Have you ever wondered just how much water pressure you should be enjoying from your taps? Often, we’ll hear from clients who say their property is suffering from low water pressure – but the neighbours all say the pressure is perfectly acceptable. If you’re not sure if you’ve actually suffered a loss of water pressure, try this test:
- Time how long it takes to fill a 1-litre container with the cold turned on fully.
- Did it take longer than 6 seconds? If so, that’s fairly poor water pressure.
So why is my water pressure so low?
Unfortunately, whether you have low water pressure in your house or not is a fairly inexact science. Of course, our mains water delivery systems are designed so that the pressure is acceptable. But the difference between ‘acceptable’ and ‘low’ can be determined by something as fickle as whether gravity needs to push your supply from a lower supply source to your more elevated home. Typically, across Adelaide and surrounding regions, it can actually be high water pressure that’s the problem, with many homes needing to cope with pressure in excess of 500 kilopascals – about double the average.
“So why is my water pressure so low?”, we hear you asking:
1. Is it just the hot water?
First things first: Do you have almost no pressure from the hot taps only, while the cold taps are all A-Ok? If you’re suffering a loss of water pressure in the whole house, keep reading right here. But if it’s just the hot taps, you’ll need to read about how to deal with low hot water pressure – which is almost certainly a hot water system issue.
2. Is there a supply outage?
If the pressure problem is with the cold taps, though, the first thing to check is if it’s SA Water’s fault rather than something wrong with your house. There could be a burst main in the area, or scheduled maintenance is underway. Otherwise, check with the neighbours to see if they’re having the same issue, bearing in mind that SA Water is bound by the requirements of the Water Services Association Code 03-2011 – which promises acceptable pressure standards for customers.
3. Have you checked the mains?
Find your main water mains control, which is normally located towards the front of your front yard, and see if it’s been partially turned off. You may also have a separate stop tap further down the line whose control also needs to be in the fully open position.
4. Do you have a leak?
If the mains and stop-taps are fully open, you might need to consider the bad news that you’ve got a leak somewhere. To check for that, turn off every tap and water-connected fixture on the entire property, and head out to your mains water meter to see if the dial is still turning. If so – oops! … you have a leak and you need the expert leak detection services to resolve the issue
5. Could it be a pipe problem?
If that isn’t spinning, you may not have a leak – but you could have a different problem with your plumbing pipes. For instance, as Adelaide’s water supply is quite ‘hard’, over time that can lead to a build-up of minerals inside your pipes that can eventually constrict the flow. Corrosion can have a similar effect, whilst another common cause of poor water pressure is bad plumbing work – like repairs or renovations for which the plumber used mismatched pipe sizes.
6. Do you have too many taps?
If the loss of water pressure came under the addition of, let’s say, a new bathroom, what you’ve essentially done is demanded extra pressure capacity – without actually providing that extra capacity. This is rarely a problem if you’ve used the services of a reputable and fully-licensed local plumber – and quite common indeed if you’ve paid “mate’s rates”.
Ask an expert about your poor water pressure
Did you read all that and you’re still none the wiser? If so, get in touch with the experienced and friendly team at Fawcett Plumbing and tell us all about your loss of water pressure. We’ll get a fully-stocked van and a skilled and highly experienced plumbing technician out to your place in a flash, where in most cases we can fix your problem in a single, same-day visit. We’ve proudly serviced locals of Adelaide Northern Suburbs, Adelaide Southern Suburbs, Adelaide Hills and beyond. Get in touch with Fawcett Plumbing today.