Water Pressure

Staff Reports

Not sure about the water pressure in your home? Please read some of the following tips:
Troubleshooting Low Pressure
Most low water pressure problems originate inside the home. If you are experiencing low or reduced water pressure, please check these common culprits.
Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV)
Most homes in this area have pressure reducing valves (PRV). These valves are usually installed to protect the household plumbing from high water pressure (80-170 psi), but some cities require them on all new construction.
The PRV is a fist-sized bell-shaped device with a screw sticking out of the top of the “bell.” It’s usually located near the household shut-off valve.
If you have a PRV and the pressure is low on all faucets, the PRV probably needs to be adjusted to allow for more pressure. Generally, adjusting the screw clockwise will increase pressure and counter-clockwise will decrease pressure.

Water Softener
Water softeners can cause a sudden change or decrease in water pressure. To check it, switch the water softener to bypass mode and see if pressure improves. You may also want to have the water softener serviced by a service technician, if you believe it’s the cause of your low pressure.
Clogged Aerators
If you only have low pressure at one faucet, it may be a clogged aerator. Check the aerator screen for rust, debris, and other particles restricting flow. This most commonly occurs when water service is shut-off. Without pressure in the indoor plumbing system, mineral particles adhering to your pipes flake off and become trapped in the aerator filter.
Shut-off Valve
The shut-off valve shuts off water to the home. It’s normally located where the water service pipe comes into the home. If this valve is partially closed, it will affect water pressure throughout the entire home. Check that the valve is completely open.
Low Flow in Older Homes
Sometimes low flow masquerades as low pressure. What’s the difference? Pressure is the degree to which the incoming water supply enters your home. Flow is the ease of the water traveling within your internal plumbing system.
A common problem in older homes (generally 50+ years and older) is a reduction of flow rate. Over time, mineral deposits and corrosion sediment accumulate on the interior of galvanized pipes. This decreases the diameter of the interior pipe, creating a more turbulent and restricted path for the water.
This internal build-up of minerals and corrosion does not pose a safety concern, but it does cause weaker flow. Indoor plumbing and the service line are owned by and the responsibility of the property owner.
If you want to improve your flow you may want to consult with a licensed plumber about replacing the service line and/or indoor plumbing. The cheaper alternative is switching to water-conserving fixtures (i.e. low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators) which may help.

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