Water Pressure Problems
Do you remember that episode of Seinfeld when Jerry, George and Kramer mysteriously lost water pressure in their apartments and they ended up buying plumbing fixtures out of the back of some guy’s van?
Buying anything out of the back of some guy’s van is never a good idea but a sudden or gradual loss of water pressure can be a real issue in your daily life. Showers, appliances, faucets – when you don’t get the water you need, it’s a problem. So let’s talk water pressure.
Total Loss of Water Pressure
As you know, water doesn’t flow uphill. Most of us have our water intakes – whether from a municipal water source or our wells – in the basement. Pumps and valves push the water up through the house and into the various faucets and pipes you expect it to be in. If you experience a total loss of pressure – every faucet, every appliance, both hot and cold flows – you may have an issue where water comes into your home or office. Here are some things you can do:
• Check with your neighbours. Are they experiencing a drop in pressure as well? If so, a call to your municipal utility (in Calgary, call 311) may be in order.
• Check your Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV). This is usually a bell-shaped valve located on the line where the water comes in. An adjustment or replacement of this valve may be needed. In cases when only the cold water flow is affected, the PRV is often the first suspect. This is a job for a pro. Call us!
• Make sure your water shut-off valve hasn’t been adjusted. Even a slight movement can impact your water pressure.
• Check your water lines in your home or office for leaks. If the water isn’t coming out the tap, it may be coming out somewhere else.
• If the water pressure fluctuates, make a note of the times when it’s low. It may be that there are peak times when lots of folks are using water from the same line impacting the flow.
Partial Loss of Water Pressure
If this doesn’t sound like you, there are other reasons water pressure can be affected. In cases where only one faucet is affected, take a good look at the aerator – the small, fine-mesh screen at the end of the faucet. These can get gunked up with mineral deposits or other matter and it may just need to be cleaned. Screw it off carefully and check the flow. If water comes gushing out, clean the aerator, replace it and you’re back in business!
Pressure Loss in Hot Water Only
Sometimes water pressure that’s specific to the hot water only can indicate problems in your hot water tank. This can range from a rusted or failing fitting to a failing heater. In either case, this is a job for professionals and isn’t something most homeowners should tackle on their own. The risk of scalding and burns is high in some of these cases and proper safety procedures need to be followed.
Other Causes of Water Pressure Loss
Still stymied? Plugged or blocked pipes can be a culprit as well. In these cases, it’s best to get in touch with a professional – tree roots, silt or sediment, maybe that action figure your son lost six months ago – you never know what might be causing the problem. Give us a call and we’ll help you with your water woes and get the pressure back up to where it should be. We have the power of video at our disposal and rather than taking an educated guess, we can use our nifty cameras to tell you exactly where Spiderman ended up with no need for expensive stabs in the dark.
We’re here to help – if you have questions, give us a call. After all, when it comes to water, pressure is good!