Richmond Virginia Plumbing

Common Causes of Low Water Pressure

Posted on January 14, 2022 in Plumbing

What causes low water pressure? Unfortunately, many things can cause sudden, chronic, or intermittent low water pressure in your home. Identifying the right cause is the next step in determining how to solve the issue.

But, can you do it yourself, or will you need the services of a professional? Here are some of the most common causes of low water pressure to help you troubleshoot.

a rain showerhead running in an updated shower



Problems with Fixtures

If you are only experiencing water pressure issues at a certain fixture, it is more than likely an issue with the fixture itself. Many times, the problem is as simple as a clogged aerator. Other times, older fixtures may need to be replaced. 

If you are frequently experiencing issues with your faucets and showerheads, consider getting a whole home filtration system to help prevent clogged fixtures.

Clogged Pipes

Pipes that are clogged are a very common cause of low water pressure. Salts and minerals in the local water supply build up over time, especially in older homes, affecting your water flow and reducing your water pressure. This is especially true if you live in an area known for having hard water or that runs on a well system.

Old or Corroded Plumbing

Corrosion, old age, and infrequent usage can all cause a buildup of debris in your pipes that may need to be professionally fixed. 

Corroded pipes cause more issues than just low water pressure, such as leaking all sorts of rust or particles into your water supply, and it is important to get the issue fixed right away. If you suspect corrosion, try to locate your home’s records to determine how old your water system is and what types of pipes you have. In severe cases, you may need all new water lines.


Even a small leak in your water lines can cause low pressure throughout the whole system. You should never disregard a leak, even one that seems minor.

Plus, contrary to popular belief, not all leaks are visible. You could have a hidden leak (or more than one leak) buried deep within the walls or ceilings of your home. If you’ve ruled out other potential causes and you suspect you may have a leak, it is important to call a professional right away.

Main Home Shutoff Valve

Your home’s water shutoff valve must be turned off in the event of an emergency or when plumbing repairs are being done. However, even a partially closed valve can cause a reduction in the full pressure of your water system during normal operation. 

To troubleshoot this issue, double-check the main water valve of your home and ensure that it is fully opened. Old or corroded valves can also cause an issue until they are replaced.

Pressure Regulator Problems

Some homes are designed with pressure regulators located nearby the main shutoff valve. A pressure regulator that is broken or accidentally set to a lower setting could be the cause of your problems. 

The standard suggestion for optimal water pressure is 50 psi. Experiment with changing the setting to see if the problem resolves, and consider calling in a pro if the regulator appears to be malfunctioning.

Running Too Many Appliances

Your home may experience issues with water pressure if the demand on the system is simply too great. If you are running your dishwasher, washing a load of clothes in the washing machine, running your sprinkler system, and trying to take a shower all at the same time – it could temporarily lower your water pressure. 

And note that this can also be the case for those living in apartment buildings with shared plumbing systems.

Problem with Water Supplier

During and after some natural disasters, you may experience a temporary drop in water pressure throughout the community as water systems come back online. Similarly, if service or maintenance is being performed in your area, you may experience water pressure issues and delays. 

If you find that you are having problems and can’t seem to find a cause, check with your neighbors and call your local provider to see if you are the only one or if there is a widespread issue.

No Matter What Causes Low Water Pressure, We Can Help!

Some common causes of low water pressure issues can be resolved without needing the services of a professional. However, R.J. Tilley is here for you with reliable solutions if you have a complex issue — or just want an experienced pro to take a look. 

Contact us today if you need help with your water pressure or click below for more help with plumbing-related issues.

Contact us today if you need help with your water pressure or click below for more help with plumbing-related issues.

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