Common Causes of Low Water Pressure in Your Home

Low water pressure perth - common cause

Is your shower starting to feel more like a light body mist and less like a warm bear hug? Find out what are the main causes of low water pressure and the steps you can take to fix it.

There is nothing more frustrating than having to spin around like a merry-go-round in the shower just so the water can cover all surfaces of your body. Dealing with low water pressure can be a real problem for many homeowners, figuring out what’s wrong with your plumbing system and why is your water pressure low can be equally time consuming as it is confusing. 

So, what actually causes low water pressure? Find out the main reasons why you may have low water pressure and what are the steps you can take to resolve it.

Mineral build-up

Over time, the water pipes within your plumbing system is subjected to the build-up of minerals and debris.

The water that travels through your water pipes contain minerals, sand, dirt and other pollutants that are deposited on the surface of the pipes which can reduce the overall diameter of the pipe, resulting in lowered water pressure. 

Corrosion

Despite some homes still having steel and galvanised iron water pipes that are up to and over 20 years, sooner or later you will eventually notice a reduction in water pressure due to a build-up of corrosion. The integrity of the pipe will begin to weaken as the corrosion settles in, resulting in leaking pipes and reduced diameter of the pipe.

Unfortunately, this is not a simple fix and will require a licensed plumber to remove the damaged pipes and refit new ones.

Incorrect pipe sizes

The use of incorrect pipes in renovations or plumbing repairs, whether DIY or professional, can lead to a drop in water pressure. The increase in tapware, faucets or shower hardware without an increase in capacity from your water mains can also result in a lower water pressure. This is common to homeowners who may have a strict budget to follow and end up hiring an amateur or DIY.

All plumbing work must be completed by a professional in Western Australia, as it is illegal to do your own plumbing.

Water mains

Fortunately, the root of low water pressure may not always stem from your home, but with your local councils water supply. Just like your homes plumbing system, municipal water supplies are susceptible to dirt, debris, corrosion, mineral build-up and leaking pipes.

The best way to find out if the issue is with your plumbing system or your local water supply is by checking all the taps and showers within your home first. If you are experiencing low water pressure from every outlet then we recommend contacting your local water authority. If it’s one tap or shower than it may be caused from a  blocked or leaking pipe due to corrosion or mineral build-up. 

Leaking pipes

Leaking pipes is one of the main reasons for low water pressure and can be caused by corrosion, mineral build-up, damaged seals. Unfortunately, sometimes it can be quite difficult to locate a leaking pipe unless you have an overt leaking toilet or tap.

Check all water outlets within your home including all taps, showers and toilets for a leak. Listen out for any sounds of running or dripping water, warm spots in the wall, damp patches on the wall, or mould. 

Always contact a licensed plumber who’s fully qualified to detect and fix a leaking pipe before attempting any DIY plumbing work as you could incur some hefty fines.

How to check your water pressure

As a West Aussie you should be receiving approximately 20 litres of water per minute, according to Water Corp WA. If you have noticed a drop in pressure or believe that you are not receiving 20 litres per minute, here are a few things you can do.

Step 1

Check for any current outages to see if there are any known water issues or works being conducted in your area.

Step 2

Locate your water meter and write down or take a picture of the black and red numbers on the meter. Ensure that all taps and water using appliances have been turned off first.

Step 3

Turn on your front garden tap for 1 minute.

Step 4

Take another meter reading and minus the first meter reading from the last. This will tell you how much water you received within the 1 minute period.

Step 5

If you had received less than 20 litres per minute you’ll need to contact Water Corp.

Contact a professional

Being thorough with inspection of your pipes around the home and having a trusted plumber you can call, means you won’t have to endure low water pressure showers any longer. If you are having trouble locating the problem or unsure what to do contact the professionals at Gillies Group today.