Why Does The Shower Water Pressure Drop & What You Can Do

Shower water pressure can greatly affect the comfort and satisfaction of your bathing experience. Understanding the reasons behind a drop in shower water pressure and knowing the potential solutions can save you from unnecessary expenses and frustrations. Below are the primary reasons and remedies for a decline in shower water pressure:

  • Showerhead Clogging: Over time, showerheads can become clogged with mineral deposits, which restrict water flow and reduce pressure.
  • Pressure-Balancing Valve Issues: Faulty or worn-out pressure-balancing valves can affect shower water pressure, especially when nearby fixtures, like toilets, are used.
  • Faulty Water Pressure Reduction Valve: This valve controls the pressure supplied to your shower, and if not maintained, it can lead to inconsistent water flow.
  • Old Low-Flow Showerhead Issue: Older eco-friendly showerheads were designed to conserve water, sometimes at the cost of reduced pressure.

Why Does The Shower Water Pressure Drop And What Can You Do?

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Below-average water pressure is one of those things that gets on your nerves in a split second. But it doesn’t take rocket science to know what causes this issue. Below are the possible reasons why you’re not able to enjoy a satisfying bath.

1. Showerhead Clogging

The first and possibly the most common reason you may be getting low water pressure is a clogged showerhead. Showerheads act as filters to some extent, and while modern showers have made build-ups far less of an issue, they can still lead to the accumulation of mineral deposits in the long run. Although it’s quite common, a lack of information can lead you to seek professional help and spend your hard-earned money.

How To Fix A Clogged Showerhead?

The eventual mineral deposition is one reason why we always recommend you to clean the showerheads from time to time. It’s a very easy process and requires basic tools and equipment, making it easy for any DIY enthusiast.

The process is effortless; all you have to do is remove the showerhead first, as evident. Keep a bottle of vinegar at an arm’s reach, because it’ll come in handy while cleaning. For the next step, you’d need to create a part vinegar-part water mixture, in which you’d be soaking the showerhead overnight. This solution’s strong cleaning properties will remove the mineral deposits that might have been restricting the water pressure to some extent.

The next morning, fix it back and check whether the water pressure is running normally or not. You can be assured that the pressure was low due to the clogging if the water starts running optimally after the head is cleaned. However, if not, the next points may be helpful.

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2. Pressure-Balancing Valve Issues

Another primary reason why shower pressure slows down with time is a faulty pressure-balancing valve. One of the most common symptoms you’d notice here is that the shower drastically loses water pressure the very moment you flush the toilet.

How does that correlate, you may wonder? To be precise, showers designed in a single control mode come with a valve that helps set the ideal water pressure, as per your needs. These valves combine both warm and cold water to balance the pressure ideally, which it’s affected when other nearby fixtures start functioning.

As the toilet uses cold water for flushing, it affects the pressure adjustment valve’s balance by a great deal. If the valve has worn out, it’ll take a significantly long time to readjust, as it’ll instantly compensate for the lack of cold water with a major pressure drop.

How To Fix A Faulty Pressure-Balancing Valve?

Although we wish that it could be repaired without spending much, reparation is not an option that can be relied upon in the long term. In this case, the best alternative is to replace the old, worn-out pressure-balancing valve with a new one.

However, it’s best to call in an experienced plumbing expert to inspect the system and decide whether the replacement is urgently needed, or whether minor repairs would do the trick.

If you want to eliminate this issue from the core, you can make a few technical upgrades for greater longevity. For those who don’t mind spending a little more for enhanced quality, installing a premium thermostatic mixing valve is a foolproof idea. At a slightly higher cost, it ensures the complete elimination of the water pressure drop in showers while using nearby fixtures.

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3.Faulty Water Pressure Reduction Valve

Yes indeed, pressure-balancing valves can significantly create a pressure drop in your shower. However, another part that you must be aware of is the water pressure reduction valve. Although it’s a very general issue that we face, this issue occurs between the water supply from the water main to your bath.

A water pressure reduction valve’s function is to control the pressure being supplied directly to your shower. Nevertheless, if not serviced from time to time, these valves can also wear out or suffer damage, leading to inconsistent water pressure. To be more precise, though the water is supplied directly from the city, it may not enter correctly if your plumbing system is not fully opened.

How To Fix A Faulty Water Pressure Reduction Valve?

For starters, you can check the water mains pressure and investigate whether the main shut-off valve and underlying in-line valves are properly opened or not. If that’s the case, then maybe your pressure reduction valve isn’t at fault.

However, if not, it’s best to contact a local plumber to inspect the water pressure and find out what might have gone wrong. Although minor repair gets the job done in most cases, you may end up requiring a proper replacement if the valve is severely damaged.

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4. Old Low-Flow Showerhead Issue

Finally, another reason you have been facing low water pressure is that your shower system is old and outdated.

Most Americans are aware of the environmental impact of our day-to-day lifestyle and take necessary measures to live an eco-friendly life. This step brings us to the traditional Californian low-flow showers that conserve water. The older versions of these showerheads generally lower the water pressure for high conservation, due to which you’re probably not satisfied with the baths.m

How To Fix An Old Low-Flow Showerhead?

You can’t; however, you can always upgrade to a smarter system. Modern showers are best known for their excellent capabilities of conserving water without having to compromise with the pressure output. This way, you can lead an environment-friendly life and enjoy satisfying baths simultaneously.

We’d also recommend you perform scheduled inspections of your plumbing systems to check whether there’s a broader issue. Irregular service leads to corrosion or blockage in water pipes, which is a significant contributor to drastic pressure drops. Unforeseen leakages can also be considerable troublemakers in the long haul.

That said, these are the most common reasons why your shower water pressure might not have been functioning as you wish. Was it helpful? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below.

Till next time!

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