“Not again.” It’s an understandable thought when you step into a shower with low water pressure. Sure, it’s an annoying issue but it can also signal a larger plumbing problem.
Low pressure in a shower can be caused by several issues such as a clogged showerhead, a worn-out mixing valve, closed valve, leaking pipe, or even a faulty water heater. Don’t get overwhelmed though, because we’re here to help you narrow down and identify the cause of your shower woes.
How to fix a shower with low water pressure
The first thing you should do is determine if the low pressure is a single or widespread issue.
- Is both the hot and cold water of the shower affected?
- Does the sink faucet in the same bathroom also have low pressure?
- Are there other rooms that seem to have the same issue?
With the answer to those questions in mind, you can begin to investigate these common causes of low water pressure in showers.
1. Low-flow showerhead
Conserving water is a good thing, but old low-flow showerheads can be too stingy with water and make it feel like the pressure is lacking. Luckily, swapping out the old showerhead with a new model is an easy DIY job.
2. Clogged showerhead
Over time, mineral deposits can accumulate inside the small holes of the showerhead, disrupting or blocking the water flow. To remove the mineral build-up, let the showerhead sit in a bowl or bag filled with vinegar overnight. Next, use a small tool to brush or poke any remaining sediment from the showerhead holes.
3. Worn-out mixing valve
If you have a single-handle faucet in your shower or tub, it may have an internal part called a mixing valve that controls the amount of hot and cold water sent to the showerhead. If that valve is stuck or worn out, it can throw off the temperature and pressure. The mixing valve can be tricky to access and replace, so it should be left to an experienced plumber.
4. Faulty water pressure regulator
The water pressure regulator’s job is to keep your home within a safe water pressure range (usually 46-60 psi). Unfortunately, this important component can fail, allowing the pressure to get excessively low or high. The water pressure regulator is typically located on the water supply line before it enters the home and should only be replaced by a qualified plumber.
5. Closed valve
There are several valves throughout your plumbing system. If any of them are partially closed – often done by accident – you could experience low water pressure. Make sure the water meter valve, main shutoff valve, and all inline valves are entirely open.
6. Water heater issue
If the low water pressure only occurs when turning on the hot water, then the issue may lie with your water heater. Contact a plumber to see if the unit needs to be repaired or replaced.
7. Corroded or leaking pipes
Old pipes, especially ones made from metal, can corrode or rust from the inside. If mineral deposits are stuck in a water supply pipe, they can disrupt the flow to your shower (or other faucets). Similarly, if you have a small leak somewhere in your plumbing, low water pressure could be a noticeable symptom. It’s important to locate and fix the leak as soon as possible.
Have a plumber fix your shower
Don’t put up with a weak shower one day longer. Call Pratt Plumbing to have a licensed plumber in the Amarillo, TX area take a look and fix the problem for good. Schedule an appointment today at (806) 373-7866.