How can El Paso residents combat low water pressure?

low water pressureLow water pressure can be very frustrating. Luckily, however, this can be a relatively simple problem to remedy. If you are a resident of El Paso and prefer calling a professional plumber, contact our company – Genesis Plumber.

Possible Causes

There are a few things you must check to properly diagnose the problem:

1) Check that the water meter valve is open completely. The water meter valve is one of two major valves that control water flow into residential property – if this is not open all the way water could be blocked. The water meter is typically on an outside wall.

2) Make sure that the main shut off valve is completely open. This is the second major valve that controls water flow. This valve can be found where water the water mainline enters the home, usually in the basement or garage.

valves

3) Check to see if the pressure regulator is working properly. The pressure regulator adjusts the pressure of the water so that pipes, faucets, and other plumbing elements are not damaged. A faulty pressure regulator can greatly inhibit the flow of water into your home – the reading should be between 50 and 80 psi.

4) Compare water flow from indoor faucets with the flow from outdoor spigots. Like mainline pipes, sediment buildup in faucets can decrease water flow. If the water pressure outside is greater than it is inside, you may need to replace your fixtures.

5) If you have checked everything and are not having any luck, the problem could be with the pipes themselves. Dirt and mineral buildup can accumulate over the years and wreak havoc on your plumbing. Older homes, especially those with galvanized iron pipes, are especially prone to this. Find out when (or if) your pipes have been replaced.

Solutions

If you are experiencing any of the first four problems, you can fix your water pressure without hiring a professional.

1) If your water meter valve is not completely open, you can open it yourself. Most water meter valves have a pressure adjustment screw on top. If the screw is too loose, water flow will be very poor. To increase water pressure simply rotate the screw clockwise to tighten it.

2) To open the main shut off valve,  twist the knob counter-clockwise. This may take more than one full rotation.

3) If the pressure regulator does not show a reading between 50 and 80 psi you will need to replace it. You can do this yourself if you find the same model at an El Paso hardware store. However, if you are very inexperienced, it may be easier to hire a professional.

4) Sediment buildup in faucets is another quick – fix. After you install new fixtures you should notice a much greater water flow.

5) Unfortunately, replacing your pipes is no easy task. You will need to hire a professional plumber and obtain a permit. Total replacement can and cost $10,000 or more. Though the price is intimidating, this should be a one-time job as new pipes will last between 50 and 70 years.

If you have taken the above steps and are still displeased with your water pressure, you can install a pressure booster. This tank holds a reserve of pressurized water to mitigate low- flow. It is especially useful in larger households, where multiple faucets or showers may be running at the same time. Pressure boosters cost approximately $900 and can be found in hardware stores in El Paso or online. For more tips, visit familyhandyman.com.

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