What is causing low water pressure in my house?

There is nothing more frustrating than looking forward to a refreshing shower after a long day, only to find that the showerhead is producing a slow dribble rather than the strong spray you long for.  Low water pressure can really affect your day-to-day living and it’s not just bathtime that is affected; your sink maybe taking forever to fill or your dishwasher and washing machine may be taking longer to complete its cycle than normal.

To fix the problem, you need to determine the cause.  If you are experiencing problems with a diminished water supply, use our checklist below to identify where the problem is originating from as well as some possible to solutions.

Check your internal stopcock is fully opened

If you have recently had plumbing work carried out, it is possible that your internal stopcock (sometimes called a stop valve) has been adjusted.  Not sure where it is?  Don’t worry you are not alone!  Locate your inside stop valve with this handy guide by Thames Water.  Once you have located it, check it has been fully re-opened.  Depending on the style of valve your property has installed (you may have a lever style or a handle style that turns like a wheel), you can reopen by using one of the following methods:

  • If you have a lever style valve, you can fully open by moving the handle, so it sits in line with the water pipe.
  • If you have a handle style, you will need to turn it anti-clockwise until it can no longer turn. Then, to avoid the valve getting stuck or leaking, turn the handle a quarter turn back in a clockwise direction.

External stop valve checks

Has your external stop valve been operated recently or have Thames Water been carrying out work in the area? If so, then this may indicate a problem with the external valve.   In this instance, you can call the Thames Water 24-hour Customer Centre on 0845 9200 800 to report the problem.

Consider how your water is fed to your home

Is the water in your property fed directly from the mains or from a cold-water storage tank in a cupboard or roof space?  Older, low-pressure supplies that are fed by gravity from a cold-water storage tank can be improved by the installation of booster pumps to supply a pressure boost to the whole property of just a single shower.

Alternatively, if you your water is fed directly from the main supply, your mains water supply pipe could be leaking, undersized and/or blocked.  In this instance, a new mains water supply pipe is the solution.  Fear not, our team of Thames Water approved Plumbers will utilise our Moling ‘no dig technology’ to ensure minimal external disruption is caused during installation.

Faulty valves and defective taps/shower

If you live in a purpose made development, it is possible that regulating valves fitted to the water supply could be faulty and require attention.  We find that it is commonplace for older plumbing installations in London to be fitted with pipes which are not intended to serve multiple bathrooms or outlets simultaneously.  As properties and plumbing installations expand, the outlets should be properly regulated to prevent starvation.

Defective taps, shower or other valves can reduce the supply of water.  Ensue that these are descaled regularly and correctly maintained.

Local area demands

Due to the ever-increasing demand on the mains water supply in London, it isn’t unusual to find that the mains water pressure and flow rate to some properties are reducing.  Although there are regulations stating the minimum supply required for dwellings, this is measured at the communication pipe serving the premises at street level and the water output can vary throughout the property, particularly from floor to floor.

Fortunately, there are various solutions which we are able to specify to improve this problem:

  1. Accumulators & Pumped Accumulators
    Accumulators boost the flow rate available to hot and cold water taps by storing water which is delivered to the outlets when demand exceeds the mains flow rate available. Accumulators do not increase water pressure; they simply increase the flow when required.  Accumulators allow the water system to work at its optimum pressure capacity by supplementing the flow of water when the system has open outlets (i.e. the tap is running). A pump model will raise the system pressure as well as the flow.
  2. Mains Pumps
    Mains Water Booster Pumps offer a straightforward and reliable solution to the issues of low mains water pressure and resulting poor quality showers and taps that do not fill the bath quickly. They go way beyond simple shower booster pumps. They are usually designed to easily fit onto the incoming cold-water mains supply to provide the whole house with added cold-water pressure.

As a London-based company, the Maintracts team have excellent knowledge of property types in the area.  This knowledge combined with our 40+ years in the business has taught us a thing or two about water pressure and what solutions will work best for your property.  If we can help you in anyway at all, please give us a call 020 8131 9985.  We are open all year round, 24 hours a day, we’d love to help.