Common Causes of Low Water Pressure

Common Causes of Low Water Pressure

When your powerful shower becomes a meager stream, you know something has gone wrong with your water pressure. Your home or some of the fixtures in it may be experiencing one of the common causes of low water pressure.

Check All Your Fixtures First

Test all the other plumbing fixtures in your house. If they are running just fine, the problem may be isolated in one fixture. Showerheads and aerators can become clogged with mineral deposits and sediment that cause water pressure problems. Try cleaning out the aerator or soaking the showerhead in distilled white vinegar for several minutes.

Whole House Problem

If all your faucets and fixtures are experiencing low pressure, check with your neighbors to see if they are having the same problem. If so, contact your water utility and ask them if there’s been a water main break, hydrant flushing, or other repair or maintenance that may cause low water pressure in your house.

Your Main Shut Off or Water Meter Valve Isn’t Open All the Way

If you’ve had work done in your home recently that required shutting off the water, it’s possible that the main shut off valve wasn’t re-opened all the way.

A gate valve will have a round knob. Make sure it is fully open by turning the knob counterclockwise. A ball valve has a handle that should be fully parallel to the water pipe it’s attached to. If it isn’t straight, adjust it so it aligns with the pipe.

It’s also possible that the water meter valve may be partially closed. This valve is owned by the city, so you may have to call your water utility to come and check on it. It may be close to your shut of inside the house or in a metal or concrete box buried in your yard outside the house.


You may experience poor water pressure if someone is taking a shower while the dishwasher and washing machine are also running. Try to stagger your water use.

Leaks and Corrosion

Corrosion builds up inside the pipe and slows the flow of water. If your home is older and you still have galvanized steel pipes, contact a professional plumbing service to determine if your home should be re-piped.

Leaks are a common cause of low water pressure. They aren’t always easy to locate. They can occur in the underground supply pipe that carries water from the city main to your house.

Turn off all the faucets in your home and don’t run any appliances or flush the toilets. Note the water meter reading. Then come back in half an hour or so and see if the meter has advanced. If so, you may have a hidden leak.

If you think there’s a leak, contact a plumber to help you locate the source. Underground leaks require special techniques to locate and repair. In Yuba City, California, Fletcher’s Plumbing should be your go-to plumber. Fletcher’s can locate leaks and perform repairs. For underground issues, our hydro excavation services minimize surface disruption.