Why Is My Shower Water Pressure So Low?
If your shower water pressure is too low, you’re probably struggling to get your hair properly cleaned. You may feel like you have to rinse your hair forever and may feel like your hair always has a residue in it. If your shower water pressure is low, you’ll end up taking longer showers that will waste water and waste your time.
Why Your Showerhead May Be The Problem
If your home is new and you’ve had this problem from the start, it’s possible that there is sediment build up clogging your showerhead screen. This happens when the lines aren’t flushed before the showerheads are installed. In most new construction sites, the shower valves are installed before the interior of the house is finished off, and it’s common for wood shavings, bits of soldering, copper shavings, and other such debris to get into the water lines as the plumbing is installed. The lines are usually flushed before the major appliances are installed, but sometimes the showerheads are already in place when the lines are flushed. The showerhead screens then catch a bunch of sediment, resulting in low water pressure.
If your home is older, the problem is usually the build up of sediment over time. Low flow showerheads are particularly prone to clogging since the nozzles are smaller. The holes in the showerhead may simply need a good cleaning, which can be accomplished with a wire brush (with small bristles) or a toothbrush. If the problem goes beyond the holes being clogged, you may wish to take off the showerhead and check for blockage inside the showerhead itself.
Cleaning Your Showerhead
If using a toothbrush on the holes of your showerhead doesn’t improve the water pressure, try a thorough cleaning.
Remove the showerhead from the pipe (using a wrench), and look inside. If you see a plastic disk, you’ll need to use a needle to pry the small plastic disk out of the showerhead. Make note of how the disk fits in the showerhead so you’ll know how to replace it when you’ve finished cleaning it.
Soak the plastic disk and showerhead in vinegar for a couple hours to loosen debris. Then rinse both the disk and the showerhead in warm water and use a needle to scrape and poke debris out of the holes in both the showerhead and the disk. Rinse both the showerhead and the disk again, and then replace the disk inside the showerhead. Reattach the showerhead using pipe thread compound or Teflon tap to ensure you don’t have any leaking from the spot where the showerhead attaches to the pipe.
Replacing a Showerhead
If cleaning the showerhead doesn’t help, you may just need a new showerhead. You can replace it yourself or hire a plumber to replace it for you. Look for a “self-pressurizing” showerhead that can adjust to low or high water pressure conditions while using low-flow; such a showerhead will save you money while providing a good flow of water.
If You Suspect Your Water Pressure Is Low Throughout The Home
If you suspect you have low water pressure throughout your home, you’ll probably want to have a plumber out to check out your system as a whole. The plumber will make sure the piping is unobstructed, is installed at correct pitches and angles, and will troubleshoot your low water pressure issues individually, making sure a long term solution is discovered.
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