What could be more unpleasant than a low flow of water at shower time? The lack of pressure makes a bad impression… Nothing like putting you in a bad mood at the start of the day! Your shower is lagging, the water is running in a thin stream? The causes of a lack of pressure being numerous, an overview is necessary to find the right solutions.
Shower without pressure: check these 3 points
Before looking for the cause of the lack of water pressure, take the time to check certain points that will help you see clearly.
- Does this pressure problem concern the neighborhood? If you are not the only one, the cause is outside your home. Consult the municipal services or your water supplier to find out if work is in progress on the water network. If a regular lack of pressure is linked to the municipal network, the solution is to equip yourself with a booster. You can also check that the main water pipe is not damaged.
- Does the low pressure affect all your faucets or just the shower? Open the other taps to check…
- In the shower, is it only hot water flowing at low flow, or cold water too? Pour the two separately, you will quickly be fixed.
- Pipes can clog by the accumulation of limestone (always him) or sediments. When it is not possible to clean them, it is better to call a plumber.
- old corroded pipes can restrict water flow. If your house is old, think about it. Likewise if your house has been extended and the pipes haven’t… Conduct an inspection to see which pipes should be changed. The inspection report made when buying the house will give you information on this subject. Do you live in an apartment building? Corrosion from poorly maintained pipes eventually becomes a problem.
- The pipes may be too small compared to the desired flow rate for a shower. Check the diameter. Below 16, the good idea would be to replace the pipes with new ones of larger diameter.
- Start by checking the main shut-off valve, the one near the water meter. It may have been closed during work, or not completely reopened. It has two valves; turn each of them anti-clockwise until they open completely.
- Then check the bathroom valve. Turn the valve so that it is fully open.
- Turn off the power supply to the water heater and shut off the water. All faucets must be closed.
- Decrease the pressure of the hot water tank by turning the valve of the safety group.
- Carefully remove the seal at the hot water outlet. Be careful not to burn yourself with the water that could flow (at least put on gloves). Just under the connection, you will have placed a container to collect the runoff water.
- Remove the hot water outlet pipe and clean it thoroughly.
- Descale the tank and the walls of the water heater. Change damaged seals.
- Reassemble the assembly, replace the electrical connector and turn the water back on.
If your shower lacks pressure, let’s see what the causes may be…
Too many devices consuming simultaneously
Before dismantling everything, ask yourself the following question: when I take a shower, is another water-consuming appliance running? If the washing machine or dishwasher is running while you’re whistling in the shower, this high water consumption may be enough to limit the pressure. Especially if you are in a region that is a bit tight in resources. Schedule your devices to start when you’re dry, and you’ll be fine.
Do you live in collective housing? When all the inhabitants take their shower, the tension on the water network can lower the pressure. Try to identify the peak hours of the building and schedule your washing equipment, and your shower if you can, at other times.
The pipes are encrusted
A cleaning would be welcome. The magic formula? Prepare a mixture of baking soda (2 tablespoons) and white vinegar (one glass). Turn off the water supply, dismantle the tap and pour your preparation. Leave for a quarter of an hour and pour a liter of boiling water. Give the mixture time to work overnight, and it should be better the next day.
The mixer is clogged
Here too, the limestone does its job, especially if the water is particularly hard in your municipality. If the limescale filter of the mixer tap is clogged, the water will no longer flow properly. Simply unscrew the filter and soak it in a container filled with white vinegar. Leave it for a few hours before wiping it down and reassembling it.
It is also possible that the mixer cartridge is too small in relation to the needs. To change !
The pipe bends
We could have started with that, indeed! When the shower hose twists or bends, the water stops flowing, and that’s it.
The shower head is clogged
Decidedly, limestone is devastating! As the water progresses, it settles on the walls and ends up obstructing the passage. If your shower head hasn’t been cleaned in a long time – if ever – it’s time to start an anti-limescale operation! Get an old toothbrush or toothpick, and a bottle of white vinegar. In a container, prepare a mixture made up of half water and half vinegar. Unscrew the shower head and let it soak overnight in this mixture. The next day, check the condition of the small holes. Unclog the stubborn with your toothpick. If after that the flow does not improve, it’s time to buy a shower head!
The flow restrictor is zealous
Would your shower have a flow regulator, by any chance? This system installed in the shower head aims to limit the waste of water, which is a commendable intention. But if the flow obtained is too low, it is better to delete it. It is a small plastic disk located in the apple. Completely dismantle the pommel to remove it. The water flow will be more dynamic. On the other hand, it will make you consume more water.
Clogged, corroded, too narrow, the pipes are often the cause of the lack of pressure.
Could a valve be half open?
Or half closed, depending. Anyway, if the pressure problem is not at the shower head, explore this track. A partially closed valve is enough to cause flow problems.
Examine these valves carefully in case one of them is faulty. If so, it will need to be changed.
Water leak alert!
Low pressure sometimes indicates a water leak, especially if the shower is not the only one suffering from this lack of pressure. To be sure, start by taking a look at your water meter at night before going to bed; pick up the numbers. Close all the taps in the house tightly, so that no water is consumed during the night. The next morning, read the numbers on the water meter again. If they reveal water consumption, you can be sure that a leak is hiding somewhere… Try to find its origin by looking for abnormal humidity points. All you have to do is call the plumber right away. If you live in collective housing, quickly report the problem to the trustee or the person in charge of the maintenance of the building.
Low hot water pressure?
The water heater derails
If the flow is insufficient for hot water only, the water heater may be at fault. Too old, worn, corroded, defective…? Only a professional can make the correct diagnosis. Beforehand, make sure that its shut-off valve is open. You can also embark on a complete cleaning of the balloon, in case it is clogged with limestone and sediment. To do this, drain the water heater and flush the pipes, lines and tank.
The hot water distribution circuit is clogged
Limestone strikes again! A scale plug has formed causing the hot water flow to be reduced. If you want to be sure, do the following on the water heater. Close the hot water tap. Turn the tap on the safety group to lower the pressure. It makes the limestone move a little… Open the hot water tap again. Is the flow normal this time?
A limescale plug does not go away on its own; it can move and snap back into place. To be calm, you have to eliminate it ! Here is the method:
In tense regions, major means
Some regions see their water resources limited, which causes recurring pressure problems. It is possible, if you do a lot of work, to find a solution.
The hot water pump
This equipment can be mounted on the hot water line. It increases the water flow and pressure at the right temperature. But it is quite expensive and must be installed by a professional.
Connect to a well
By drawing directly from a local water source, you will avoid pressure problems. A plumber installs a well system for you with a pipe going to collect water from the underground aquifer. This water is often cleaner than supplier water, with no residue of purification chemicals. No more low pressure when showering!