Do It Yourself: Fixing Water Pressure In Showers

Low water pressure or none at all, not having enough water in the shower can be annoying! Find out how to fix the problem.

One of probably the most annoying things in life is to step into the shower and only get a trickle of water. It's hard to get completely rinsed and clean if you don't have a sufficient amount of water spraying down on you.

Fortunately, you can usually fix water pressure problems in your house yourself... as long as the pump in your well is working fine, or the pressure from the main line on your street is working properly. If the water being pumped into your house is sufficient, then the problem probably is inside your house itself.

Obviously, the first thing to do is to check the showerhead. If the water is flowing sufficiently through the pipes, then it's possible that maybe the pressure is reduced when it comes to the showerhead. Therefore, unscrew the showerhead from the supply pipe. You can normally do this with your fingers. However, if the threads of the head are rusted, or otherwise corroded onto the pipe, then you will need to use an old rag and a pipe wrench for the task. Wrap the old rag around the largest part of the showerhead. The rag will protect the head from scratches and gouges. Then, adjust the pipe wrench and place it over the rag. Hold the supply pipe tightly as you slowly turn the wrench to loosen the head.

Now that the showerhead is removed, turn the cold water on full force and check the water pressure. Then, turn the hot water on and do the same. If the plumbing pipes in your house are the older, galvanized variety, the metal can flake off on and build up on the inside of the pipes. These flakes can cause a reduction - or even a complete blockage - of your water. Removing the showerhead and running the hot and cold water can successfully flush these flakes from the pipes.

Inspect the showerhead and look for hard water deposits, rust, et cetera. These can easily plug up your showerhead and prevent it from working properly. If you find deposits, you can either replace the head, or you can clean it with vinegar and water. If the showerhead is completely made of metal, simply mix together a cup of vinegar and a quart of tap water. Place this mixture into an old, small metal pan and place it on the stove until it comes to a boil. Then, carefully drop the showerhead into the pan; make sure it is completely covered by the water. Let the water boil for fifteen to twenty minutes. Afterwards, carefully remove the showerhead from the boiling water. Let it cool; wipe it dry with an old rag; then screw it back on the water supply pipe.

If your showerhead is made of plastic, do not place it in boiling water! Instead, mix together three cups of vinegar and three cups of hot tap water in a suitable container. Carefully drop the plastic showerhead into the mixture, and let it soak for an hour or so. Afterwards, remove the showerhead from the water. Wipe it dry with an old rag and screw it back on the water supply pipe.

If your water is pumped in from a well, you should also check the pressure tank to make sure it is working properly. Your pressure tank is set so it turns on and off when the water pressure reaches a certain low, as well as a certain high. That is, it turns on when the water pressure reaches around thirty pounds of pressure. It then shuts off when the water pressure has reached around maybe fifty pounds of pressure. You can remove the cover from the controller and tighten down the nut and turn the water pressure up. Watch the pressure gauge to see how much it is changing. The highest you can safely set it is 40-60, so it turns on at forty pounds of pressure, and turns off when it reaches sixty pounds of pressure.

While you are at the pressure tank, you should also make sure there is a sufficient amount of air in it. If the tank gets too much water in it, and not enough air, then it cannot operate properly. To fix this problem, shut the pressure tank off. Open up the valve and drain the water out of the tank. Close the valve, then allow the tank to refill with water. This procedure should put enough air in the tank for it to work properly.

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