Old pipes, especially ones made from metal, can corrode or rust from the inside. If mineral deposits are stuck in a water supply pipe, they can disrupt the flow to your shower (or other faucets). Similarly, if you have a small leak somewhere in your plumbing, low water pressure could be a noticeable symptom.
Clean your Showerhead
Simply cleaning out the mineral build-up in your showerhead can fix your water pressure issues. If you can remove the showerhead, do so and scrub out the inside with a toothbrush or dish brush. If you can't remove the showerhead, take a plastic bag and fill it with white vinegar.
9. Do all shower heads have removable flow restrictors? All of ours do, but fewer and fewer on the market are removable and more convert each year to be the non-removable type.
No, flow restrictors do not change pressure, but they do take pressure into account.
To get back to the important question - yes, a showerhead can help increase water pressure, and it can also do so while consuming less water than your usual fittings. Showery showerheads are designed to increase water pressure so you can experience a more enjoyable shower.
What does a flow restrictor look like? Before you remove the flow restrictor from your shower head, you need to know what it looks like. A water flow restrictor is usually a flat, circular, plastic piece. The center of the restrictor is shaped like a star, or similarly shaped, and comes in a variety of colors.
Look on the main supply pipe near your water meter for a conical valve that has a bolt sticking out of the cone. To raise pressure, turn the bolt clockwise after loosening its locknut. Keep an eye on the gauge to make sure the pressure is within bounds, then retighten the locknut.
A fast drop in only one faucet means there's a problem with the faucet. Rapid low pressure affecting one area of the house may mean a corroded pipe issue. An abrupt water pressure drop affecting the whole house may mean a water main break (municipal water) or a well pump problem (well water).
Showerheads clog over time because of a buildup of mineral deposits—specifically calcium. You may notice water spraying out of the nozzle in random directions, part of your showerhead is completely clogged, or poor water pressure.
A water pressure regulator, if you have one, is usually located where the main water line comes into the house and after the main shut off valve. This way if you need to work on or change the water pressure regulator you can simply shut off the water main to do so.
Lower pressure could be more severe than you imagine, potentially involving serious problems like leaking or cracked water pipes and may require professional intervention before snowballing into a home plumbing disaster.
Please keep in mind that all new faucets since 1994 are restricted to conserve water per EPA code mandates. Older faucets had no restrictions. Beyond intentional flow restriction, new installations can sometimes have reduced flow if the lines are not flushed prior to installation of aerators or shower heads.
The adjustment screw raises and lowers the water pressure, but before it can be adjusted, you need to loosen the lock nut below it. Loosen the lock nut by half a turn with the crescent wrench. Turn the adjustment screw counterclockwise to lower the pressure or clockwise to raise the pressure.
Removing a flow restrictor is illegal according to the US Energy Policy Act of 1992, which limits the maximum shower water flow rate to 2.5 gallons per minute (GPM).
(Normal is 60 psi and very few areas are below 40 psi) The pressure of the streams will drop under these extreme conditions, of course, but the stream integrity is preserved. This photo shows the stream integrity of our Perfect shower head (old style).
If part of the flow path is restricted, the downstream pressure will drop from the restricted area. This is called pressure drop. Pressure drop is energy loss. Not only will the downstream pressure decrease, but the flow rate and velocity will also decrease.
A standard 2.5 GPM shower head uses 2.5 gallons of water each minute. That's 25 gallons for a 10-minute shower. VS. A low-flow 1.8 GPM shower head uses 1.8 gallons of water each minute.
National standard - 2.5 gpm
This includes all type of shower heads like hand-held shower, wall mount shower head, shower head systems, and rain showers. For shower heads made pre 1990s, it is still possible to find 3.5 gpm flow rate or even higher.
Do All Homes Have a Water Pressure Regulator? No, and in some cases, you may not need one. Certain municipal supplies regulate their water pressure safely, but if that pressure runs above 80 psi, you'll want to protect your plumbing system by installing one.
Some of the first signs of a failing pressure regulator are a leaking water heater or commode. The water coming from a faucet may also exit with such force that splashing or water “hammering” may occur.