When you go to take a shower, one of the most annoying things is having low water pressure. Without strong water pressure, it can take forever to wash that soap away, it takes a long time to get hot water, and it just doesn’t feel great either.
Today, we are going to take a look at the nine most common causes for low water pressure in your shower, and what can be done about each problem. Let’s get right to it and talk about why you aren’t getting enough pressure in your shower.
#1: A Clogged Showerhead
One of the most common reasons for low water pressure is due to a clogged showerhead. Just like everything else you buy, showerheads get old and they wear down with use. All of those little holes where the water comes out of can get clogged. If the water in your home is very hard, which means that it has lots of mineral deposits in it, over time, all of that calcium and those other minerals can build up and solidify in those little holes.
An easy solution for this problem is to soak the showerhead in a bowl of vinegar for an hour, and then blast some hot water through it. If this does not work, try using a product such as CLR, which is specially designed to remove calcium, lime, and rust deposits.
#2: A Low-Flow Showerhead
There are low-flow showerheads out there, which are specifically designed to reduce the rate of water flow. The aim here is of course to preserve water, which is why these low-flow showerheads are used in many places where there is a limited supply of water. For instance, California is a prime example of where many of these shower heads are used.
Low-flow showerheads, especially the older ones, will have limited pressure. If you want more pressure, get a new shower head that is not designated as low-flow. That said, if you live somewhere with a limited supply of water, you will want to consider this in-depth. You don’t want to end up using all of the water.
#3: A Broken or Faulty Water Pressure Regulator
The water pressure regulator in your home is a device that dictates the level of water pressure flowing through the pipes. Water pressure regulators can fail or malfunction, and this can cause a drastic and sudden reduction of water pressure. That said, a failing water pressure regulator is more likely to cause an increase in water pressure, although it can go both ways.
Unless you are a plumbing expert, due to the fragility and finicky nature of these devices, if you suspect the pressure regulator to be at fault, it is best to call for professional assistance.
#4: Issue with Your Water Main
The water main is where the water flows into your home from the city or the local water supply. There may be an issue on either side of your water meter. There is a valve leading from the water supply to your water meter. There may be an issue in there such as a clog, a tree root, or simply that the valve is not fully open.
This problem can also occur on your end, between the water meter and your home. If there is an issue with the water main, you want to call the city and let them take care of it, and if the issue is on your side of the main, then a plumber will be needed. This is something that you won’t be able to take care of on your own.
#5: Issues with Single Shower Volume Control
If you have a shower with a single volume control knob, or in other words, a single knob that controls the hot and cold water at once, the volume valve may be damaged, broken, or just worn out. For the most part, the only real solution here is to open up the knob, inspect the inside, and if need be, make a replacement.
If you do take it apart yourself, instead of calling a plumber, make sure that you know how to put it back together after you finish, or else you will end up having to call for help anyway.
#6: Damaged or Broken Plumbing
There is of course always the distinct possibility that the plumbing in your home has issues too. You could have broken or leaking pipes that are causing reduced water pressure. If this is the case, if there are pipes leaking, chances are pretty big that there will be water damage in your floors, walls, and/or ceilings.
If you suspect a widespread plumbing issue, attempt to check for water damage, as this is an indication of broken plumbing. If all else fails, you will need to call a plumber and have them find the issue.
#7: Mineral Accumulation within Pipes
Related to the previous point, there is also a distinct possibility that the pipes in your home are clogged with mineral deposits, just like arteries in your body can become clogged with plaque. This often happens in old homes with outdated plumbing systems.
If you suspect this to be the case, your only viable course of action is to call a plumber.
#8: Using Water During Peak Usage Times
Another reason for low water pressure in your shower is if you are showering during peak usage times. It’s just like with your Internet. The more people are connected to the same network, the slower the internet is going to be.
If you notice that the water pressure is normal sometimes, but lower at other times, this could very well be the issue. If this is the case, the solution is to shower at a different time of day when there are fewer people using water. Other than that, there is unfortunately not much that can be done.
#9: Issues with Private Wells (Breaks and Low Water Levels)
If your water happens to come from a private well instead of from a local water supply, the issue could lay with the well. The pump and various other components may be damaged or clogged, in which case you will require professional assistance.
Moreover, have you checked the water level in your well?
Low water pressure could simply be due to the fact that there is not enough water present in the well to create more pressure.
There you have it, nine reasons why you may be experiencing low water pressure in your shower.
The unfortunate reality is that in the majority of cases, you will need to contact a plumber for professional assistance.