How to Improve Water Pressure
Try some simple tricks to get the water flowing
By Glyn Sheridan
If you're experiencing low water pressure, everything that uses water in your home suffers. The dishwasher may not clean efficiently, the clothes washer takes forever to fill up and taking a shower is less enjoyable. Fortunately, there are ways to increase your water pressure that include removing mineral deposits from the water lines or installing pressure-regulating equipment.
- What You Need to Know
- Sink faucets contain screens that may slow the pressure at the faucet head. The screens can be easily removed and cleaned.
- Water pressure may drop in your home during peak water usage in your neighborhood, such as morning shower time or on a day when there is lawn watering.
Clean out built-up mineral deposits that accumulate at the filter screen in sink faucets. Unscrew the end cap and remove the steel screen within. Rinse and replace. For shower heads, remove the entire head and soak it in white distilled vinegar overnight to dissolve mineral deposits before replacing. You might need to use an old toothbrush to finish scraping away deposits.
In older homes, you can set up a water pressure regulator on pipes nearest the water source. Some older homes may have large-diameter water pipes that reduce pressure to the faucets farthest away from the water source. Individual water pressure regulators, installed on outdoor pipes and those closest to the water source and dampered to reduce pressure, will increase water pressure to other pipes, such as sinks and showers. This is usually a job for a plumbing professional.
Install crosslinked polyethylene (PEX) plumbing if you're remodeling an older home or if you're building a new home in an area where water pressure is naturally low. PEX plumbing utilizes a water distribution panel on the main water source and flexible polyvinyl tubing that connects each water outlet with the main panel. The narrow diameter of the tubes increases the water pressure to the individual faucets.
Check for water leaks if you experience a drop in pressure and you've cleaned your faucets and shower heads. Turn off all the water faucets in your home and look at your water meter (and make sure the hot water heater isn't being filled). If the meter is moving, there is a leak. Next, turn off the water supply valve on the pipe that enters your home. If the meter still runs, the leak is in the underground pipe that supplies your home. If the meter does not move, the leak is inside your home, perhaps in a wall. Call a plumber.
Purchase a water pressure tank that attaches to your water line after it enters your home. These large tanks hold and pressurize up to 200 gallons of water. When you turn on the faucet, the water within the pressure tank will flow at an increased rate until you deplete the water level in the tank. A water pressure tank is frequently the only solution for those on rural water or for those who use a low-pressure, private water well.
About the Author
Glyn Sheridan is a regular contributor to DexKnows.
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