How to Fix a Faucet with Low Water Pressure
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Sal calling in from Iowa who’s dealing with a water pressure situation. Tell us about it. Is it only in one faucet, shower or sink? What’s going on?
SAL: Actually, yeah, it’s only in one faucet. It’s in the bathtub; the bathtub doesn’t seem to get hardly any pressure coming out. When I put on the hot water, it barely dribbles and the cold water, you know, isn’t that much better.
LESLIE: Is this a new problem or has this always been going on in the life of the fixture?
SAL: Actually, I just moved in so I’m not real for-sure how long this has been going on, though.
TOM: (overlapping voices) OK.
LESLIE: And you didn’t turn on the faucet before you moved in? Didn’t your – my dad was always like, “Flush a toilet (Tom chuckles) and turn on the shower.” (Sal chuckles)
SAL: Well, I’ll have to talk to my dad about that then. (Leslie chuckles)
TOM: You know, if it’s only in one faucet like that, then you don’t have a water-pressure problem; you just have a problem with the faucet.
Now, things that could cause that could be something as simple as a little bit of debris that got into the valve.
SAL: Oh, OK.
TOM: And you may be able to get – to take it apart and clean it out.
TOM: It’s amazing, especially with some of the more modern valves, what a tiny bit of like crud that gets in the pipe – a little piece of mineral deposit …
LESLIE: Even a hard-water buildup or something.
TOM: That’s right. Hard water or a piece of solder that broke off can totally ruin the flow.
TOM: Now is it just – is it the tub faucet or is it the shower?
SAL: It’s actually the tub (inaudible at 0:10:38).
TOM: The tub faucet? Not the shower? So the shower faucet, the shower spout – sorry, the shower spigot has plenty of water coming out of it?
SAL: I actually haven’t tried that yet.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Why?
TOM: (overlapping voices) Well, why don’t you try that?
SAL: (overlapping voices) I have to get a couple shower curtains, so …
TOM: Let’s start in there. (Sal chuckles) Work with me here, Sal. Let’s (chuckling) narrow it down, OK? (Sal laughs)
LESLIE: Sal’s like, “I haven’t even unpacked yet. I just turned on the tub.” (Sal chuckles)
TOM: But I do think that’s probably what’s causing it. I think there’s some debris in the line. You’ve got to isolate it, figure out what part of it is affected and then fix it.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And what you can do is you can disassemble the tip of your faucet, which is where the aerator is going to be and really work on – as you take it apart, take pictures, write it down, keep it in order so you know how to exactly reassemble it.
SAL: OK, yeah. I’ve got a video camera so I’ll do that. True.
LESLIE: And some white vinegar and water’ll do a great job of breaking down any sort of mineral buildup. It’s worth a shot.
SAL: Oh, I really appreciate all the help.
TOM: You’re welcome, Sal.
SAL: Yep, you folks have a great show and have a good evening.
LESLIE: Thanks, Sal.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.