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Husted Plumbing Blog

Low Water Pressure? Here’s What May Be Happening

faucet-drippingIt’s probably something you’ll notice first when you take a shower: water coming from the shower head isn’t at the force you expect it. It might just be the shower head, but then you find that at every tap in the house the water pressure has dropped. What’s going on? Do you need to call for professional plumbing services in Oxnard, CA to fix it?

These are good questions to ask, and we’ll provide answers below. When in doubt about what to do, you can always contact us for assistance. We have more than eighty years of plumbing history, and we’ve seen it all.

Is the problem municipal?

The first step to take to find out what’s causing low water pressure is to go to your neighbors and ask them if they are experiencing a similar issue. If you learn that your house isn’t alone with low water pressure, then it’s almost certainly a problem with the municipal water source. An abrupt drain on the water supply can cause a drop in general water pressure, or the water company may be fixing a pipe. You can call the utility company to inquire about the issue and when it will be fixed.

Check the shut-off valve

Your house has a shut-off valve for the water main. We recommend you find where it’s located and how to shut it off in case of an emergency in the house that’s threatening to flood it. The valve is often found near to the water meter outside. If you recently had a repair done, the valve might be partially stuck. Check to see if it’s open all the way.

Broken pressure regulator

Your home may have a pressure regulator to help lower water pressure that’s too high and may damage the pipes. If the regulator breaks, it can either cause the pressure to spike or the exact opposite. This is a common cause of an abrupt drop in water pressure all around the house. To replace the pressure regulator (usually less expensive than having it repaired) requires a professional plumber.

Corrosion in an old water main

This is the most serious possibility. If you live in a house built before 1970, you might have a galvanized steel water main, as well as steel pipes elsewhere in the plumbing. Galvanized steel is susceptible to corrosion over time, and depending on the age of the house it may have already built up significant corrosion. If the drop in water pressure as been gradual, it may be due to the corrosion in the water main reducing the volume inside the pipe. The way to fix this is a large job: you’ll need to have a new water main put in. We recommend you not only have the water main replaced, but all the steel pipes in your house’s plumbing repiped with copper and various plastics.

Thankfully, handling a water main replacement is easier than it once was—provided you call a company that has trenchless technology. Our plumbers have the best in trenchless equipment to make this a short and painless job.

Need plumbing service in the Greater Santa Barbara and Ventura County area? Call Husted Plumbing—family owned and operated since 1935.

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