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How To Increase Your Water Pressure At Home

Updated: | Published:

Improve water pressure and enjoy your showers
Improve water pressure and enjoy your showers

If you are looking for practical tips on how to increase the water pressure in your home, you've come to the right place.

We'll cover the common reasons that you may be experiencing insufficient water pressure, how to measure the water pressure in your home, and give you several practical tips on how to increase your pressure.

If the cause of your low water pressure is due to a systemic issue with your plumbing, your only permanent solution may be a complete home repipe. We'll cover that too: what a home repipe entails, how much it costs, and how long it takes.

Common Reasons You May Need To Increase Water Pressure

Before we can provide tips on how to increase your water pressure, we first need to identify why you have insufficient pressure in the first place. The reasons you may need to increase your water pressure fall into these general categories:

  • Low municipal water pressure: the pressure delivered to your home at the water meter.
  • Restrictions in your main supply line: the water pressure and water flow from the meter to your main shut-off and pressure regulating valve (if you have one).
  • A systemic plumbing issue: problems with your overall plumbing system - like the presence of old galvanized pipes full of rust.
    Galvanized pipe full of rust
    Galvanized pipe full of rust
  • A localized plumbing restriction: issues like clogged faucet or shower head screens causing a flow reduction.
  • Problems with a well system: If you have a well system, there may be multiple reasons for low pressure depending on the type of system you have (gravity-fed vs. pressure tank). We provide consulting with a well system specialist to service and inspect your well system.

In this article we will focus on the ways to increase your pressure for the general categories above. We have a separate more detailed guide of all the common causes of low home water pressure.

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How To Measure Your Home Water Pressure

To identify potential solutions for improving your water pressure, you should begin by measuring it.

Normal residential water pressure should fall somewhere between 40-60psi. Anything below 30psi is too low, and may prevent some appliances from functioning properly.

It is easy to measure your water pressure with inexpensive pressure gauges readily available at any hardware store. These pressure gauges can be attached to any of three common fixtures in your home:

  • Outdoor hose spigots and hose bibs
  • The supply connection to your washing machine
  • The drain at the bottom of your hot water heater

Try to take a reading at multiple locations around the home. Take one reading with all outlets shut, and no water running (static pressure). Take another reading with one outlet running (dynamic pressure).

Your readings will help determine if your water pressure issues are in the supply leading into your home, or if the issues are more likely in the internal plumbing of your home.

Signs that the cause of low pressure is in your internal plumbing

If your dynamic pressure is 10psi less than your static pressure, this is a strong indicator of one or more restrictions somewhere in your internal piping. Similarly, if you observe differential flow rates coming out of faucets at different locations in your house (including low hot water flow, while cold water flow is OK), you may be a candidate for a whole home repipe.

Low water pressure from blocked pipes
Low water pressure from blocked pipes

Jump to our section Do I Need a Repipe To Get High Water Pressure. We'll discuss what types of internal plumbing restrictions may have an easy fix versus issues that may require a complete repipe.

Signs that a low pressure issue is not in your internal plumbing

If the following is true:

  • Uniform water flow across hot and cold lines
  • Uniform water flow across multiple outlets around your home
  • Dynamic water pressure drop is less than 10-15psi
  • Static pressure is less than 40psi

Then any solutions for increasing your water pressure are not likely in your internal plumbing, and is instead at the point where your water lines enter your home, in the main supply line between the meter and your home, or with the municipal supply itself.

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Improving The Water Pressure Entering Your Home

If the pressure tests discussed in the prior section indicate that low pressure causes are not within your internal plumbing, here are the main ways you can increase your water pressure:

1) Eliminate municipal water pressure as a cause of low pressure

If the pressure supplied from the municipality is too low, there are limits to what you can do on your own. If the pressure drop happened suddenly - perhaps there is a main break or leak. Check with your neighbors if they are experiencing low pressure as well.

If your neighbors aren't experiencing low pressure, there's also a possibility that your water meter (including shut-off valves near the meter) is restricting flow. Both the water meter and any valves upstream of it, are the responsibility of your water supplier. You'll need to contact your supplier about general water supply pressure issues, as well as checking your meter and associated shut-off valve.

Booster Pump: A booster pump can increase water pressure throughout your home or in specific areas. However, ensure that the cause of low water pressure is not a temporary or main supply issue before investing in a booster pump. Addressing other systemic low pressure issues might work, potentially eliminating the need for a booster pump (which may require a pressure storage tank). We don't install booster pumps/systems - however, one of our local Repipe Consultants may be able to help you determine if a repipe will increase your home's water pressure.

2) Check your main home shut-off valve and the pressure reducing valve

Ensure your shut-off valve is in the fully open position. Main home shut-off valves are typically near wherever your water pipes enter your home.

In areas where municipal water supply has very high pressure, homes are fitted with water pressure regulators, often referred to as a pressure reducing valve (PRV), which reduce the water pressure into your home. The valves typically have a serviceable life of 10 to 15 years.

When PRV's start failing, you'll typically experience fluctuations in pressure. You may also hear strange sounds from the pipes around your valve when water is flowing. If you notice these symptoms, and you know that your PRV is at least 10 years old - you likely need to have it replaced by a plumber.

Pressure reducing valves can also be adjusted to increase (or decrease) your pressure. Some PRV's are easy to adjust, and include built in pressure gauges, so that you can see the effect of any adjustments you make. More typically however, you need to measure the pressure yourself (as discussed in the prior section) as you raise and lower the PRV pressure setting.

PRV warning: if the causes of low pressure issues are due to water flow restrictions in internal plumbing (from corroded galvanized plumbing for example), many homeowners (and plumbers), will increase the PRV setting to dangerously high static pressure levels until they get satisfactory flow from their outlets. You should always keep the static pressure at 60psi or lower. Higher than that, and you start to run the risk of leaks and damage to your appliances. If your static pressure is 60 psi or higher, and you are getting insufficient flow at multiple outlets around your home - you likely need to repipe your home.

3) Replace your main service line

If you've eliminated municipal pressure, PRV, and the shut-off valve as causes of low water pressure, it is possible that your main service line from the meter to your home needs replacing.

If the service line is old, it may have accumulated scale from hard water (in the case of galvanized pipe - rust), restricting water flow. Similarly, if your home has been expanded and remodeled significantly since original construction, it is possible that the diameter of the service line is too small to allow sufficient flow for higher water demand of a larger home with more outlets.

If you are unsure if your service line needs replacing, contact us for a free consult from one of our local estimators. We may also be able to provide local referrals for services we don't offer, such as replacing your PRV.

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With over 75,000 repipes completed, we've perfected our One-Stop Repipe™ for your home.

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Do I Need to Repipe To Get High Water Pressure?

Problems in your internal home plumbing causing low flow or low pressure, can be lumped into two general categories:

  1. Localized and temporary: these can be relatively easy to fix, and generally would not require any significant pipe replacement.
  2. Systemic and long term: these are issues that typically require pipe replacement, with a whole-home repipe often the most cost-effective and least disruptive option. Get a free repipe quote.

1) Solutions to increase water pressure for localized plumbing issues:

  • Water softener systems: The filters in a whole home water softener system can get clogged over time. Ensure these are regularly inspected and serviced.
  • Main line water filter: If your home is fitted with a whole-home water filter where the main line enters your home - like water softener systems - these need to be regularly inspected and serviced.
  • Faucet and shower head filter screens: Virtually all faucets and shower heads have simple filter screens to capture debris in the water. These should be cleaned and flushed regularly.
    Shower head clogged with scale
    A shower head clogged with scale
  • Outlet valves and faucets clogged with scale: The minerals in hard water will accumulate scale throughout your internal plumbing system over time. This can be pronounced in old faucets or outlet shut-off valves, restricting water flow at those specific outlets. There are ways these fixtures can be disassembled and cleaned: but it is typically more cost-effective to replace them with new. Note that if it seems your fixtures are getting clogged with scale or rust - this likely points to a systemic issue, as your piping will also be getting clogged with scale / rust.

2) A repipe as a permanent solution to systemic low water pressure

If your piping and fittings have built up internal scale and rust over time, the water flow throughout your home can become significantly restricted. Old galvanized piping full of rust is the most common reason we see for clogged pipes restricting water flow. Secondly, in areas with hard water, any type of pipe can start to get clogged over time (particularly at fittings and connections).

There is no way to effectively clean scale or rust inside pipes: so they must be replaced. Furthermore, a whole home repipe will always be more cost-effective overall relative to doing multiple partial replacements section-by-section.

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Get a Quote On A Complete Home Repipe

Here at Repipe Specialists, we've fully replaced the plumbing in over 75,000 homes since 1991, and we very often get positive feedback from our customers at how pleased they are with their fast flowing, high pressure water, post-repipe. We also continually get positive customer feedback from customers about their overall home repipe experiences. We often exceed their expectations on:

  • Speed: Our repipe crews typically complete a repipe in a day, returning on another day for wall patching.
  • Convenience: Through our One-Stop Repipe™ process, we handle everything from permits, to wall patching, to inspections.
  • Cleanliness: Our crews are trained to protect your home while working (we cover all surfaces with protective sheeting), and to clean up fully at the end of each day.
  • Peace of Mind: Repipe Specialists is a fully licensed plumber in every state we operate in, and we back all of our repipes with a lifetime warranty.
  • Financing programs: To help take the sting out of unplanned repipe expenses, we offer several financing programs.
  • Price: As a specialist that performs hundreds of repipes a week, we can deliver high-quality repipes at a lower cost vs generalist plumbers. We have an article that covers repipe cost factors in detail.

Schedule a free in-home consult, and one of our local repipe consultants will explain all your repipe options and provide you with a written, fixed-price quote.

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About Repipe Specialists

Expert Repiping at an Affordable Cost

Since our founding in 1991, we've been completing residential and multi-family building repipes to the highest standard.

With over 75,000 repipes completed, we've perfected our One Stop Repipe™ process: providing you with a high quality and convenient repipe experience while offering significant savings compared to traditional plumbers - plus, our work is guaranteed for life.

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