There are very few things that are more frustrating that getting into a shower and discovering that the water pressure is extremely low. Low pressure is not just an annoyance, it may indicate a bigger plumbing issue that needs to be addressed and resolved. In this guide, we will outline the most common culprits of low water pressure in the shower. If you are facing this problem, continue reading so that you may learn as much as possible about the issue.

Shower Head

Blocked Showerhead

One of the easiest problems to deal with when it comes to low water pressure in the shower is a blocked showerhead. As time progresses, mineral deposits from the water will accumulate and contaminate the showerhead and cause a disruption in the flow of water. The good news is, you do not need any tools or to devote any labor to resolving this issue. All you have to do it disconnect the showerhead, rinse it to eliminate any debris in the opening, and then put it in vinegar and allow it to soak in order to dissolve any leftover mineral deposits, reconnect the showerhead, and you will find that the water pressure has been restored upon turning on the water. If the showerhead is very clogged, you may need to add a bit of baking soda to the vinegar solution for added cleaning power.

Low Flow Showerhead

In some instances, low water pressure does not indicate a problem. It could be that you just have a low flow showerhead installed in your shower. These are designed with a built-in regulator that is designed to reduce the amount of water that is flowing out into the shower. These products are capable of decreasing water pressure in the area where they are located. If you feel this is the issue, simply swap out the showerhead and one that is not designed to lessen the water pressure disbursed while showering.

Leaking or Broken Pipes

The next reason why you may have low water pressure in your shower is that you may have pipes that are leaking or that are broken in your plumbing system. This may occur when the pipes have aged, have not been properly maintained, or they have accumulated contaminants – such as mineral deposits – inside of the line that supplies water to the inside of your home. If a pipe is leaking or is broken, the water will drain out prior to reaching the interior fixtures. In order to determine if you have leaking or broken pipes, you should walk around your home and look for signs of such a situation. Examples of signs associated with leaking or broken pipes include damp spots, puddles of water, bulges or drips from the ceiling if you have a bathroom on an upper floor, and the sound of water dripping within the walls. Also, look at any pipes that are present in your bathroom to see if they are leaking or broken. To resolve the issue, you just have to resolve the leak and/or replace the pipe that has broken.

Faulty Mixing Valves

Many showers have an internal component known as a mixing valve. This controls the amount of cold water and the amount of hot water that the showerhead receives. Over time, the valve is capable of wearing out. When this happens, the water pressure is reduced within the showerhead. You can tell this is the issue if the showerhead with low water pressure is the only location where low pressure is being experienced. In order to resolve the issue, you will need a plumber to come out and install a new mixing valve in your plumbing system for that particular shower. If you contact us here at Reynolds Plumbing, we will replace your mixing valve with a highly efficient one that is capable of delivering optimal water at the proper force at the temperatures that you desire.

Faulty Pressure Regulator

If your shower has low water pressure, it could be that your pressure regulator is faulty. The pressure regulator is designed to reduce the water pressure within the home by ensuring that it stays within a pressure range that is safe. Pressure becomes extremely low when this component fails and results in a low flow of water throughout the home. One of the most common culprits of a faulty pressure regulator is sediment building up inside of the component. As time progresses, this sediment buildup causes low water pressure within the home. You must get assistance from a certified and experienced plumber to have the pressure regulator fixed, if this is the issue occurring.

Water Heater Problems

If sediment or dirt accumulates in the system, the exit pipe of the water heater may become blocked. This is capable of having a significant impact on the flow of water within the home. Hot and cold water should flow at the same pressure in the home. If you notice that hot water is not flowing as well as the cold water, you may have an issue with the water heater. You will need to completely drain the tank on the water heater until the water runs clear from the unit. If you are unfamiliar with the process of doing this, consult a plumber here at Reynolds Plumbing for assistance. Our knowledgeable team offers rapid water heater repairs and replacements at the best prices.

What Causes Low Water Pressure in Showers?

As you can see from the information within this guide, there are many reasons why low water pressure may occur in a shower. The most common issue, though, is a clogged showerhead. Other common culprits include old, corroded, or even clogged pipes in the plumbing system and/or valve problems.

How Do I Test Water Presssure in a Shower?

Before making an attempt to fix your shower, you should test the water pressure first. Knowing the water pressure of your home can help you find the flow rate or the GPM of the water coming out of your showerhead. Follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Place a 5-gallon bucket under the water flow.
  2. Measure how much time it takes to fill the bucket.
  3. Use a clock on your phone and start it when the water first goes in and stop it when it starts to overflow.
  4. Divide 5 by the amount of time it took to fill up the bucket.
  5. Once you get your number, that is your GPM. 1.5 is the standard flow for low-flow showerheads and 2.5 id the legal maximum flow for showerheads within the United States, as established in the year of 1992.

It is important to remember that minutes should always be expressed as decimals. That means that 3 minutes and 30 seconds should be written as 3.5 and not as 3.30.

The Simple Steps for Increasing the Water Pressure in Your Shower

The following outlines the easiest method for increasing water pressure within your shower:

  1. First, you will need to remove and clean the showerhead by submerging the unit in a bowl that has undiluted white vinegar that is distilled for 8 hours. To maximize cleaning, you may add baking soda to the solution. You may clean the tiny openings on the showerhead with a toothpick. If the showerhead does not clean well, purchase a new one.
  2. Once you put the showerhead back on, test the water pressure by turning on the water. If you still have low pressure, check the shower arm to see if there are any obstructions. If there are, clean it or replace it completely.
  3. It could be that you have a low-flow showerhead. If the water pressure is still low, go buy a new showerhead that does not restrict the flow of water. Look for a 2.5 GPM head for your shower for maximum water pressure.
  4. If all else fails, it is time to replace the shower hose that is connected to your showerhead.
  5. Many homes have an in-linr shutoff valve on the lines supplying water to the showerhead, make sure that these valves are opened and turned on.
  6. The next step you may have to take is replacing the volume control mechanism associated with the water flow. For this, you will need a professional plumber.
  7. Check the main shutoff in the home. This may have rust or corrosion and may be off. Turn it on, unless it is corroded or rusted. In this case, call a plumber immediately.
  8. Check the pressure at the curbside main shutoff if you do not operate on a well.
  9. If none of the previously -mentioned steps work, install a water pressure booster tank on your system to provide a boost to your water pressure.

Contact Us Today

If you need assistance with a shower that has low water pressure, contact us here at Reynolds Plumbing today to set up an appointment. We guarantee your satisfaction and that we offer the best local prices for every budget: 765-966-0994

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