Low Water Pressure in Houses, RVs & Condos (Causes & Solutions)


maintenance

Plumbing repairs slice off fat cuts from your wallet. Some plumbing faults are easy to drink in, but not all of them.A low water pressure is a keg of gunpowder waiting to explode at the right time.

Like a wrecking ball if ignored, a low water pressure can make living very uncomfortable.

You may have heard or seen the term “low water pressure” somewhere and the risks it packs along. It is important for you to know how deep the bruises caused by low water pressure can go. Yet, it is equally important also to know the 101 of water pressure before taking curious steps on what causes low water pressure and why.

Every time you take a quick stroll into your kitchen and pull the faucet lever or handle, water just pours out like it’s been dying to be released the whole time. Yes, you have enough water being held in your tank and there’s enough to go round for everyone from the water mains.

But, that’s not the whole part of why you have water seeping out of your spout. It takes the right amount of water pressure to channel water to your house, apartment or condo even your RV. Any significant drop from the recommended water pressure which hangs between 40-60 psi will cause your taps and shower heads to sputter.

The force used to push water from your main supply through your pipes directly into your home, businesses, public buildings and areas is known as water pressure.

Have you jumped into your bath, turned on your shower and found out that the water cascading down is coming out in trickles? This is maybe due be a low water pressure.

faucet

What Causes Low Water Pressure in Homes, Condo Units, Cabins & RVs?

When the water running out of your taps or shower head takes forever it is a sign there’s been a significant drop in your water pressure.

A low water pressure can make you spend more time in the bathroom than you have to; If you are dishwashing that could also take longer.

Before slamming your hand against the sink or cussing the damn shower for making you run late to work, before you have fun if you are RVing, knowing what caused the low water pressure is the best road to salvaging the situation.

When your water pipes are running on a low water pressure, it is usually caused by a number of things.

Causes and solutions to low water pressure in RVs, condos, cabins, and apartments have been explained perfectly below.

Causes of Low Water Pressure in Homes with Well Systems

Low water pressure in homes that use a well system is triggered off by some of the following;

1. Pressure Tank Could Be Water-Logged

faucet

Have you ever imagined getting manhandled and thrown into a car’s trunk, closed and driven across the city with plenty of black bags stuffed in there with you as well?

You’d probably not last long in there because there’s little or no air. The human body needs the right amount of pressure to function. It will eventually break down when pressurized air is limited.

Likewise your pressure tank, the pressure tank is responsible for holding the water pumped by your well pump before it gets distributed round your house. It is like a structure for housing your water.

The well pump is used for drawing water from the well, then delivered to a structure in this case your pressure tank, or directly to your home on demand.

A well pump is important because water cannot rise on its own upward without being forced.

The pressure tank is designed to maintain a particular pressure level based on an air to water ratio. If this level is kept, water distributed to your home fixtures won’t be stymied.

When a pressure tank is filled with excessive water–waterlogged–like the stuffed trunk of a car, the circulating air is limited leading to a plummet in pressure.

The pressure needed to keep a constant water flow rate to your home fixtures is cut down deeper once your pressure tank is filled completely with water.

As a result of this, the well pump is also affected. This is because the cycle of the well pump is hobbled. Stringing these outcomes together, all of these leads to the sputters in you shower heads and sink taps at home.

2. Bad Well Pump

Water delivered to your house, condo or apartment, shouldn’t exceed 5 minutes. If this happens, then it is alarming.

This means water channeled to your kitchen, bathroom and toilet is taking longer time.

When the pressure tank checks okay, then all finger-pointing should be directed to the well pump.

Since the pump is responsible for ferrying water to your pressure tank, a low water pressure could be because the well pump took a pelt.

It explains why you are always standing too long in the shower waiting for the water to run.

On the other hand, the damaging blow suffered by your pump could be because your pressure tank was water-logged in the first instance.

If your house, condo or apartment is using a submersible pump, in this case, the pump is under water wholly or partially depending on the kind, it could be affected by metals in the water underground. When metal leech or burrow their way into the submersible pump, it can affect the pump’s water cycle leading to a low water pressure.

In other cases, it can cause a big wear in the submersible water pump shorting it’s lifespan. A typical submersible well pump under the right condition should last about 25 years.

3. Leaks in Plumbing Systems

Plumbing systems suffer leaks at some point in time. This can lead to a low water pressure because water distributed to your fixtures at home is running too low.

For example, a leak in the pressure tank can easily be linked to rust. When rust begins to crawl all over the inner wall of your pressure tank, it can create leaks; Leaks as tiny as the mouth of a needle can lead to low water pressure.

In some cases, it could be the length of pipes running from your well pump to your pressure tank or from the well pump directly into your home. This as well, can lead to a low water pressure.

Solutions

Below are simple and effective ways to fix low water pressure when you have a well system:

1. Check and Clear Clogged Pipes

Clogged pipes are one of the major triggers of low water pressure. This is sometimes caused by hard water, and mineral deposits. To combat this, have clogged pipes cleaned.

In addition, install a water softener and conduct steady checks to your water pipes to prevent low water pressure.

2. Do a Maintenance Check on Your Pressure Tank

Normally, a home water pressure sits between the psi ranges 40-60. If you are experiencing a low water pressure, it is likely the numbers have dropped further backwards from 40 psi.

To solve this, first, turn of the switch to the well water pump. Next, test the air fill valve with an air pressure gauge to check the numbers the air pressure is hovering on. If the current water pressure is sitting behind 40 or just floating above it, increase it a little. After that, turn on the circuit to the well pump and test the changes using any faucet or shower head in your home.

3. Replace Pressure Tank with a Constant Pressure System

Remember when we said having too many fixtures in your home could cause a dip in the water pressure of your house? Probably not, But it is true.

The more fixtures you set up, the more water pressure you will need to get water to them. To avoid any slouch, install a constant water pressure system that can handle multiple fixtures at a time. Contact an experienced plumber near you to get this done.

Causes of Low Water Pressure in Homes Without Well Systems

A low water pressure in homes, cabins, condos without a well system is caused by some of the following:

1. Failing Fixtures

Recurring stutters from your shower heads and sink taps can only mean one thing–it is beginning to catch a problem. A clog is usually the closest symptom as to why your water is running low. If your shower heads or faucet has begun to age, the chances of them failing is high. They can easily get clogged by dirty particles, limestone or a rust buildup. This is turn creates a low water pressure, impeding water flow and can eventually lead to water contamination.

A clogged fixture will have it pores (aerators/screen) blocked. This screen is few inches away from the mouth of the faucet. For a shower can be seen on the head.

2. Water Valve Issues

If your sink tap or shower head has a freeway aerator or screen, then you won’t need a replacement after all. The problem may be your water valve after all.

A water valve is designed to handle and control different kinds of water ranging from ground water to portable water, even wastewater.

Water flowing into your home is usually controlled by two shut-off valves.

The main water valve is found close to the water meter which measures the amount of water used in your home. The other–a small individual shut-off valve located on the length of the supply line ferrying water to your sink.

When either valve is not opened completely, it can clip the flow of water, in turn leading to a low water pressure.

3. Blocked Water Pipes

After assessing your water valves and you discover they are open, it is likely your water pipes are blocked.

A blocked water pipe causes low water pressure. As a result of this, the water flow rate to you home fixtures will drop significantly.

Though this happens with aging pipes, however, it  can turn into a common problem if your water pipes are galvanized. Attempting to fix the damage could escalate the damage even more. Unless you are a professional plumber, otherwise, we suggest you contact one to assess your pipes.

4. Rust-Plagued Plumbing

A different angle, but a common menace that causes low water pressure is having your plumbing line plagued with rust and corrosion.

Corrosion is a deadly stab on plumbing lines made from copper, or metals that have been galvanized. It causes clogs in plumbing lines and is responsible for metallic taste in water.

If your entire plumbing lines are suffering from rust, then you need to make a quick overhaul by having them completely replaced.

5. Insufficient Main Supply Line

Extra fixtures installed in homes could affect the water supplied, dropping the water pressure.

If you set up more fixtures in your home, your supply line may struggle to handle the load of supplying to different corners of your house.

This will cause the water pressure to be lowered, sinking the water flow rate even deeper. When this is the case, an experienced water main line contractor should be notified to verify the proper sizing of your main service line.

The real spark off for low water pressure may fall out of these probable causes. If that’s the case, you may need to contact your city hall. This aching issue may be the public water line in your area.

Solutions

Below are amazing tips you can use to increase your water pressure:

  • If your fixtures like shower heads or faucets have a blocked aerator have them cleaned out or even better get a replacement.
  • If the problem is your water valve, check if they are properly opened. If they are not, ensure you handle the valve with great care when you try to turn it.
  • Clogged water pipes should be handled by a professional plumber. Contact one to have your pipes cleaned out or replaced if the damage is too deep.
  • A failed pressure regulator can cause weak water pressure levels. Replace failed pressure regulators with high quality ones.
  • Issues with water main lines should be reported to your local water authority and have the lines running to your home, condo or apartment checked

Causes of Low Water Pressure in RVs

RV

What better way to enjoy a holiday (any kind) outside your town than in a camper van. Literally, it is your home away from home.

Like every home, RVs or camper vans can be a cooking pot of issues if you have  enough water and yet cannot squeeze enough for your satisfaction.

RVing is fun, but water is life. When water from your RV faucet or shower head isn’t running at its full capacity, this may have been triggered by a low water pressure.

Due to this, your holidays could reach a disappointing end.

Knowing how to deal with low water pressure in your RV/camper van will help you worm your way out of a frustrating vacation.

The following are some of the causes of low water pressure in an RV/camper van:

1. Blocked In-Line Filters

Like the aerators in your shower heads and your faucets in-line filters help to sieve out dirt and any other impurities in your water.

They separate these particles that may try to sink into your water before reaching the fixtures in your recreational vehicle.

However, they can get clogged from time to time. And when impurities block their tiny pores water pressure is reduce. For this reason, your sink taps and shower head will struggle to release water.

2. Water Pressure at the Campsite is Low

If you are going to be holidaying at the campsite for a long while and you are jammed with low water pressure issues, chances are this was sparked by the water being ferried from the campsite.

3. Restricted Hose

Another bum that can fiddle with the water pressure of your recreational vehicle is a restricted hose. Length, width and the space the hose is sitting on matters.

Too much restriction on your water hose will cause a reduction in the water pressure of your campervan.

4. Bad RV Pressure Regulator

RV pressure regulators are installed to keep a steady water pressure in your campervan. If they go bad, they can ruin your chances of enjoying water during your vacation.

When other suggestions have been ruled out, don’t forget to have your pressure regulator checked out.

Pressure regulator also come with filter screens that filter dirt from your water. These too can get clogged up if foreign materials are stuck in between them.

5. Water Flow Restrictors

Some fixtures set up in recreational vehicles come with a water flow restrictors. These are planted there to lower the water pressure, reducing the water flow. They are a great way of conserving water.

However, if you want to run water from your sink tap or shower heads at full capacity, with these restrictors standing in the way you won’t get anywhere near a satisfying experience.

To solve this check your RV fixtures if they have any water flow restrictor and have them carefully removed.

Solutions

A low water pressure in your camper van or recreational vehicle can leave you stuffed with frustration.

The following are ways to work your way around the causes above and have a stress-free holiday with water running at full capacity at your camping location.

1. Maintain the RV’s In-Filter

Waiting until the last minute when your in-filter starts lagging showing signs it is probably clogged is not a healthy choice.

Making steady checks however, can help you prevent a low-water-pressure-ugly situation. Doing this will help you get notified ahead of time when it needs to be cleaned or maybe consider replacing it.

2. Notify the Campsite’s Water Regulators

After raking around your RV and you simply cannot find the fault in there, you should inform the right authorities if you are recreating at a camper site. However, just to be sure before barreling down with full speed, turn off the water heading into your RV and disconnect the water hose from your RV.

After detaching the hose, connect it back to your camper van and switch back the water. If the pressure turns out okay during this evaluation, then you may have to rummage around your RV because the fault is still in there.

3. Check the RV’s Hosepipes

Hosepipe that transports water to your RV occasionally come with kinks. This cause low water pressure in RVs. Therefore, if you come across one while rummaging your RV have them removed to increase the water pressure.

4. Purchase High-Performance Pressure Regulators

Although they are costly, but a high quality pressure regulator, if installed in your RV will help maintain a good water pressure across camper van. This in turn will lead to a steady flow of water and a bubbly vacation.

Can Excessive Rainwater Cause a Reduction in Water Pressure?

rain drops

Normally, there is no relationship stringing rain water to a water supply line.

Occasionally, runoffs from excessive rainfall expose pipes and  even cause breakages. Leaks between your water meter and the plumbing pipes extending to your home can cause low water pressure.

On the back of that, if this is not quickly fix, you can incur more extra meter bills because your meter records water going straight to your home, including that which is leaking out that you did not use.

How to Increase Water Pressure Without a Pump

If you don’t have an electric pump to increase the water pressure in your home, don’t sweat it. You can hike the water pressure in your home without needing or actually using one.

Check out the following below on how to raise the water pressure in your home without a pump

  • The lower your water tank, the lower the pressure. A good pressure works with great height. Elevate the height of your tank to raise the pressure.
  • Remove the restrictors from your shower heads if they are any. This will raise the water pressure.
  • Clean out clogged or blocked water pipes completely
  • Leaks, cracks, punctures in the water pipes cause a big drop in water pressure. Having them fixed immediately will increase your water pressure.
  • Pipes width can affect your water flow. A smaller width will lower your water pressure reducing the water flow rate. On the other hand, a bigger width will boost the water pressure thereby increasing the flow rate.

Conclusion

The right water pressure ensures you never have to squirm over a low water flow rate. If you are ever in doubt on how to solve problems on low water pressure whether in your RV, or cabins, or homes, with a well system or not, the simple tips above are tested ways to salvage the situation.

Joe Taylor

Over 2 decades of remodeling experience, Joe is an expert in home improvement. He is now the Managing Editor of PlumbJoe where he writes guides for homeowners. His hobbies include climbing, running and playing the piano.

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