Low water pressure can be a real time-waster around your house. Simple tasks like showering, washing the dishes or watering the garden become a major nuisance.
Why does my house have no water pressure?
Problems with water pressure can boil down to a range of causes, some stemming from your home’s plumbing system, and others caused by issues in your local area’s water supply. As an experienced North Shore Plumber, here at Tai Irwin we are all too familiar with the issues that can lead to low water pressure – both inside and outside your home.
External causes of low water pressure
Did you know that water pressure varies naturally and sometimes dramatically not only across the Sydney area, but even across the North Shore? If your home is located on top of a hill, and far away from your local water reservoir, you may experience lower water pressure than others in your neighbourhood, particularly during peak periods of water usage.
If your house has no water pressure, there could be a burst pipe, leak, fracture or fault in the area’s water supply. For instance, in Killara recently a burst water main left virtually the entire suburb with no water pressure!
Other potential causes of water supply or pressure issues include:
Changes to the local water basin
Pinched sewer lines caused by invasive tree roots
A fracture in the local water main leading to clogged water lines
Work being done on your area’s water supply can also be another reason behind low water pressure, both planned maintenance work and unplanned water interruptions. Sydney Water performs regular pressure management work in certain areas, for instance, but this is typically advised in advance.
Localised causes of low water pressure
As for water pressure problems within your home, there could be several localised reasons. For example:
There could be a fault in the plumbing layout in your home, reducing the water pressure by the time it reaches your taps. It’s also possible that your pipes aren’t long or wide enough for your home’s water needs. Properties with a shared supply pipe are more susceptible to low pressure, particularly in peak periods of water usage.
Have you recently had new appliances installed in your home, or renovation work done? This can sometimes affect your water pressure if someone has used the stop tap or stop valve outside your property and left it partially closed.
Another possible reason for low water pressure in your house could be leaks in a water main, or a leaking or running toilet. Look out for water spots or puddles near the water fixtures in your home, or a dripping sound if the problem is a leaking tap. There could also be a leak outside your home, at the point where your house’s water main joins up with the local supply.
Obstructions in the supply pipes are another cause of water flow problems. A buildup of mineral deposits, dirt, sand, algae and even gravel can cause blockages in your home’s water lines.
Similarly, corrosion can cause low water pressure as rust from old iron pipes may plug up valves and pipes. Disintegrating plastic pipes can be another issue.
What to do if you have no water pressure
The first step is to do a quick home inspection and determine whether all the taps in your home have low water pressure. Check whether both the hot and cold water is running normally in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry and outdoor taps. If you only have low water pressure with hot water, your water heater may be what’s at fault here.
You should also pour a glass of water from one of the affected taps, checking for any discolouration or debris in the water. This may indicate corrosion or clogs in the pipes.
Next, check that the tap on your water meter is turned on. If you notice your stop tap is partially closed, try testing the water pressure again after opening it.
While some causes of low water pressure have an easy fix, in most cases it’s best to get the advice of a professional, especially when it comes to issues with pipes or water heaters. A licensed plumber can quickly and efficiently identify the problem at hand and prevent any DIY plumbing disasters. If you have any concerns about your water