what can you do to put an end to it? What can you do in order to achieve fast-flowing, strong water pressure in your showers and taps? In this article, let’s look at a few potential causes of your poor water pressure, as well as how you and your Toronto plumber can deal with it. 

Pipe Diameter

A leading factor in the quality of your water pressure is your pipe diameters. Many houses that were built 40 or more years ago were fitted with plumbing that reflected the times – pipes with ½-inch diameters were satisfactory to take care of the few appliances in the home. But as time passed, the norm for households was to have more appliances and more taps, and the ½-inch diameter pipes no longer cut it, slowing down the flow of water throughout the house.

Shutoff Valves

If either your main shutoff valve or meter valve is even slightly turned closed, it can affect water pressure throughout the house. These are water’s first point of entry into your house, and either is even slightly closed it can cause a throttling of water throughout your pipes and appliances.

Obstructed Aerator

Whereas a partly closed shutoff valve is a “point of entry” issue, an obstructed aerator is a “point of exit” problem. Your water pressure can be fine otherwise, but if something is blocking the faucet’s aerator, it can obstruct the regular flow of your water. You can usually tell when it’s an aerator issue because the low water pressure is localized in a single tap or appliance. 

Leaks or Clogs

A leak and a clog may seem like opposite problems, but they share the same outcome: poor water pressure. Leaks can be caused by corroded or fractured old pipes, whereas clogs are often the result of years of build-up.

Solving Poor Water Pressure

If the problem is old ½-inch diameter pipes, it’s time to call a plumber for an upgrade. Current plumbing code states that all pipes should be at least ¾-inch diameter, although you might consider replacing your pipes with 1-inch, for the added oomph.

If the problem is your shutoff valves or aerator, simply check them yourself, adjusting and cleaning as need be. Here’s a handy video on finding the main shutoff valve.

Finally, if you’re facing a leaky pipe or a clog, you should go with a plumber. Over the counter drain, cleaners can be worse for your pipes than doing nothing – in the event of a clog, it’s best to just hire a plumber for rooting or drain snake.

Don’t start your day with another weak shower, and stop spending precious time waiting for your slow taps to finish a task – get to the bottom of what’s causing the problem, and do whatever you can to make it right.

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