Few things are quite as frustrating as dealing with low water pressure. It makes bathing more difficult, adds more hassle to washing dishes, and could be a sign that your plumbing system needs some serious repair. Whether you’re dealing with cold, limp water in your shower, half bath, or kitchen, low water pressure can be the result of a wide range of plumbing issues. So if you’re wondering why your hot water pressure is low, here are a few possible reasons.
What Would Cause Low Hot Water Pressure?
Corrosion in Your Pipes
Older homes tend to have older pipes that are highly susceptible to corrosion. If your home is older and the water pressure is very low, there could be some buildup in your pipes restricting the flow of water. This kind of problem develops slowly over time so you may not even notice a difference in your water pressure since it happened so gradually. If the corrosion is allowed to progress unaddressed, however, then it could become so severe that the other issues arise. Old corroded pipes ought to be replaced to protect the integrity of your home, which can be an expensive fix but it will save you from larger damages.
Closed Water Valves
Most homes have two different valves that control the water flow to the home and if either of them are even partly closed, the water pressure lessens. The water meter valve is the first valve and it is located beside the water meter. This valve is typically left untouched by homeowners, but if you’ve recently had work done on your home and your low water pressure issues started after that, then this valve might not be completely open.
You can also check your home’s main water shutoff valve which can be found where your internal plumbing connects to your main water supply line. While neither should be left closed, both are easy to bump on accident.
If you haven’t had any repairs done to your plumbing system recently and are still dealing with low hot water pressure, you likely have a more serious issue on your hands. Don’t waste time wondering what would cause low water pressure, but rather call in a professional to inspect your plumbing and prevent serious damages from accumulating.
Leaks in Your Plumbing
Obviously, if there is a leak somewhere in your plumbing, the water pressure will be affected. Leaks can be obvious, often findable through signs of water damage. When the location of the leak is obvious, the solution is easy. You either fix the issue yourself if it’s minor or call in a professional for a repair when it’s more complicated.
If the leak is less obvious, however, and you can’t figure where it is or if one even exists, you’ll have to be more creative in your search. Try turning off your water and reading the water meter. Leave your water off for an hour or two then read it again. If the number has changed, you likely have a leak. Call in a professional to determine where it is and the best way to fix it.
Issues with Your Hot Water Heater
Your hot water heater is responsible for pushing hot water to your home’s different appliances and faucets. It helps prevent low hot water pressure in your house. Therefore, low hot water pressure could be a sign of a broken hot water heater. Check the water pressure in different areas of your home such as your kitchen, bathrooms, basement, and even outdoors, to see if the low water pressure is consistent everywhere. You should also test your hot water pressure and cold water pressure separately. If the only issue with your low water pressure happens when you’re trying to run hot water, then you likely have an issue with your hot water heater.
Give your hot water heater a quick inspection to see if there are any leaks. You can also check to see if the hot water shut off valve has been turned off. If handled improperly, hot water heaters can be very dangerous since they generate so much pressure to heat water. Only ever let a licensed plumber work on your hot water heater to avoid injuries and damage to your appliance.
Pay Attention to Water Usage
The lull in your water pressure might not be caused by anything too serious. Pay attention to when it happens and see if it occurs when a lot of people are using the water in your home or not. If several people are taking a shower at the same time while the dishwasher is running and others are brushing their teeth, there’s likely to be a bit of time where your water pressure is low.
Pay attention to the peak times of your water usage such as mornings before work and school or when you get home from work or ready for bed. If this seems to be the cause of your low water pressure, try adjusting your water usage schedule to see if that improves your water pressure.
Don’t Settle for Low Hot Water Pressure in Your House
Low water pressure is obviously annoying, it could be more than that. While it could be due to a high amount of use, it could also be a sign of a more serious problem that needs resolving. If your water pressure takes a sudden dive, you could have a severe plumbing issue and need a licensed professional to help you resolve it.
With more than 115 years of expertise, the John C. Flood team is committed to keeping your home comfortable — and that includes making sure you have good water pressure. If you’re experiencing low water pressure in your home and these troubleshooting ideas didn’t work, please call us at (703) 752-1266 or contact us online now.