How to Fix Low Water Pressure in Your Home

Having low water pressure in your home can be frustrating. Whether it’s taking too long to fill a glass or not having enough pressure for appliances and fixtures, low water flow can disrupt your daily routine. The good news is that in most cases, low water pressure can be easily fixed with some troubleshooting and minor repairs. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to diagnose and fix low water pressure in your home.

Symptoms of Low Water Pressure

Here are some common signs that you may have low water pressure:

  • It takes a long time to fill sinks, tubs, or toilets
  • Showers have weak flow even with the hot water turned all the way up
  • Faucets sputter or spit when turned on
  • Appliances like dishwashers and washing machines fill up slowly
  • Outdoor hose pressure is weak when watering the lawn or washing cars

If you’re experiencing any of these issues, it likely means there is a problem causing low water flow in your plumbing system.

Causes of Low Water Pressure

There are several possible causes contributing to decreased water pressure:

Clogged Water Supply Lines

Over time, mineral deposits and sediment can build up inside the water supply pipes, narrowing the path for water to flow through. Supply lines that connect from the main water line to fixtures around your home are especially prone to clogging. Shower heads and sink faucets with low flow are signs of a clogged supply line.

Partially Closed Shut-off Valves

Most plumbing fixtures have shut-off valves that allow you to stop water flow for repairs. If any faucet shut-off valves under sinks or behind toilets are not fully open, it will restrict water flow.

Buildup in Faucet Aerators

Small pieces of sediment can collect in the aerator screen at the tip of faucets. This causes low pressure from that faucet even if water flow in the rest of the home is normal.

Water Pressure Regulator Failure

A water pressure regulator manages high pressure coming from the main water line and reduces it to a consistent, manageable PSI before entering your home’s plumbing. If it’s faulty, pressure could drop lower than normal.

Partially Clogged Main Water Line

Like supply lines, the main water line coming into your home can also become clogged with mineral deposits over time. Partial blockage will reduce pressure through the entire system.

Undersized Pipes

If the main water line or supply lines are very narrow, it can lead to restricted water flow and low pressure, especially during peak usage times.

Well Pump Issues

For homes on well water, problems with the pump like a failing pressure switch or stuck check valve can prevent it from pumping enough water volume into the pipes.

Fixing Low Water Pressure in Your Home

Here are solutions to try, starting with the easiest DIY fixes:

Clean Faucet Aerators

Remove the aerator at the tip of each faucet exhibiting low pressure. Soak it in white vinegar to dissolve mineral deposits and use a stiff brush or pin to clear sediment clogging the screen. Reattach and check for improved flow.

Inspect Shut-off Valves

Check below sinks and behind toilets for any shut-off valves that aren’t fully open. Turn the valve completely counterclockwise to open it fully and allow maximum water flow.

Flush Supply Lines

Detach supply lines one at a time from faucets and flush them out into a bucket. Turn the faucet on full blast for 30-60 seconds to clear any trapped sediment inside. Reattach the line.

Replace Fixture Supply Lines

If flushing doesn’t improve pressure, the plastic supply lines may be clogged beyond repair. Replace them with new quarter-turn angle stop valves and braided steel supply lines for optimal water flow.

Install Filtered Faucet Aerators

Low pressure coming from just one or two faucets is likely due to blocked aerators. Swapping standard aerators for filtered types can prevent future sediment buildup and clogging.

Check for Leaks

Listen for any hissing sounds near water pipes and inspect for moisture on valves or joints. Leaks cause pressure drops and should be repaired immediately by resealing joints or replacing valves.

Adjust Pressure Regulator

If you have very high or very low pressure throughout the home, the regulator may need adjustment. Consult a plumber to have it checked and recalibrated to the ideal 50-60 PSI range.

Update Galvanized Pipes

Corroded galvanized supply lines or main lines will need to be replaced with modern copper piping by a professional plumber to restore full water pressure.

Flush Main Water Line

Hire a plumber to detach the main line before it enters your home and use specialized equipment to flush out any trapped sediment or minerals.

Water Softener Maintenance

Hard water can accelerate mineral deposits that clog pipes. Make sure your water softener system is maintained and working optimally to minimize buildup.

Replace Pressure Tank

For well water systems, if adjusting the pressure switch doesn’t help, the pre-pressurized tank connected to the well pump may need replacement by a certified well company.

Increase Main Line Size

In some cases, the best long-term solution is to replace an old undersized main line with a wider diameter pipe to handle full home water demands.

Preventing Low Water Pressure

Here are some steps you can take to avoid recurring water pressure problems:

  • Inspect and flush supply lines annually to clear any buildup
  • Replace old galvanized pipes throughout your plumbing system
  • Install a whole house water filter system to remove sediment
  • Have well equipment serviced regularly if on a private well
  • Choose low-flow faucet aerators to maintain pressure
  • Update to a tankless water heater for continuous hot water

Catching and fixing low water pressure issues quickly can restore normal flow before the problem worsens. But prevention is ideal to maintain a smoothly flowing plumbing system.

Frequently Asked Questions About Fixing Low Water Pressure

What is considered low water pressure?

Pressure below 45 PSI is generally considered inadequate, while normal household pressure should be 50-60 PSI.

Can I check my water pressure at home?

Yes, install an inexpensive water pressure gauge on an outdoor spigot to get a PSI reading, which should ideally be 50-80 PSI. Consistent readings below 45 PSI indicate an issue.

What do I do if only hot water has low pressure?

This is likely caused by a blocked aerator, stuck valve, or mineral deposits inside your hot water heater. Try cleaning the hot water faucet aerator first and flushing the tank to clear sediment.

Why does my water pressure fluctuate?

If you experience intense drops in pressure periodically, it could be due to a failing pressure regulator or undersized main line unable to handle peak usage times.

Can I increase water pressure myself?

For minor DIY improvements, you can clean fixture aerators, flush supply lines, and make sure valves are fully open. Adjusting the regulator or increasing main line size requires a professional.

Does low pressure damage appliances?

Lack of adequate water flow can cause failure in appliance components like valves and heating elements. Restoring proper pressure prevents damage down the line.


There are a variety of causes for low water pressure in household plumbing systems, from clogged fixtures to equipment failures. Following the troubleshooting steps outlined above can help isolate the issue. Staring with easy fixes like cleaning aerators and valves can sometimes solve the problem quickly.

But for ongoing or severe low pressure, seeking professional assistance is advised. A plumber can determine if replacement of pipes, pressure regulators, pumps or old galvanized lines is required to restore full water flow and pressure throughout your home. Maintaining your plumbing system with preventative care will help avoid low pressure problems in the future.