Troubleshooting Low Water Pressure In Your Tub And/Or Shower

Low water pressure can lead to a less satisfying bathing or showering experience. If you previously had stronger pressure coming out of your tub faucet or showerhead, there are a few troubleshooting tricks you can try to improve your pressure. If these steps don't work, or you're experiencing additional pressure problems throughout your home, it might be time to call in the plumbers.

Check the Aerator

Is the water pressure fine when you run the bathtub, but weak in the shower – or vice versa? If your tub is the problem, it's likely an issue with the aerator in the faucet.

An aerator is a small mesh cap that fits over the opening of a faucet to allow the incoming water to mix with air for greater efficiency and less splashing. Mineral build-ups in the water can cause the aerator to become partially plugged over time, which restricts the amount of water that can come out and mimics low water pressure.

The aerator usually twists off simply with hand pressure. Hold the aerator under a strong stream of water under one of the sink faucets to knock loose any debris. You can also clean the aerator with a firm dish brush if you want to remove any lingering minerals or dirt.

Clean the Showerhead

If the shower is the problem, you might need to clean your showerhead.

The simplest method that works regardless of showerhead type involves a plastic bag full of white vinegar. Simply fill a sealable bag at least half full of vinegar, place the bag so that the showerhead is submerged in the vinegar, and then use a rubber band to secure the bag in place. Allow the showerhead to soak overnight before removing the bag. Run water through the showerhead for a few minutes before your next shower to allow all of the residual vinegar to rinse away.

Check the Shut-Off Valve

Most homeowners are aware of the shut-off valve for the toilet because it's out in the open right behind the toilet. But your shower and tub also have a shut-off valve that exists to turn off the water completely during repairs. Sometimes the shut-off valve can become partially closed, limiting the amount of water that comes through during bathing.

If your bathroom is on the first floor above a basement, the shut-off valves might be in the basement. Look at the pipes coming down from the floorboards under your bathroom and trace until you find the valve. Ensure that the valve is fully open.

Is your bathroom on the second floor or on a first floor without a basement? The shut-off valve is likely located inside your bathroom vanity under your sink. If the sink and bathtub are close to each other, the same shut-off valve might control both units.

Tried all these troubleshooting tips and still have water pressure problems? Call a plumber to check for clogs or damaged pipes further down the line that could start to cause water pressure problems throughout your home. To learn more about plumbing, contact a business like Armstrong Services Inc.