What Causes My Shower To Lose Water Pressure?

If you have landed on this article, you’re obviously having problems with your shower’s water pressure.

It’s one of life’s nuisances, is the loss of shower pressure, but hold on in there, because we are going to give you some of the main causes of shower pressure loss and advise you on how to potentially fix the issue.

There are many reasons why showers lose water pressure.

It can range from old corroded pipe work to gravity fed systems or your balancing pressure valve.

Here we explain what why showers lose pressure and what you can do to resolve this issue and return to enjoy your morning showers.

Why Is My Shower Losing Pressure?

Blocked Shower Head

One of the simplest reasons for the lose of shower pressure is a blocked shower head.

Shower heads accumulate mineral residue when the shower head is in use. Once the water has been shut off, over time these mineral deposits will bond together and create a limescale build up inside your pipes or shower head. Which then results in water struggling to push through the shower nozzle, hence slowly reducing the water flow level and therefore your water pressure.

You will be relieved to know, that if the build-up isn’t too solidified, you should be able to remove the deposits at home, with little effort.

Moving onto to the fun part… Remove the build up by unscrewing the shower head from the pole and soak it in a bowl of white vinegar overnight. If you would rather not detach your shower head, you can try to wrap a plastic bag with white vinegar solution in, around the head of the shower.

Once you have the bag around the shower head, tie it with a strong elastic band. When the bag has been secured, turn the shower on, and fill the rest of the bag with water. This will dilute the white vinegar solution. Then, leave the solution to work and breakdown any build up overnight.

The following morning use an old toothbrush (or your current toothbrush, if you love the taste of vinegar) to remove any remaining residue.

If you think there is still a build-up in the showerhead or pipes and this magic trick has not worked, call a plumber, as a replacement shower head may be needed.

shower head with bag

Photo credit – @frugallysustainable.com

Issue With Gravity-Fed System

Gravity fed systems are usually found in older homes, that haven’t been renovated. It can be difficult to have a strong water pressure to the shower with this type of system. This is because it has to be gravity fed through the pipes.

It can only be resolved with shower pump or a whole house pump to fix the supply line. This will help increase the water pressure, for the perfect showering experience!

Another factor you might want to consider is your valves…

Check Your Pressure Balancing Valve

A balancing pressure shower maintains the flow of hot and cold water, simultaneously. With this type of valve there is a risk of water pressure interruptions because of other fixtures. For example, flushing the toilet may affect and reduce the outflow of water supply from the shower. However, this will only affect the pressure, not the temperature.

You can avoid pressure drops like this by installing a thermostatic mixer valve. The mixing valve has separate control for temperature and pressure, therefore you water pressure should never be interrupted.

water pressure balancing valve

Water Pressure Reduction Valve Correction

If you have a water pressure issue, that not only affects your showering experience but every fixture in your home, then the problem could be with your water source…DUM DUM DUMMM!

The cause of this is a device called the water pressure reduction valve. It is connected to the main point where water first enters your home.

This valve can break, become faulty or even fall off causing your showers water pressure to drop. This Job can only be corrected by a professional plumber.

Broken Pipes

Broken pipes could be the cause of a pressure problem. The leak in the pipe will release pressure and cause water to drip. If you notice any water stains or wet patches, ring an expert. This could be a sign of water leak.

We would also suggest ringing an expert if you can hear water running when taps or showers are not in use.

water leak

Low Flow or Water Saving Shower Head

Low flow or water-saving shower heads are designed to reduce the amount of water wasted. Available with a shower heads with less than 2.5 gallons per minute flow rate. This is great for eco-friendly homes on water meters. Low flow means you have a reduced water pressure to reduce water waste and heating costs.

Overall Plumbing Issues

We are sorry to break It to you but if you have a plumbing system that’s extremely old, it may be the cause of losing shower water pressure. Over time your pipework can corrode or block, limiting the water supply. This can affect the water outlets throughout your home.

Replacing your homes plumbing work can be a costly job. However, fresh pipework will help increase the cost of your home when it comes to selling, increase water pressure and last a long time – we’d say it’s worth the investment and of course, should be carried out by a professional plumber.  

rusty pipes

Frequently aksed questions about shower pressure

Why Does My Shower Pressure Change?

If your shower water pressure is fluctuating it could be worthwhile checking the following things:

  • Check for leaks
  • Open the shut- off valve water heater
  • Install a shower pump
  • Ensure the shower hose pipe has no kinks
  • Make sure your shower head and pipes are not blocked

What Shower Is Best For Low Pressure?

If you have a home with low water pressure, consider installing a power shower. Power showers have an inbuilt pump that helps increase the water flow and therefore, water pressure that is fed on a gravity system. They give out the perfect of hot and cold water leaving you with a dreamy showering experience.

How To Test Water Pressure For Shower?

When testing your shower water pressure, you only need two things to see if your water pressure is running low. Get a jug and your phone at the ready. Find the stopwatch feature on your phone, put your jug of water under the shower head and press the start button on your stopwatch. If the jug takes longer than six seconds to fill, this means your shower is running at a low pressure and may need altering.

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