Low or declining shower pressure may be a frustrating situation. Fortunately, most of the causes of low shower pressure can be fixed quickly, easily and without a lot of personal expertise.
To determine the culprit behind this issue, there are a number of places to look. The best place to start is in the shower itself.
Here are some DIY shower pressure fixes you can complete without the assistance of a plumber:
Remove shower head sediment
Older homes may experience water pressure problems due to years of sediment build-up in the shower head.
You may be able to clean out an older shower head with a simple life hack: An eight-hour soak in vinegar. Inspect the shower head afterward to see if that fix solved the problem and clear any remaining debris manually. If you’re still experiencing low shower pressure, it’s probably time to buy a new shower head.
Adjust necessary valves
If you just moved into a new home, you might find the pressure isn’t to your liking because the builder or previous owner installed a low-flow shower head. Try removing the flow regulator to improve the water stream.
If the problem persists, the low shower pressure may be the result of a water-restrictive shower valve instead of the shower head itself. Adjusting the central shut-off valve may increase the pressure.
Check with your water provider
For homes that get their water from municipal sources, there may be a problem with the amount of water flowing into the property as a whole.
You can increase the flow of water into your home either from the curb-side main or via the one coming into the house. This should be done carefully, however, and may require a call to your water provider.
Look for leak
In some cases, valves themselves could be the source of the problem. If decades-old pipes start to leak, you’ll encounter reduced water pressure in not only the shower, but also throughout the whole home. However, those issues may only present themselves in the shower. If you have low water pressure in your home overall, you may have bigger issues to deal with, like an issue with your water service line.
If you discover any leaks in your home plumbing system, you can attempt to patch them up – if the pipes are relatively new – with little fuss. All you’ll need to do is shut off the water to that pipe, make sure it’s dry and apply either a tape- or epoxy-based sealant, available at most hardware stores, to the affected area of the pipe. Some patches may not be advisable for lines that supply drinking or shower water, so check the packaging to make sure you get the right one.
When You Might Need to Call a Professional
As we have discussed, many low shower-pressure issues can be fixed on your own with a quick trip to the local hardware store to buy a replacement shower head or valve, and a few DIY how-to videos.
Once you have completed these repairs by yourself, it’s a good idea to plan for the future. Should you have any future problems, having a home warranty for your interior plumbing and draining system is a good idea.
See how plans from Service Lines Warranties of American can help with the costs of home repairs.