You may discover that your water pressure is too low if you have trouble washing your dishes while watering your lawn. A low water pressure won’t be able to adequately service fixtures. Water pressure too high can cause damage to equipment. Water pressure problems can affect your whole neighborhood or your home. The first step in diagnosing the problem is to determine which one it is.

If your neighbors all have low water pressure, you may not have much to do but complain to your water provider. It might be a good idea to collect petitions from neighbors and send it to the utility.

If your house is the only one that has low pressure, or if you have lower pressure in certain areas of your house, your pipes and valves may be causing a restriction to the flow.

Low water pressure is most commonly caused by older steel pipes. These pipes have been clogged with lime deposits, which can impede the flow of water. This problem can be solved by having a plumber repipe your home.

Before you take this path, make sure to do these things.

Low Water Pressure at a Single Fixture

If you think the problem is at one faucet or shower-head, look for a flow restriction or a clogged supply valve.

Check the aerator on a faucet first. Clean it out and then replace it. Next, make sure to check the supply valves beneath a sink faucet. Turn them counterclockwise to make them fully open. If you find the valves open, shut them off. Next, take out the supply tubes and verify that the rubber washer in the connection is still intact. Replace the tube, and then turn on the water again.

The restrictor inside a shower head can reduce pressure. Look inside the shower head for a restrictor, such as a rubber or brass disc, or a washer that has become loose.

Low water pressure throughout your house

Find your water meter by going out on the street.

A water shutoff valve should be located near the meter. In fact, one may be on either side of the meter. Make sure that the valves are fully open. Turn them counterclockwise until they reach their maximum. You can open a supply valve if it is partially closed. A main supply valve is located in most houses where cold-water pipes enter the house. To ensure it is fully open, turn the handle counterclockwise.

A water pressure regulator is likely to be located near your main supply valve. It may need to be adjusted. In most cases this is best left to a plumber. If the problem persists, contact a plumber to inspect for obstructions and install a pressure booster pump or re-pipe your house with copper pipes.