If you have low water pressure in the shower then you will know that it is not a good way to start your day.The struggle to wash properly, the water cooling down before it reaches your body, the shampoo that you can never seem to rinse from your hair. So frustrating.
Fortunately, if you are suffering from low water pressure in the shower, there are a range of quick fixes that can improve the flow of water in your shower.
Cleaning out the sediment
Replacing the shower head
Installing a shower pump
Installing a pressurised unvented cylinder
Fitting an electric shower
Now, if you’re new to the plumbing world, this is where things can get a little complicated.
No doubt you’re wondering:
“How do I install a shower pump? How do I clean out the sediment? And what even is a pressurised unvented cylinder?”
All questions that are likely to overwhelm someone new to the plumbing world.
That’s why we’ve created this complete guide to increasing water pressure in your shower.
Taking you step-by-step through the world of low water pressure, we answer every question we’ve ever been asked about increasing pressure in the shower, so you can find the answer to your queries.
Do I have low water pressure in the shower?If you think you have low water pressure issues in the shower, and you’re considering the purchase of a shower pump or power shower to improve the pressure, there is a simple three step test that you can conduct to test your flow.
All you need to carry out this test is: a measuring jug, a timer and a calculator.
*Note* We also recommend getting a qualified plumber to assess the requirements needed for your home.
How to test water pressure for showerStep 1:
Place a 1-litre measuring jug under shower
Turn the problem tap or shower on full
Time how long it takes to fill the jug
If it takes more than 6 seconds to fill the jug, then you have low water pressure.
What causes low water pressure in the shower?Low water pressure at the shower head can occur for a wide variety of reasons.
The most common reasons are:
Your mains water system may be using old piping.
If you live in or close to a city or town centre, then it’s likely that your low water pressure is caused by the mains water system.
This is due to mains water systems in city and town centres using much older pipes.
It is also harder for local government to replace the piping due to the disruption it would cause in a city centre.
Your home water system may have undersized supply piping.
One of the most common reasons for low water pressure is undersized supply piping.
This is common in older houses where the original plumbing system is still in place. This will restrict the amount of water coming into your home and to the shower.
Again, it is quite disruptive to replace so it’s likely previous homeowners have not fixed the issue.
Your home water system may be clogged
Again, if you live in an older house, then you may be using old, iron piping in your home water system.
Iron is vulnerable to rusting which can break off and cause an obstruction within the pipe.
This issue will often be made worse if dirt, gravel or sand enters your system through older entry piping.
You have a “flow restricting” or “water saving” shower head
One common reason that is often overlooked is the shower head. Modern showers often use “flow restricting” or “water saving” shower heads.
Flow restricting shower heads were first introduced under The National Energy Act in the United States.
Many manufacturers in the UK have followed the example set by the US and are now installing water restrictors in an attempt to help homeowners reduce water bills and stop people wasting water.
You have an obstructed shut off valve
Another common reason that you may be experiencing low water pressure is an obstructed shut off valve.
If you’ve just bought a new home, or you’ve recently had building work done, then you should check that your shut off valve is fully open.
The shut-off valve is usually located under the kitchen sink. If you believe the water valve to be broken, contact a plumber immediately.
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