Low Water Pressure in the House? How to Increase It

The recommended water pressure in the house is between 40 and 60 psi. If the water pressure is below 30 psi, there is a problem with your water supply that you need to fix.


So, what causes low water pressure in the house? The following are the causes:

  • Clogged pipes: Blocked water pipes will limit the amount of water flowing to the faucets?
  • Faulty pressure regulator: A malfunctioned pressure regulating valve may interfere with the water pressure.
  • Leaks: If one of your pipes is leaking, the overall water pressure in the house will be reduced.
  • Corroded pipes: If you have old galvanized water pipes, corrosions can block the pipes and restrict the flow of water.
  • Water supply issues: The whole neighborhood could be having low water pressure due to issues with the source.
  • Water meter problems: A bad water meter can limit the water flowing through it and into the house.
  • Clogged aerators: Clogged faucet aerators and shower heads will reduce the amount of water flowing through them.
  • Clogged water softener: A clogged water softener will also limit the flow if water to the house.

And how can you increase water pressure in the house?

  • Check and adjust the pressure regulator
  • Unclog clogged water pipes.
  • Fix leaking pipes
  • Replace corroded galvanized steel pipes
  • Consider installing a water pressure booster
  • Install a water softener to prevent sediment buildup in pipes

Is It Just 1 Faucet or Whole House?


Whenever you suspect that have you have low water pressure in the house, you should first determine whether the problem is affecting your entire house or it is just one fixture.

Here is how to go about it:

Low water pressure in the kitchen faucet – Whenever you have low water pressure in your kitchen faucet, then the aerator or cartridge are clogged with debris, mineral deposits or pipe corrosions. It could also be that the shut off valve (found under sink) is partially open or the water supply line is kinked. More on that here.

Low water pressure from the shower head: Low water pressure from the shower head is usually as a result of a clogged shower head or presence of a flow restrictor inside the shower head. If the problem is only affecting the hot water, either the water heater shut off valve is partially open or the pipe supplying water to the shower is corroded or even leaking.

Low water pressure in the toilet – Unlike other fixtures in your house, toilets do not use water directly from the pipes. Every time you flush the toilet, water flows from the pipes through the supply line and is stored inside the tank ready for the next use.

In order for your toilet to function optimally, the water level in the toilet tank has to be correct. This is about half an inch below the overflow tube.

If you are experiencing low water pressure in your toilet, either the toilet is leaking, or the fill valve/float is not properly adjusted. It could also be as a result of clogged toilet rim holes or/and siphon jet.

Drop some food color inside the toilet tank and wait 30 minutes. If the color appears inside the bowl then you a leaking toilet flapper.

Sudden Reduction in Water Pressure in the House

Are you experiencing a sudden low water pressure in your house, or has it been a gradual decrease? And what causes either?

A sudden decrease in water pressure in the house especially if you are on a well or/and using water softener is caused by debris clogging up your faucets’ aerators and/or cartridges. It could also be that the pump has shut off or there is a leak in the pipes.

Diagnosing the cause of low water in the house can be very tricky. Sometimes the problem is not only affecting your house but the entire neighborhood.

Does Water Pressure Drop then Comes Back?

This problems affects folks who are using water from a well. But why would the pressure of water fall suddenly and then come back to normal on its own?

If the water pressure in your house drops then comes back, it is a sign that the level of water in the well is not constant or the pump’s motor is overheating prompting it to shutdown to cool.

Water inside the wells flows through cracks and pools around the well. This becomes easy for the pump to just pump it up and channel it to your house. With time, mineral deposits starts filling up these cracks restricting the water flow to the well.

When this happens the pump pumps “dry” causing a drop in the water pressure. After the level of water in the well has gone back to normal, the pump picks up again and starts pumping as usual.

If the pump is overheating, it is designed to shut off to give it time to cool. When these happens, no water will be pumped to your house. After it has sufficiently cooled it will automatically start and start pumping again.

Air in the pipes can also cause the pressure of water to drop. The air creates a barrier inside the pipe slowing down the flow of water. When you open a faucet, the water pressure will be low for some time. After the air has escaped also through the faucet, you will notice that the water pressure will increase tremendously.

How to Increase the Water Pressure in Your House


After you have determined that the low water pressure is affecting the whole house and not just one fixture, you will need to fix it as soon as possible. It would be bad if there is a leak in the house that is left unfixed for a while.

As we have seen, there are so many things that can cause the pressure in the house to drop. Start by eliminating the easier tasks before you finally decide to call in a plumber.

1. Check the Shut Off Valves


Your house will most likely have 2 valves that control the flow of water in your house. This is the main house water shut off valve and the meter shut off valve.

The meter shut off valve is usually located next to your house’s water meter. Your water meter will most likely be installed close to your property’s entrance.

The main house shut off valve is mostly installed inside the house’s basement nearer to the water heater or outside on a wall. Take you time to locate this valve in your home.

There are 2 types of shut off valves. You will either have a gate valve or a ball valve. A gate valve is usually round in shape and looks like a wheel/gear while a ball valve is controlled using a lever.

To open a gate valve turn it all the counterclockwise. To completely open a ball valve make sure that the level is aligned to the pipe. If the lever forms a 90 degrees with the pipe it means the valve is shut.

If one of these valves was partially open, go back to the kitchen or bathroom and check if the water pressure in the house is back to normal.

2. Adjust the Pressure Reducing Valve


A pressure reducing valve, also known as a pressure regulator is a device that is installed near the house water meter to regulate the pressure of water flowing inside the house. Some houses have it while some don’t. Check if your house is fitted with one.

A malfunctioning water pressure regulator can cause water pressure in the house to swing both ways. Either too high or too low. So, how do you know if the pressure regulator is the culprit?

If you find that there is no difference in a faucet’s water pressure while opening it (it is not increasing gradually), your water pressure regulator has seen better days and will need to be replaced.

While readjusting your water pressure regulator is possible, the long term and better solution is to replace it. You should however not do it on your own. Call in a licensed plumber.

Before adjust water pressure at the pressure reducing valve, it is important that your first check the pressure of water already flowing in your house.

To do that, connect a water pressure gauge to your outside faucet spigot and turn it on. to get the correct figure, make sure that no water is being used in the house, like running a washing machine or taking a shower.

The normal water pressure in a house should be between 40 and 70 pounds per square inch (psi). Having water pressure at a pressure of more than 80 psi will lead to premature failure of appliances.

To adjust the water pressure at the pressure reducing valve, use a wrench to loosen the nut on it, then use a flathead screwdriver to turn the screw clockwise gradually. as you turn the screw, keep referring to the pressure gauge to check the new pressure reading.

Once you get your desired water pressure, tighten the locknut. By tightening the locknut you will have secured your desires water pressure.

3. Check Your Water Softener

Most people hardly think about it but your water softener could be the reason you are experiencing low water pressure in your house. Either:

  1. Your water softener is too small – If there are currently more people in the house or the demand for water is higher that it usually is, your water softener will be overwhelmed, limiting the water flowing to your house and hence a low water pressure. In this case you will need to upgrade to a bigger unit.
  2. The filter is clogged. The water softener is fitted with a filter that ensures that big particles do not flow in your house. Just like faucet aerators, the filter gets clogged with sediment after sometime restricting the water flow. Check and clean the softener’s filter.

4. Install a Water Pressure Booster Pump

Some times water just has problems accessing your property, leading to low water pressure. It could be that the area you live in has a high water demand, your house is up on a hill or you live in an old house with small pipes.

One practical and inexpensive way you can increase the water pressure to your house is installing a water booster pump. This will however need to be done by a licensed plumber.

Not all water booster pumps will work out well for you. It is important that you size your pump prior to buying one in accordance with the water demand in your house.

Water booster pumps cost between $100 and $500. It will cost more in installation costs, and you will also notice an increase in your monthly power bills.

5. Switch Off Some Appliances

If you are using the washing machine, shower and other appliances at the same time, the demand for water in your house will be too high, and that will considerably reduce the overall pressure of water in the house.

If you are running different appliances at the same time, switch off some of them and see if the pressure of the running one will increase.

High demand for water in your area especially during peak hours of the day will result in low water pressure in your house. Try checking the pressure during off-peak hours and see if there is a change.

6. Talk to Your Neighbors

Before picking up the phone and calling the plumber, ensure that the low water pressure is only affecting your house and not the entire area. Check with your neighbors if they are in the same boat that you are in.

If indeed your neighbors are also experiencing low water pressure, the problem is definitely with the municipal water supply. Call them and have them explain to you what the problem is.

7. Call a Professional Plumber

If your neighbors seem to be doing just fine, all of the shut off valves are open, water pressure regulator is okay as well as the water softener, you most likely have clogged pipes (especially old steel pipes) or you have leaky pipes.

Clogged/ leaky pipes is not something you can fix on your one. You will need the services of a professional plumber which unfortunately is not cheap. It is fast though.

Plumbers have special tools and cameras that they insert inside your plumbing network to pinpoint where the problem exactly is. They will also flush your pipes with hot pressurized water and clear all blockages.


Low water pressure in your home can be frustrating, but it’s a common issue with several potential causes:

  • Mineral Buildup: Over time, minerals like calcium and magnesium can accumulate in pipes, faucets, and showerheads, restricting the flow of water.
  • Clogged Aerators or Screens: Sediment and debris can clog aerators on faucets or screens on showerheads, reducing water pressure.
  • Leaking Pipes: Hidden leaks in your plumbing system can divert water away from fixtures, leading to reduced pressure.
  • Partially Closed Valves: Check that all shutoff valves, including the main water valve and individual fixture valves, are fully open.
  • Water Supply Issues: Municipal water supply problems, such as maintenance work or high demand, can temporarily reduce water pressure.
  • Well Pump Problems: If you have a well system, issues with the well pump, pressure tank, or pressure switch can lead to low water pressure.
  • Water Pressure Regulator: A malfunctioning pressure regulator can restrict the flow of water into your home.

How to Increase Water Pressure in the House:

  • Clean Aerators and Screens: Remove and clean aerators on faucets and screens on showerheads regularly to clear any debris and mineral buildup.
  • Check for Leaks: Inspect your plumbing for leaks and repair any found. Fixing leaks can significantly improve water pressure.
  • Adjust Pressure Regulator: If your home has a water pressure regulator, adjust it to increase the water pressure to an appropriate level.
  • Replace Old Pipes: In older homes with galvanized pipes, consider replacing them with newer materials like copper or PEX, which provide better water flow and pressure.
  • Upgrade Your Water Pump: For well systems, upgrading the well pump, pressure tank, or pressure switch can improve water pressure. Consult a professional for this.
  • Clear Sediment from Water Heater: Sediment buildup in your water heater can affect hot water pressure. Periodically flush the tank to remove sediment.
  • Consult a Professional: If you’ve tried the above steps and still have low water pressure, it may be time to consult a licensed plumber. They can identify and address more complex issues, such as hidden pipe problems or pressure tank replacement.

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