Water pressure light???

6 Replies

Hi all,

My new rental has low water pressure when you run the shower and sink at the same time. Any thoughts what the problem might be??


The problem is likely inadequate supply plumbing or some other restriction. 

What type/size of pipes do you have?

In my area it's very common to have old galvanized pipes with bad pressure.  

It's also common to have galvanized oipes that are just fine,  but they shed some rust and that plugged up your fixtures. 

Very common especially if water was off. Pull the strainer from your sink,  pull the showerhead,  run the water.  Get a new showerhead (there are ones that are designed for low water pressure)  If this doesn't fix the problem,  then it might be the supply pipes. 

I second @Michael Herr  advice. Often the galvanized pipes are not large enough to carry enough water. I have had the city come out and test the pressure at the meter before, and hooked a pressure meter up on an outdoor hose spigot. That will help you diagnose further problem.

Also, check to see if any of the fixtures have low-flow showerheads/aerators. Sometimes those combined with low overall water pressure leads to issues.

I agree with all the previous suggestions but we did find a coupling about 12 inches in on the home side of the water meter & it was severely corroded. Once replaced the PSI went up significantly & we had gone crazy trying to find the reason for low pressure.

It was an iron coupling on a 3/4 copper pipe feed ???? so it took the proverbial sacrificial beating.

Galvanic corrosion occurs wherever two different metals touch. Like the others said, galvanized pipes are usually the suspect.

Also check the water meter itself, I was ready to tear out old galvanized piping and the city worker said he would swap out the meter first to see if that helped, my tenant called after work and thanked me for re-plumbing the home. I got lucky even though its still the old piping the pressure is good for now.

Originally posted by @Matt Fisher :

Galvanic corrosion occurs wherever two different metals touch. Like the others said, galvanized pipes are usually the suspect.

 Yep, you'll often find electrolysis take place between different metals, most notably copper and galvanized I believe. One of the things I look anytime I do an inspection of a building or house is improper connections of dissimilar metals. There are special unions on the market specifically designed for these scenarios.

Back to your point, there are many different possibilities as to why you have low pressure. Where is it most notable? If it's in the shower, you can purchase shower heads that concentrate the flow of water (similar to a pressure washer concept) which would at least tube the illusion of higher pressure. All you're doing is putting a band-aid on the problem, you'll still want to figure out what's causing it as it could be indicative of a major pending issue.

There's a plumbing thread in this forum from a gentleman who's a pro plumber, it may be worth posting in there and asking his opinion. Good luck.

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