Here’s a great video from Silver Cymbal – A DIY guide to remove shower head restrictor and increase water pressure.
HOW TO INCREASE WATER PRESSURE.
1. Test your water pressure.
The first thing you should do is test your water pressure. By measuring the exact PSI coming from your faucets you’ll know whether or not you’re able to improve the pressure of your home. To do this you should purchase a pressure gauge from your local hardware store. You can attach the gauge to the water spout outside your home. Simply connect the gauge, and turn your water on. You should look for a pressure between 80 and 50 psi which is optimal. You can check with your city to get the codes of ideal pressure in your area.
2. Clean & Test your water heater.
Next you should test the water from your water heater. If you have access to your water heater just grab a screw driver and turn the spout. You’ll want to have something to catch the water. Typically overtime your water heater will gunk up so you’ll want to turn the water on and let the gunk clean out. Next connect your gauge to your water heater and test the pressure. A lot of times this will be a bit lower than the pressure outside.
3. Adjust your pressure valve.
Next, you’ll want to locate your main pressure valve. This should look something like the image below. The pipe coming into your home is the water that comes from the city which then goes through your PRV (pressure reducing valve) which is the larger metal piece on the left of the image. Here the pressure gets capped and then goes through the rest of the pipes throughout your home. In order to adjust your water pressure, you’ll need to locate your PRV. From there you’ll insert a flat head screw driver into the bolt and loosen up the nut with a wrench.
4. Check your pipes.
If the previous steps didn’t help with your water pressure you’ll then want to check your pipes. A lot of times, low water pressure is due to clogged up pipes especially if you live in an older home. You should also be aware that frozen pipes can decrease water pressure in the winter time. If your pipes are clogged you may be able to de-clog them yourself with a drain cleaner which you can buy at your local hardware store or even Walmart. Simply push it into your shower or sink drain and pull out any hair or debris that may be clogging your pipes.
5. Check wITH THE CITY.
If after all of that you still don’t have the ideal water pressure it may be a problem with the city water. Unfortunately you won’t have much control over this, however you can call your local water department and check in with them to see if there is a problem with the pressure coming from the street into your home. It might be worth it to check with your neighbors to see if they are having any water pressure issues.
6. Check your well pump (if you have a well)
Again, if you don’t have the ideal water pressure at this point and you’re using well water, it may be your well pump. You can check out this post to see how you can test your well water pump and how to fix the pressure switch.
7. GET HELP FROM A PROFESSIONAL
If none of the above tips helped get your water pressure where you want it, it’s time to reach out to a professional so they can diagnose the issue and find a solution. If you live in the Kalamazoo area give Precision Exterior & Interior a call or get a quote online. Or check in with your local plumber to see if they can help.
Having low water pressure in your home can be super frustrating, especially when you want to take a shower or clean your dishes and the pressure just isn’t enough to feel like you’re getting clean. The good news is that most of the time you can diagnose the problem on your own with just a couple of low cost tools that you can get on Amazon or from your local hardware store.
Optionally, you’ll want to test your water pressure and make sure it’s at the right specs before you move forward. If it is indeed lower than it should be you can adjust the main valve to increase water pressure. If the valve is already set where it needs to be and you’re still getting poor pressure then it’s most likely a problem with your pipes.
If all else fails, you’ll want to check in with your neighbors or check with the city to make sure everything is working properly and the pressure coming from their end is good. If you are using well water, you’ll want to verify that it’s not your well pump. If nothing else, get help from your local plumber. They will be happy in diagnosing the true problem and working with you to fix the issue.