Modern bathroom set ups and increasing numbers of ensuites can lead to water pressure problems in a home. London areas we commonly work in, such as Battersea, Clapham, and Balham, where there are a lot of houses down one street, all boasting several bathrooms within the property (rather than just one or two), can inflict a huge strain on the water supply. Often, the water mains find it hard to cope with the demand and need pumping stations to help boost the pressure.
The amount of water pressure at a tap or showerhead will typically depend on:
- How high the reservoir or water tower that supplies your property is above your home.
- How close you live to one of your water supplies pumps.
- How much water is being used by other people in your neighbourhood.
In this article, we look at five ways of increasing the water pressure in your home so you can enjoy that well needed hot, refreshing shower any time of the day you need it.
Clean the shower head and remove any obstructions
A common reason for experiencing low water pressure is when the shut off valve becomes obstructed. This is particularly common when you buy a new home, so make sure you check the shut off valve is fully open (it’s usually found under the kitchen sink). Also, check you shower does not have a ‘flow restricting’ shower head. there is a water restrictor in place, you will simply need to find and remove it.
You could also try giving the shower head a good clean before looking to replace anything. Sometimes, cleaning all the dirt and mineral deposits that can get into the water system from the mains supply, is all you need to get the flow of water moving at full speed again. If you cannot physically remove your shower head, then try placing the shower head into a bowl of cleaning solution – one that is excellent at removing limescale and breaking down some of the sediment that has built up over time. Leave it to soak for a while before giving it a good scrub.
Replace the shower head
If you are certain that there is no water flow restrictor in place, a quick solution could be to replace your head to a special low pressure shower head. Homeowners often find that although water pressure is adequate at the bath and sink taps, once a shower head is fitted, where the head is higher than other outlets, the pressure of the spray is nowhere near where is should be for effective showering. This is often a result of the spray head being too close to the water level in the cold-water storage tank. Replacing the shower head with a low-pressure variety, will work better than a standard head as it is designed to perform better in low water pressure scenarios.
However, a new shower head will not improve water pressure if the problem is associated with the mains water supply, so it is always worth getting the opinion of a professional before you go ahead and spend money on a replacement.
Install a shower pump
A shower pump is a device that is fitted to your home water system that increases the thrust of water pumping through your pipes and increasing the pressure at the showerhead. What shower pump you purchase will depend on what type of boiler you have in your home. However, pumps serve a wider range of shower types and shower heads which means you can keep your existing thermostatic mixer shower or electric shower, and you do not need to replace the whole shower unit with a new power model.
Once installed, the shower pump will activate when you turn the shower on. As the water leaves the tank it will go through the shower pump before it reaches the showerhead. The pump uses an impeller to transfer energy from the pump’s motor to the water to give the water pressure a boost before it sprays out the shower. Installing a shower pump is an effective, straightforward water pressure fix and will not pull too hard on your purse strings either.
Install a pressurised unvented hot water cylinder
This is quite a complex procedure that means overhauling your whole plumbing system. If you have just bought an older house with the view to renovating and modernising the current water system, this would be a good option for you. Essentially, you will be removing the cold-water tank and replacing it with a pressurised cylinder that takes its feed directly from the mains. It’s a big budget job but will deliver impressive results.
Opt for a power shower
Power showers come with their own pump installed to boost the water pressure. In our experience, a shower pump is often the more cost-effective option.
If your shower is not achieving the pressure you desire, our team of approved plumbers and water pressure professionals can boost sits power and water flow by installing a pump to your system. As a London based firm, our team has excellent knowledge of the local infrastructure, property types and common problems that affect its water supplies, so whether you need shower pump repairs or installations, a new shower installed, or you are experiencing a plumbing emergency, we can help.