How to resolve water pressure issues

Do you switch on the shower and grimace at how long it’s going to take to wash your hair with that trickling water flow? Or do you squirt washing up liquid into the kitchen sink and watch in disappointment as the bubbles fail to emerge below slow dripping taps? We’ll show you how to improve the water pressure in your home.

Diagnose the cause of the failing water pressure

Low water pressure is often the result of bad plumbing, thus the first step in your diagnosis should be to inspect the accessible pipes in your home.

Most modern building regulations require pipes to be no wider than half an inch in diameter but if your home predates contemporary standards your pipes may be too large and need updating. Under these circumstances, pipe reduction apparatus can be installed to adapt your existing pipes.

If your pipes are rusty or corroded, this could be causing the water flow problems, and unfortunately, the only remedy for a worn out pipe is to replace it. You can replace a pipe yourself by following the manufacturer’s instructions but if you have never done it before, or if the problem pipe is in a hard-to-reach area, it may be safer to hire a professional plumber to do so.

If your pipework does not appear to be cause of the water pressure issues you are experiencing, there may something wrong with your taps or showerhead instead.

As a first measure, unscrew the parts and clean them to remove any gunk that may be restricting water flow. If, after reinstalling the taps/showerhead, the water flow has not improved, you may be dealing with a clog.

3-step guide to unclog your tap

  1. Unscrew the stem retainer nut and pull the stem straight up. You’ll either find a washer alone at the bottom of the stem or you’ll find a washer with a spring within the stem of the tap – use a screwdriver to remove the washer and/or spring.
  2. Block the stem of the tap and turn the water on and off several times to flush out the clog.
  3. Reassemble your tap.

These steps can also be applied for showerheads.

If your water pressure has still not improved…

If the above measures have not resolved your water pressure issues, your home’s water pressure regulator may be the cause of the problem.

The water pressure regulator is usually located near where the plumbing meets the house and will require the assistance of a qualified plumber to access and repair or replace it.

There's more