Water pressure is something that you probably take for granted. You turn on the faucet and the water comes out with enough force to quickly fill a kettle or enjoy a shower.
But, what happens if the water pressure suddenly drops and no longer meets the Australian standard?
The first thing you should do is check with your neighbors to see if their water pressure has been affected. If it has there is a good chance that it is an issue with the water board. You can contact them and verify the fault, as well as finding the approximate time pressure will be restored.
However, if the water pressure is okay at your neighbor's house you have to suspect the fault is in your home plumbing.
Here’s what you need to do. Don’t forget, before you start, to check several faucets, you may only have a pressure problem at one appliance.
Pressure Reducing Valve
Most homes have a pressure reducing valve that actually reduces the water pressure from the mains supply. Having it too high can damage joints and appliances.
Start by adjusting this valve, turn it clockwise to increase the water pressure. If this has no effect then the valve may have become defective. It’s best to call an emergency plumber to get the issue resolved properly. The mains water will need to be shut off completely in order to replace this valve.
The Main Valve
If there is no fault with the pressure regulation valve then check the main valve at your water meter. Turning this off very slightly can reduce your water pressure. Although it shouldn’t have been tampered with it’s worth looking at the valve and making sure it’s fully open.
There are two issues with the pipes that can reduce water pressure. The first is a leak. Naturally, the water will be escaping creating air in the pipes which reduces water pressure.
Check your pipes, particularly joints for leaks. You can also shut off all appliances and take a water meter reading. Take another one in two hours and see if the reading has changed. It shouldn’t have, but, if it has then you have a water leak.
You can also use an inspection camera to check the inside of these pipes. They may be corroded on the inside or have a buildup of debris. This will reduce the flow of water and your water pressure.
Remember that the toilet cistern is one of the most common places for a leak to occur. If it sounds like the toilet is constantly running you have a problem with the flush mechanism, it will need repairing or replacing.
Air in Your Lines
It is also possible that you have got air in your water pipes, especially if there has been work done on the main supply. This will result in hiccupping as opposed to a loss in water pressure. But, it is still annoying and you’ll need to turn al your faucets on, starting with the one furthest from the main valve, this will clear it.