How to Increase Water Pressure in House
Regardless whether you live in rural, suburban or city areas, having ceaseless full forced clean and safe water is a blessing. However, at times, things do go wrong and don’t work as expected. It is, no doubt, of immense frustration when you have to deal with low water pressure at your home. Especially while taking a shower and doing other household chores that require jet blast water flow.
Worry not. Here you will find a detailed guide on how to increase water pressure in the house and learn about the reasons for having low water pressure.
Reasons For Low Water Pressure
There could be a lot of different reasons for low water pressure throughout the house and following are some of the most common reasons for low water pressure:
Hard water scale and mineral build-ups in plumbing lines. Hard water with a high concentration of minerals such as limestone, gypsum, etc. can cause home plumbing lines to have scale. The result is a pipeline clogging. Ultimately it will cause reduced water pressure and low-velocity water-flow from the showerhead.
Sediment and scale buildup inside the water heater. Usually, residents of suburban areas have their private water wells. And specifically, the ones that run heaters, face sediment build-ups, and scale problems. Heaters gradually corrode the inside of such water tank walls. As a result, the corroded materials deposits at the bottom of the tank. The lighter materials often get drawn into the plumbing line, reach the showerhead, creating clogging, and reducing water pressure.
Twisted and bent plumbing lines. If the plumbing pipe system of your home has frequent bents and sharp turns then the natural force of water gets reduced which ultimately yields low-pressure water at the showerhead and other faucets.
The shutoff valve is partly barred. Check to see whether the shutoff valve is partially closed for any reason such as debris and sediments. If so, this might cause restricted water flow. As a result, less water pressure throughout the house and at the endpoints.
Issues in the main supply line. If you live in city areas, most likely you get your water through municipal water supply bodies. If there is a huge demand for water in the locality during the summer season, or water gets frozen during winter due to the line being close to the surface or depleted water level or for leaks or any other reason, you may face low-pressure water in your entire house. In this case, check with your neighbor if they too are having the same issue. Usually, this is beyond your control and contact with the municipal water supply company and notify them about the issue.
Bottleneck issue within the water supply line system. It is not uncommon for water lines to get narrower than the main supply lines and this can cause a reduction in pressure as the water gets bottlenecked when entering from a wider pipe into narrower one.
The pressure switch may not be correctly adjusted. Sometimes if the pressure switch of the well pump is not configured or adjusted for the recommended pressure settings (PSI settings), it may lead to low water pressure. Additionally, a defective or worn out old pressure switch or regulator may result in unexpected low water pressure as well.
How to Increase Water Pressure in House if You Have a Well With Pressure Tank
A pressure tank is part of a well system which controls the pressure in your plumbing system in your house. If you’re in a city somewhere, then you’re getting water directly from the city water mains. First I am going to talk about how to increase water pressure in the house if you have a well.
Check the standard pressure with full water in it
What happens is that the tank loses air pressure over time, even if there are no major issues with any of the parts, that’s just the nature of things… they wear out and start to malfunction. Usually, there’s a little tire inflator gun-type device that has a valve on the top of the tank attached to it. And there’s a pressure gauge that displays the current pressure in the tank system in PSI (pounds per square inch). The usual standard pressure of these systems is either 30/50 PSI or 40/60 PSI with the tank full of water in it.
Drain the water in the tank fully and then re-check the pressure
Even if you have the pressure within the range of PSI, you may have a problem with low water pressure throughout your fixtures in your home. The problem is when you turn your water on if there’s not enough pressure inside the bladder that’s inside the tank, then you’ll lose a lot of water pressure. Especially when you turn your taps on or a couple of faucets on at the same time or running machines that use up water such as washing machines and so on.
What you have to do is that you need to drain the water out of the tank. There’s a valve at the bottom of the tank that releases the water out of the tank. And that releases any pressure that’s in there on the bladder. Then monitor the pressure going down and become stable at a particularly lower PSI. This measures the amount of pressure in the tank when it’s empty. That’s what you need to know. It should be at least around 40 PSI for a 40/60 PSI pressure tank and around 30 PSI for a 30/50 PSI pressure tank.
But if you have a problem with the pressure tank or the bladder, you should see it going down even further as the water comes out of the tank. If it falls below 25 PSI, then you know it is quite low.
Pump up the bladder in the tank
Reconnect the air hose once you read the PSI in the pressure gauge once all the water is out of the tank, in other words, all the water pressure is out. Now, pump the bladder up with the tire inflator to about 40 – 45 PSI, when there is no water in the tank. So, all you’re doing is adding air to the bladder that’s inside the tank. Do it a couple of times with the inflator handle and release to check if the meter-handle stops. Eventually, it should stabilize at about 40 PSI. Once that is done, open up the pipe attached to the valve at the top of the tank that is attached to the bladder inside the tank. And that should be it!
Start filling up the tank again (priming)
Now you should turn the water back on and start filling the tank back up. This process is often referred to as priming the tank pump. You should hear the pump in the background doing its work – filling the pressure tank back up with water, re-pressurizing the system. This can take a little bit of time based on the size of the tank. Once the tank is filled with water, the pump should automatically be shut off. That means it’s up to its pressure now which should be pretty close to 60 PSI with the water in it.
Recheck the pressure at all the taps
Now what you need to do is run upstairs (usually tanks are in the basement) and see what the pressures like. It should have improved quite a bit.
Other ways to improve water pressure
But there are still some other adjustments you can make to increase the water pressure a bit more.
Locate the pressure switch usually found near the pressure pump; it’s usually a gray little plastic covered box. Usually, you’ll see all the instructions on the white label written on how to do things such as resetting, default PSI range, etc. Take the gray plastic cover or lid off and you will see a big bolt in the center with the nut-on. What you need to do is to turn that clockwise and that will increase the start/stop pressure, or the turn on/off pressure or cut-in/out pressure. Do not turn the smaller bolt.
Just a tiny bit of turning is required. You don’t need to turn in very much. Once that’s done, you’ll see that the water pressure in your house fixtures is getting much better and increasing water pressure than before.
This should increase water pressure throughout your house.
Additional Ways of Increasing Water Pressure in the House
Test your home water pressure
It’s not always necessary to call in a professional to check to see if you have low shower pressure. There is a quick and easy way to confirm that you’re dealing with low water pressure. Things you need are readily available at home. All you need is a measuring jug (one or two liters capacity) and a timer clock. Let the shower on full blast and then use the timer to see how long it takes to fill 1 liter of water in the measuring jug. You’ll know that you’re dealing with low water pressure if it takes longer than six seconds.
Install Pressure Booster
If you live in a city area then you are not in control of how much water pressure you receive at your home water main. It usually is decided by the city hall or municipal water companies that supply the water throughout the city. Most city areas impose restrictions by implementing water-saving filters on fixtures in order to help reduce wastage of water.
In this case, you may notify them officially and if they fix it, all well and good. If not, you may install a pressure booster to increase the water pressure. Pressure boosters are great at clearing out debris and provides jet fast water flow.
Check if you have Pressure-Reducing Valve (PRV) and adjust accordingly
Check to see if you have a pressure-reducing valve (PRV) installed on your water main. If so check to see the pressure reading in the pressure gauge. The factory default is usually 50 PSI, but if you are getting a low reading or experiencing low pressure throughout the house, you can easily adjust this PRV valve’s screw-on top according to your need.
Check the main valve, shut-off valve, and curbside valve
If the above three solutions don’t solve your low water pressure problem, then you may have to check some valves in and around your house. Start with the main valve. The main valve controls the water flow volume to each of the fittings in your house. Chances are that the main valve may partly be closed.
As a result, your shower and other faucets receive low pressurized water. To fix, locate the main valve which is usually near the water pressure gauge and you’ll see two valves; turn both of them counterclockwise to fully open them. Another valve to check is the shower valve. It can be found in the basement or the access panel behind the shower. Also, turn it open fully. Finally, if these two valves are ok, then check the curbside valve and turn that open fully as well.
How to Increase Water Pressure in Your Home
There could be several reasons as to why you are not getting sufficient water pressure at home. But if you can determine the reason by methods of eliminations, you can address the correct issue and take the necessary steps to fix your low-pressure water problem. Go through the above-mentioned reasons for low-pressure water and act accordingly from the given solutions. And we hope that you would again get that rejuvenating morning hot shower and perform other household tasks that require good water flow.