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Are you suffering from low water pressure?

This could be a chronic problem. You head into the shower in the morning and feel the water pressure is not enough to help wake you up. Or you have to turn your faucet on full throttle to get enough water to decently wash your hands. Low water pressure could also be a more recent change. Yesterday you had a good flow of water from the faucet and today it is slightly more than a trickle.

If it is an isolated situation, your problem might be specific to one showerhead or faucet. Modern shower heads and faucets are made to help conserve water so they only deliver a set amount of water per minute.  You could also have buildup inside the fixture that can be cleaned to improve the flow. But if you think your problem goes beyond the fixture, here are 5 areas in your plumbing system to check that could affect the water pressure in your entire house:

Water meter/shut off valve– First you should verify that your water meter to the house is on all the way. This meter is outside. And you will also want to check that your main water shutoff valve in your home is open. This valve is typically in the front of your home or in the basement where your pipes enter from outside. The problem with a closed meter or valve is a likely caused if you recently had work done in your home. It is an easy fix if turning your water meter on or opening up your shut off valve corrects your problem.

Pressure regulator – Code regulations typically require a pressure regulator be installed on domestic systems to help reduce water pressure because the high pressure of the municipal system’s main can damage your pipes and waste water. But these regulators can fail. When they do you will often see either a great reduction or increase in your water pressure. A plumber can help you replace your pressure regulator with a matching size if it has failed.

Clogged pipes – Your plumbing system can clog due to normal wear when waste and minerals build up along the insides of your pipes. When it starts to clog, you may see sluggishness in your water flow. For this reason, we recommend regular cleanings to flush your pipes clear. Drain cleaners and mechanical snakes only go so far from the drain to reach clogs, but High Priority Plumbing cleans drains with a jetter. The nozzle pushes water at a high pressure through your entire domestic system to scour the pipes clean.

Faulty pipes – Even if you scour clean your pipes, if you have a home with older galvanized pipes you may have a different issue. The zinc in these pipes can corrode and rust, dissolving copper minerals into your water that can build up and block the flow of water. A simple scratch test on your pipes can tell you what type of pipes you have. If the scratched pipe remains copper, then you likely don’t have a problem with faulty pipes because the copper pipe is good for avoiding rust and buildup. But if the scratch comes up a silvery grey, this is a sign that you have galvanized pipe. If you have an orange tinge in your water this is also a sign of rusting from galvanized pipe. When you have galvanized pipes, you will want to call the plumber in to deal with them.

Leaking lines – When lines fracture or break, one of the most visible signs is water spots or stains on the wall or floor. You might also notice your water pressure has decreased. Turning off your fixtures and appliances that use water sources and checking your water meter to see if it is spinning can help determine if you have a leak. Then repairs will be needed.

High Priority Plumbing can help you evaluate your domestic plumbing system to determine your low water pressure issue. Call us for an evaluation at 770.860.8110 in Atlanta or 912.373.7707 in Savannah.

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