If you’re tired of seeing water dribble down your faucet or your washing machine taking forever to fill, we feel you! Low water pressure is one of the less-talked-about struggles of the monotony.
In this article, you’ll find out how to put an end to it—by diagnosing low water pressure cause and employing the right hacks to increase it.
Test Your Home’s Water Pressure
Before anything else, you need to find out what pressure reading you’re getting in your house. For that, you’ll need a pressure gauge, which should come in under $10.
Fit the gauge onto the outdoor garden-hose faucet and turn on the faucet. You should get a value between 40 and 60 PSI. If it reads less than 40 PSI, you have a water pressure lower than normal.
Check The Flow Rate
For the uninitiated, the flow rate is the amount of water flowing per unit time—measured in gallons per minute (GPM) normally. Sometimes, the flow rate is at play behind low water pressure in the plumbing lines.
To measure your flow rate:
• Turn off all water-dependent appliances and faucets.
• Connect a garden hose to an outdoor faucet.
• Line up three 5-gallon buckets.
• Fill up buckets on full blast for 60 seconds.
If you fill up 2 buckets, for instance, your flow rate is 10 GPM. Compare it with the ideal range of 6-12 GPM.
Contact Local Water Department
Your local municipality will deploy a professional method to check incoming pressure from the main water line. This will confirm whether or not you’re getting the right pressure delivered.
If the problem is at the water department’s end, they will fix it at no charge to you. But if the main water pipe registers adequate pressure, your home’s water supply is at fault.
What To Do To Increase Pressure?
1. Check for leaks and Clogs
Damaged pipes are another factor that could be dropping the water pressure. Look for moisture buildup or corrosion in the plumbing.
On the other hand, a clogged showerhead or sink faucet could also be dialing down water flow.
For that, unscrew the faucet’s aerator or showerhead and see if it increases the pressure. If so, cleaning up these parts should resolve the issue.
2. Adjust The Pressure-Reducing Valve
If your pressure gauge reading was low, adjusting the pressure-reducing valve (usually next to the water meter) is another way to troubleshoot.
Look for an adjustment screw protruding on top of the valve. Rotate it clockwise sensitively and see if your pressure increases.
3. Install A Pressure Booster
If every above-mentioned fail, look for plumbing contractors in NYC who could install a water-pressure booster in homes.
Cut into supply lines, these powerful, electric pumps interact with incoming pressure and boost it to an adequate level. Coming in different configurations and styles, they could cost you anywhere between $100 and $700.
To Sum Up
Increasing your home’s water pressure is a two-step process.
First, use a pressure gauge and flow rate method to check actual incoming pressure. If you get unsatisfactory results, contact the municipality and have them confirm pressure levels and check for a damaged main pipe.
But if the problem is with your internal water network, look for leakage/clogging, adjust your pressure-reducing valve, or have a plumbing contractor install a pressure booster.
Tips for working with plumbing contractors: make sure they’re licensed and have enough experience, and look for a referral.