What Causes Low Water Pressure in Shower?

A healthy flow of water is what we expect when we turn on the water tap for a shower. When we’re met with low water pressure, it’s tough to enjoy the sort of warm and reinvigorating shower experience we’re craving. It can also be difficult to wash our hair and get properly ready for the day ahead.

When you experience low water pressure in the shower, it’s best to call a plumber and get the issue fixed right away. In addition, you should also learn about the root cause behind the problem. Here are six potential causes of low water pressure in the shower:

1. Built-up sediment on the shower head

Your showerhead may just need a cleaning which is very easy to do. Remove the showerhead and soak it overnight in pure white vinegar. This works because, over the years, built-up sediment has started to block the small openings in the showerhead where water should flow.

If you clear these blockages, you’re ensuring every opening for water to come through is open and available. The most difficult part of this process will be removing the showerhead, which is sometimes not easy in older homes. If you can’t manage to remove it, fill a large plastic bag with vinegar, attach it to the showerhead with a rubber band, and let it soak overnight.

2. Low-flow valve on the shower head

The problem with low water pressure might be related to the showerhead itself. A low-flow valve might be on. You may be able to remove it altogether or open it up. If you have a rainfall showerhead or a low-flow showerhead that you don’t like, you can switch it out for a more basic or accommodating design.

Some people do not like low-flow showerheads whatsoever, which is understandable. If you can find the flow regulator, removing it will put an end to any sort of low-flow feature inside the showerhead. If you’ve considered all these things, though, and water pressure’s still low, it could be an issue that isn’t tied to your shower head.

3. Leaky or corroded pipes to the shower

You can’t see all your plumbing pipes, but you can see some. If you know you have a leaky pipe, especially if it’s new piping, you may try a DIY fix such as patching the pipe with special tape or epoxy-based sealant. It is much more advisable to call a plumber. This isn’t necessarily a permanent fix, and not all sealants are appropriate for drinking or shower water.

Furthermore, corrosion could mean you need to replace parts of your plumbing. A fix ‘here’ could mean a breakdown elsewhere in the line. Especially if it’s an older home, consult with a plumber who should tell you exactly where the leak is and what possible solutions exist.

4. Hot and cold water testing

When you have low water pressure in a showerhead, there are a few tests you can run to determine the problem without having to call a plumber. Investigate to see if other rooms also have low water pressure. Check the sink faucet next to the shower to determine if it also has low water pressure.

Also, in the shower, are the hot water and cold water both affected – you may notice it’s singularly an issue with the hot water. If that’s the case, you can guess the issue is potentially tied to the water heater. A plumber will need to be called to see if it needs a repair or replacement.

5. Low water supply in the water line

It could be an issue with the waterline. A shut-off valve on the water line that sends water to the showerhead could be partially closed or not working correctly. Check to make sure they’re opened.

Also, if your home’s water had to be recently shut off for some reason, the main water valve to the house may not have been fully turned on. If any of these valves are particularly difficult to turn, there may be rust or some other issue.

Consult with a plumber. You don’t want to accidentally break the valve or the pipe. If it’s an issue with water flow, contacting your water provider may require looking at the curbside main valve or the valve coming into the home.

6. Other possible reasons for low water pressure

If you have checked the showerhead valves and everything appears ok, it might be time to contact a plumber. There could be controls elsewhere in the water supply line causing trouble. Pipes could be leaky, corroded, or clogged somewhere that you can’t see.

Although a shower head replacement might be something to try, it could be a waste of money unless it’s very obviously needed. Low water pressure in the showerhead is a common plumbing occurrence that any experienced plumber should diagnose where the issue is and how to fix it.