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shower head

There’s nothing better than a nice warm shower on a cold morning. Of course, what’s relaxing about a shower with low water pressure?

Causes of Water Pressure Drops in the Shower

So, what could be causing the drop in water pressure and how do you prevent it? There are a number of different valves and pipes that work together to control the water pressure in your shower. The best option is to contact a plumber to discuss any problems with your piping.

low water pressure infographic

Pressure Balancing Valve

Shower pressure can be interrupted by any number of things such as flushing a toilet, turning on another sink, or even the dishwasher running. These interruptions are from “pressure balancing valves.” This type of valve balances the pressure between hot and cold water, so when another appliance is using the cold water (like a flushing toilet) the hot water will drop too.

To solve this problem, ask a plumber about installing a thermostatic mixing valve, which can allow you to control water temperature and pressure separately in the shower. Alternatively, avoid running multiple appliances at one time or upgrade your hot water heater.

Diverter Valve

The diverter valve is only present in bathtub/shower combinations. This is the valve the changes the water direction from the bathtub up to the showerhead. If this valve, sometimes in the shape of a switch or knob, becomes broken then the water pressure may drop for the showerhead. This is a result of the water still escaping through the bathtub rather than diverting up to the showerhead.

To solve this problem, a plumber may repair or replace the diverter valve. They may also repair or replace the seal that is allowing the water to escape.

Clogged Showerhead

If the showerhead itself becomes dirty or clogged, the water pressure may appear to drop with no other cause. This is perhaps the easiest fix.

Start by unscrewing the showerhead and soaking the entire thing in white vinegar. Alternatively, fill a Ziploc bag with white vinegar and tie it around the showerhead, ensuring the whole head is covered by the vinegar. Tie closed with a rubber band. Let the showerhead soak for twenty minutes to an hour then remove the head and scrub with an old toothbrush to remove built-up grime.

If the water pressure does not return to normal after cleaning the showerhead, consider hiring a plumber to examine your other pipes for clogs. They may need to clean them with special tools and solutions. They may also recommend installing a water softener to avoid clogged pipes in the future.

plumber working on tub faucet

Causes of Water Pressure Drops in the Whole House

If the water pressure does not return to normal after cleaning the showerhead, or if the water pressure is low in other faucets in your home, consider hiring a plumber to examine your other pipes for clogs.

If you have hard water, your pipes may become clogged over time requiring a plumber to clean them with special tools and solutions. They may also recommend installing a water softener to avoid clogged pipes in the future. Alternatively, there may be a problem with your water pressure pump or hot water heater, which would require repair or replacement by an experienced plumber.

Hire a Professional Plumber

If home fixes don’t work, or if DIY isn’t for you, hire the best plumbers in Sussex County, Delaware for more help with the water pressure in your home. Call Charles Moon Plumbing at 302-732-3555 to hire a professional plumber today.

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