Everyone has experienced the annoyance of low water pressure. You go to run a nice warm bath and little more than a trickle comes out. How frustrating! But no matter what you try, you can’t seem to get your pressure back. What do you do? Well, the best thing you can do is wait. Sometimes, these fluctuations occur for reasons beyond your control. If that is the case, it may well return to normal in an hour or two. But what if it doesn’t?
If your water pressure has dropped to an all-time low and it’s not showing any signs of improving, it’s time to take things into your own hands. The best place to start is by running a few basic tests. And don’t worry – we aren’t talking about anything too technical! More often than not, you can establish roughly what the problem is by turning the taps around your home on and off. Of course, that doesn’t always mean you’ll be able to fix it! Sometimes, you will need the help of a licenced plumber, so don’t be afraid to make that call!
Sometimes it’s simple: another tap is on in your house!
Before you get too frustrated at your woefully low water pressure, try and rule out the simple things first. You would probably be surprised at how many people jump the gun when it comes to water pressure! One of the first places to look is your other taps. If another tap is on around your house, it could affect the water pressure of your other taps. By doing the rounds and making sure all the taps are turned off nice and tightly, you can save the possible embarrassment of realising when the plumber arrives!
If you can’t find any taps turned on around your home, have a look outside. Remember your plumbing is often connected to a singular source, so even outdoor taps can have an effect. If your search still turns up nothing, then the problem is probably something else. Don’t despair though! We have a few more tricks up our sleeves!
Other times the cause can be something more complicated, such as deteriorating pipes
Now that you have ruled out the simplest reason, it’s time to get a bit creative. Take a clear glass and fill it with water from your tap. Now take a close look at the water. Are there any particles floating in the water? What about any discolouration? If you see a slightly rusty tinge to the water or a few particles of what appears to be dirt, you are probably going to need a plumber. They are the classic signs of rusty or deteriorated pipes. Often, if pipes rust or deteriorate to such an extent, they will begin to leak.
This is bad for two reasons. Firstly, any hole or compromised seal in your plumbing can allow dirt and bacteria into your water system. And secondly, as water leaks out of the damaged pipes, you will lose pressure. That could be why your taps can do little more than dribble out water. So, what is the fix? The fix, in this case, is an overhaul of your damaged plumbing. Luckily, this is no challenge for a licenced plumber, so it might be time to make the call!
Water main maintenance can be the culprit
What if your impromptu water test returns nothing but a clear glass of water? Well, that means your search for the cause of your low water pressure must continue. And the next stop is the water company. If your water pressure problems are persistent and you still haven’t found the cause, it may well be outside of your home. In fact, it could be off your property altogether. If the water company is doing maintenance on the water mains, it is possible that your water pressure will be affected.
So what can you do? First, give them a call to find out. If that is the case, there is not much you can do. You will just have to ride it out. But that’s not such a bad thing. The pressure is off you in every sense of the word! So sit back, and let the water company do their thing. Your pressure will be back in no time and you can rest assured that your mains will be in great condition too!
Is your hot water lower in pressure than your cold? It might be the water heater
Have you noticed that your hot water tap is the only one taking the hit? Is it leaking out at a snail’s pace, or failing to come out entirely? If this is the case, then the culprit is an easy one to identify: the hot water system! If your hot water system has failed, then your hot water pressure will disappear. All you need to do is get onto a licenced and experienced plumber. Your plumber will know what to do from the get-go and your water pressure problem will be short-lived! It might not be ideal, but it beats spending the rest of the day trying to diagnose the problem!
There may be an issue in the water pipes outside your home, so give it an hour or two!
So you gave the water company a call and there are no scheduled works in your area. What now? Well, by this stage we have pretty much ruled out an issue inside your home. This leaves you with two options. One is to leave it be for a little while longer. If the problem is outside of your home and you have alerted the relevant authorities, then there’s not much more you can do. But there is one other step you can take, just to be sure. This step is to get a plumber around. Even though your tests have returned inconclusive results, there is still a chance that the problem is in your plumbing. So getting a plumber around will put that to rest once and for all. At least then you will know that the issue is not with you!
If you have low water pressure in your home, contact Yarrow Plumbing today on (07) 3277 5742.