TIPS TO AVOID WATER PRESSURE LOSS IN THE SHOWER
One of the worst “uh-oh” moments is when you are in the shower and the water pressure drops to a trickle. Your hair is sudsed, and you find yourself tapping your toes, waiting for the burst again. Perhaps, once you are dressed, a little detective work will serve you well. If you can’t do it now, then put it on the list for an evening when you have a little time. Otherwise, you may be in line for another frustrating shower.
When you are ready to check it out, here are some things to do:
- CHECK THE FLOW THROUGHOUT THE HOUSE. The first thing you need to ascertain is whether the flow is dropping everywhere in the home. If it is surging at every tap, then you may want to investigate the incoming flow to the home. If you are on a water supply, there may be an obstruction in the piping to the home. If you are on a well, surging of the pump often means that the pressure switch needs to be adjusted, the tank needs to be bled, or the bladder in the tank is failing. If the rest of the home seems ok, but your shower is still not providing enough flow, then move on.
- AT THE SHOWER, TURN ON THE WATER TO THE SHOWER HEAD AND VARY THE HOT AND COLD FAUCETS TO SEE IF FLOW IS AFFECTED. If you find that turning one or the other of the faucets off gives an increase in flow, then investigate the faucet itself and the flow to it. Sediment may have obstructed part of the flow, or there may be a leak when the faucet is on, diverting the flow elsewhere.
- CLEAN THE SHOWER HEAD. If the faucets haven’t affected the flow, then you may assume you are dealing with a plugged-up shower head. Remove it carefully, and take out the little screen and regulator which stops sediment from going into the head. The newer ones also have a heavier duty screen piece with more area for obstruction. This is intentional and is how the water flow is regulated to meet requirements for gallons per minute of flow. California currently has the strictest flow restrictions, but if you are on a municipal water supply, you may also be required to have this. To clean the head, simply submerge it in warm vinegar for a few hours or overnight, then rinse well while brushing with a soft toothbrush. Put some fresh plumber’s tape on it and reinstall. If this was the problem, you will see an immediate increase in flow. While you have the shower head off, verify that the water flow is great enough without the head on it. If not, you may want to find a way to inspect the piping behind the wall. This would be a good time to call ASAP Plumbing. We understand that you have followed this guide to a logical conclusion, and may need professional intervention at this point.
- IF YOU ARE ON A WELL AND SEPTIC, CONSIDER REMOVING THE REGULATOR. When your water comes from your own local water table and goes back there quickly via the septic system, you are not treating the area water supply like it is when the water comes from a reservoir. You may choose to leave the regulator out, but remember to change the filter on your whole home piping so that you won’t end up with a plugged shower head.
- REPLACE IF NOT SALVAGEABLE. Today’s showerheads have varying levels and styles of water dispersal, from waterfall to mister. If you find that you can’t get a good flow, then you may need a new shower head.
If you aren’t comfortable following these steps, be sure to call ASAP Plumbing. We can get your issues resolved quickly, and you will be enjoying your showers again in no time. Our certified plumbing technicians have the training and skill necessary to perform a wide variety of water heater services including repair, installation, and full water heater replacement. You can count on us for quality work, competitive rates, and fast, friendly service. Call us ASAP Plumbing today at 228-865-2727.
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