When you stand under a shower and feeling the water pressure low, are there some ways to fix the low water pressure in your shower?
Rusty water pipes can be the main culprits. But there can be several other reasons that are easier to fix than breaking all the pipes in the house.
First, determine if your shower flow is low by performing a simple test to measure flow in GPM (gallons per minute).
Tip: Increasing the shower head flow rate can improve the showering experience, leading to a shorter shower.
However, the higher the flow, the faster the hot water will flow, particularly if you have a traditional tank-style water heater.
What You Will Need
- 5-gallon bucket
- White vinegar
- New shower head
1. Test The Shower Head’s Flow
Open the shower to the total capacity. Allow it to run for one minute. Put a 5-gallon bucket under running water and count it’s time to make the bucket full.
Start the timer as soon as the water reaches the bottom and stop it as soon as it flows the bucket.
Calculating GPM with 5, divide it by the time it takes to fill a bucket. For instance: if the time is given by 2.5 minutes: divide 5by 2.5 to get 2. The flow rate is 2 GPM.
For reference, here is a standard yardstick for GPM flow:
- 1.5 GPM – Normal flow rate from the low flow shower head
- 2 GPM – The US federal WaterSense standard in effect
- 2.5 GPM -Maximum legal flow in the United States for all shower heads, established in 1992
2. Replace The Water Restricting Shower Head
Shower flow is restricted if you have a slow flow shower head or a shower filter or water limiter is installed in a standard shower head.
Depending on the current flow rate, you can increase the flow by restricting the device, removing the filter, or replacing the shower head with the higher-flow model, for example, increasing the standard head to 2.5 GPM.
Before changing the shower head, make sure the new model is lawful in the area. In California, for example, the shower head flow has been decreasing for decades because of persistent drought problems in the state. Shower heads first decreased from 2.5 GPM to 2.0 GPM and 1.5 GPM.
3. Check For Leaks
Leaking pipes reduce the level of water entering the shower, and also it can cause significant damage to the home. If there are leaks, it is crucial to find and repair them quickly.
Check all pipes in the house and call the plumber to fix the leaks. Make the temporary repairs with epoxy putty.
4. Remove Scale Buildup
With time, scale and minerals clog the shower head. It is not “if” but “when” because all tap water has minerals. Remove the scale from the shower by unscrewing it and placing it in a white vinegar bowl for eight hours.
Clean the individual spray holes for all particles with a toothpick. Install the shower head and fill the water to check its flow.If the debris is not easy to remove, it is time to buy a new shower.
5. Check A Curbside Main Shutoff
In particular cases, you may have lived with the low water pressure throughout your home since the curbside main is not turned on fully. There is a shutoff valve and a water meter where the water main joins the curbside property. Check whether the valve is fully open.
If the valve has a round handle, it must be turned fully counterclockwise. If it has the lever handle type, it is supposed to be parallel to a waterline.
When dealing with curbside meters, you are not supposed to tamper with them. Just call the water company if you want to take care of the meter by yourself. They will send a representative to verify this for you.
6. Check The Main Shutoff Which Is In The House
Just as it can be a problem on the curbside, you could be closer to a house. At this point, check the main water value after it arrives at the house.
Rotate the house shutoff counterclockwise or parallel carefully to the waterline. The valve can be rusty or corroded, so do not force it.
Notice: Call a plumber if any pipe or valve part near the valve appears corroded enough to break, or the valve resists rotation.
There is a risk of snapping the pipe or breaking a valve and flooding the home until someone else or you close the main curbside.
7. Replace The Single-handle Volume Control
Another element that affects the water pressure in the shower is the single-hand shower faucet volume.
This is a costly and delicate part that can affect water flow over time. Because it is challenging to fix, and replacing it is often the best option.
8. Open Up The Inline Shutoff Valves
Some homes have the inline shutoff valve in the water pipes that feed the shower head and the sink supply lines. Typically, these valves are positioned on each branch pipeline and act as an emergency stop.
If you have these shutoff valves, they are likely located near the filling point. In a shower with the supply lines in a basement, these shutoffs are located on the lines leading to the shower.
With main water shutoff valves, small fixtures valves cannot be fully opened. Turn these valves entirely counterclockwise to obtain maximum pressure.
9. Turn Off Other Devices
Likewise, the water supply will increase if you try to shower while using the dishwasher and washing machine.
This may not matter in places with the best water pressure, but if the water pressure is no longer ideal, a shower with multiple devices will aggravate the problem and reduce shower flow to drip.
Another quick fix is to reduce water supply needs. Take a shower first and then use the dishwasher; you may find that this is all you want to make a change.