A hot shower is one of life’s simple pleasures. It’s not just a way to get yourself squeaky clean, after all. It’s a way to wash away the day’s stress and frustration, and a time to relax and clear your head. Well, until someone flushes the toilet and that lovely jet of water slows to a trickle. There goes your serenity. How can you keep from losing water pressure in the shower? Here are a few culprits, and some surprisingly easy fixes, courtesy of Ace Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning.
What Causes Pressure Loss?
There can be a number of culprits, but here are the ones we see most often.
If you’ve looked up at your shower head and noticed it looks a bit crusty, it’s likely you have hard water. That just means you have a high concentration of minerals like calcium and magnesium in your water. It won’t harm you. Your pipes and shower head? Different story. Hard water is to your pipes what cholesterol is to your arteries; it builds up over time, restricting flow.
Flexible water pipe can develop kinks over time just like a garden hose would. That restricts flow.
Water Main Problems
Sometimes the problem originates further back in the chain. Mains that are the improper size will cause a lower flow. If you’re noticing that both your hot and cold water pressure are low, you may need a water main repair or the pressure to which your home’s shutoff valve is set may be the cause of your problem.
Pressure Reducing Valve
A Pressure Reducing Valve, or PRV, is often installed on the main to keep from wasting water. Over time they can wear out. That, in turn, can lead to your water pressure being either much higher or much lower than you’re used to.
What Can You Do?
There are a few steps you can take to address these issues.
- Clean Your Shower Head: immersing your shower head in a solution of vinegar and water for a few hours and then brushing the surface clean can often do wonders. If it’s a detachable head, it can also help to replace the hose (which collects the same mineral deposits, plus bacteria and other things you’d probably rather not hear about).
- Check For Leaks: If you have a leak somewhere in your pipes, that can often account for lower pressure.
- Call The Pros: Some of the other issues listed above require the help of a professional plumber like the Sacramento plumbing professionals at Ave Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning. We can check your PRV, ensure that your mains are the proper size (and that they’re clean), or even install a water pressure booster that can be a big help if you have low pressure or periods of high demand.
By the way, if you’re plagued by scalding water every time someone runs the sink or flushes the toilet while you’re showering, we can help with that. We’ll replace your diverter valve with a thermostatic mixing valve so you can shower in peace.
For solutions to these and other vexing home plumbing problems, call Ace Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning today!