LESLIE: Our next caller is Dane in Missouri who’s having a water pressure issue.
What’s happening, Dane?
DANE: Well, the problem I have is in the shower I’ve experienced low water pressures and I’m not really sure why that’s the case because I’ve taken the shower head off and removed the regulator and there doesn’t seem to be any debris in there and still getting low water pressures. And intermittently, I have low water pressures to the sink in the kitchen.
LESLIE: And how old is your house?
DANE: It’s nine years old.
TOM: Oh, it’s a new house.
LESLIE: Nine? So it’s a new house.
TOM: City water or a well system?
DANE: City water.
TOM: Hmm. Well …
LESLIE: Well, city water could be the problem itself because sometimes city water could be very dirty which could cause damage to your pipes before it actually filters in through the house system.
DANE: OK, but I don’t seem to have any water pressure problems at other places in the house.
TOM: It’s only at certain faucets. It sounds to me like something is restricted here. Now you did the right thing and you removed the water restrictor, the water-saving restrictor, on the shower head. And are you sure that the valve is fully open that’s feeding that particular bath? Because if the valve is partially closed, that could cause this problem.
The other thing is kitchen sinks and any kind of sink is going to have an aerator on it and sometimes the aerator gets clogged and you’d be amazed how little rust it takes to completely cut the stream in half.
DANE: OK, I’ve taken the aerator out of that.
TOM: Well, try this. Have you tried shutting the valves all the way off and opening them back up again?
DANE: Yes, I did and I tell you what – at the shower, that helped but then it came back with low water pressure again.
TOM: And so you do have certain fixtures in the house that have plenty of water pressure?
DANE: Sure, yep. And they’ve never had a problem.
TOM: Hmm. Well, it’s got to be a restricted valve somewhere and there’s only two ways it could be restricted: the valve’s partially closed or you’ve got rust and debris inside of that valve.
DANE: OK, so I tried clearing that out. Is that something that could re-accumulate and restrict the water pressure again?
TOM: Potentially; especially if the valve isn’t working properly.
TOM: So I would do it again: close it, open it, and watch it. Because I think – it sounds to me like it’s restricted in the valve, more likely, than another place. And there could also be – in that shower, there could be multiple restrictors. There could be one in the head and there could be in the valve body itself.
DANE: OK, that’s what I was thinking and I didn’t know what the term was but the valve body?
TOM: Yeah, exactly.
DANE: Take that apart again.
TOM: You might want to.
DANE: Yeah, I’ll try that because it’s frustrating to …
TOM: Yeah, it certainly is. You know I always want to pay for my shower out of the recreational budget; let that water flow, you know?
DANE: Exactly, I do too.
TOM: Alright. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.