Whether it has slowly built up over time or suddenly happens, low water pressure is a sign that something is not quite right with the plumbing in your home. Some pressure issues can be easily resolved without the need of a plumber, while a sudden drop in water pressure might require immediate assistance.
Ruling Out Plumbing Emergencies First
If you don’t see water gushing from a broken pipe, start by ruling out these common causes for low water pressure before calling your plumber:
- Is your water turned off? The first thing to check is the main shut-off valve for your water. This valve is usually located outside, where the water enters the home. Sometimes, there is an additional shut-off valve on the pipes leading to your main water filtration system. The water meter may also be the cause, but usually requires a special water meter key to turn the valve. It may be possible that someone turned it off or turned it to a very low position. Turning the valve to its full open position should resolve the low water pressure problem.
- Water pressure diminishes quickly when water is turned on. Check to see if you can possibly bypass your water filtration system. As water conditioners age (after 5 years), the resin media inside the tank begins to deteriorate and restrict the flow of water.
- See if water has been left running. A common reason for low pressure is that the water has been left on somewhere else in your home. It’s easy to get distracted and forget that a lawn sprinkler has been left on or that you have been filling up a pool for your kids. Check to see if someone has left a faucet on outdoors and if so, turn it off to restore water pressure.
- You have low pressure only in certain areas. You might only have low water pressure with a kitchen faucet, bathroom faucet or a shower head. This could be caused by a buildup of limescale that is causing a clog in the aerator. You can resolve the problem by taking off the nozzle to access its aerator or removing the shower head. Soak the clogged part in water and vinegar.
- Water main break in your neighborhood. Check with your neighbors and see if they are experiencing a sudden loss in pressure, too. If you see workers from the water company working nearby, it could be a water main break that they’re repairing.
When to Call a Plumber
If you cannot rule out the cause of your low water pressure or find a water leak, you will need a plumber. Depending on the severity of a water leak, you might need emergency service.
- Possible clogged water lines. If you can’t find an obvious reason for a decrease in pressure, it could be that mineral deposits have built up and are clogging different areas of your water lines. This is very common in older homes that have galvanized piping or in copper systems where the copper is connected to a dissimilar metal. It’s recommended to have a plumber clean or replace lines (often called “repiping”) to prevent damage.
- Break in main water line. If you see standing water, mud or signs of ground saturation near the location of your main water line outdoors, you might have a leak. Contact your water authority to have them check for a leak.
- Broken water line in your home. Look around your home for signs of mold or water damage in areas where your water lines run through. Rule out any running water by making sure all faucets are turned off and then checking to see if your water meter is spinning. If the meter is moving, there is water still running somewhere. Prevent additional damage by shutting off your main valve and call your plumber.
If you experience a plumbing emergency, your first step is to shut off your water from your Jacksonville home’s main valve. The next step is to call (904) 724-2455 and schedule service with a plumbing expert from Bill Fenwick Plumbing.