plumbing culprits decreasing water pressure

Possible Plumbing Culprits for Decreasing Water Pressure

There are a few potential plumbing-related issues in a Salt Lake City home or building that represent both annoyances and a potential sign of more underlying problems, and a good example here is a situation where your water pressure has become too low. This is a practical frustration due to the inconvenience of a poorly-flowing water supply, but also is often an issue that signals a problem somewhere within the system that must be addressed to remedy the problem.

At Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric, we’re here to help with a variety of plumbing services, from basic plumbing maintenance up to specific jobs like drain cleaning, sewer line repair, water filtration and much more. What are some of the common culprits in low water pressure issues in homes or other buildings, and what can be done about each of these? Here’s a primer for SLC residents.

Shut-Off Valve Concerns

In some cases, the water pressure issues taking place in your home or building are due to an issue with your main water shut-off valve. You should already know where this valve is, but if you don’t our plumbers will be happy to inform you.

Many shut-off valves appear in the form of a wheel or crank, one that must be twisted fully open. In other cases, this will be a level handle that must be parallel to the main water pipe entering your home. If this is not the case, you could be cutting off part of your water supply, and this might be the reason why your pressure is insufficient. Be sure the valve is fully opened at all times.

Clogged Aerator

If you’re not sure what we’re referring to, the aerator is the little screen you find on the end of every faucet in your home. It’s meant to filter out minerals or other bits of sediment so there’s no chance of water contamination.

However, the aerator may become rusted or clogged up over time. If, for instance, you’ve noticed pressure-related issues in a single faucet only, but such issues are not present in other plumbing fixtures, there’s a good chance the aerator simply needs to be removed, cleaned and reattached. If it has rusted, you may need to replace it – but these items are very cheap and easy to find.

Sediment Buildup

In other cases, a buildup of minerals and other forms of sediment will be the culprit in your water pressure issues. There are a couple locations where sediment may build up: The most common and well-known is probably within the water heater tank, where sediment buildup may take place over a period of years and eventually collect at the bottom of the tank, creating a pressure-related slowdown.

In other cases, buildup will take place in various plumbing fixtures or pipes themselves, slowing the flow of water in these areas. In both these cases, regular inspection and maintenance of your plumbing system by a licensed plumber like ours is one of the top tools you have at your disposal for avoiding these risks: Water heater maintenance is part of a standard inspection, as is a basic evaluation of pipes and a confirmation that water is flowing properly between them. If you have not had your system inspected by a professional this year, contact our plumbers right away to get this done.

Softener Issues

One other potential culprit in water pressure concerns may only take place if your home has a water softener, which not all do. However, in cases where one is present, there are certain issues that might change or decrease your water pressure based on the way the softener interacts with your system. We won’t get too technical on you here, but if you’ve eliminated a couple of the other potential causes we’ve gone over here and you’re still dealing with low pressure, plus you have a water softener in your home, call our plumbers about potential service needs.

Pressure Regulator

Another important component of the plumbing system is known as the pressure regulator, which is the specific device in charge of controlling water pressure as it enters your home from your public service line. While this is only one major line, issues with this regulator can lead to pressure concerns throughout the entire property.

This is another area where if you think a regulator might be the concern, the job must be left to our pros. Our plumbers will first evaluate whether the pressure regulator is indeed faulty, then will recommend either repair or replacement and carry this job out safely and effectively. Without specific plumbing training, this job would be both unsafe and a risk to the system’s integrity.

Cracks or Leaks

Finally, maybe the single most common reason behind droppages in home water pressure: Some kind of water loss, which is generally due to a crack or leak somewhere in the system, typically a pipe. Especially if this leaking or cracked pipe is located behind your walls, in your foundation or in any other area where it isn’t easily noticed, you might go weeks or even months where your water pressure slowly decreases before you eventually notice the problem. This is an area where a plumber will be able to perform some basic tests to detect leaks – and also one where standard maintenance, which we went over above, will help prevent these kinds of issues from ever happening to begin with.

For more on determining the cause of lowered water pressure in your home, or to learn about any of our plumbing services in Salt Lake City and nearby parts of Utah, speak to the staff at Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric today.