How to fix low water pressure (and three hot new faucets to try when it’s all better)

Few things in life are more frustrating than hopping under a dribbling shower or sink. Fortunately, there’s an easy fix.

Here’s how to diagnose the cause of your water pressure woes and how to implement a solution. And when the problem’s solved, celebrate with a hot new shower fixture from Delta, Kohler or Riobel.

The problem

The first step in assessing the state of your water pressure is to measure flow with a simple hose pressure gauge (available at your local hardware store). Standard household pressure should sit somewhere between 30 and 80 psi.

If the gauge reads within this range but your shower still gives out nothing but drips, you may need to remove mineral deposits from your shower head or replace it entirely. In an older home it’s also possible that buildup in your pipes is blocking the flow, in which case affected pipes will need to be replaced.

If readings are below 30 psi, your pressure will need to be amplified.

The solution

The severity of your problem will determine whether your home needs a pressure tank or a tank-pump combo.

Water pressure tanks are generally installed in homes with well water, but there’s no reason you can’t implement the same technology to increase psi from the municipal supply. It sits between the main shutoff valve and your home, and in most cases installing it is not a DIY job. You’ll need to bring in a plumbing professional.

If the increase in pressure is still insufficient, install a one-way pump with variable psi between the shutoff valve and the tank. Adjust psi accordingly, taking care to not exceed 80 psi. Pressure above this threshold can damage pipes, fittings and fixtures.

Three winning fixtures

A new showerhead is the perfect way to celebrate the end of your pressure problem and get the most out of your new system.

The 6-setting Delta Temp20 is a great choice for those who love a powerful massaging spray. Homeowners with longer hair will love the shampoo rinsing setting, particularly after years of struggling with low flow.

Like to sing in the shower? Rock and roll with the Moxie by Kohler. One of the manufacturer’s most popular new product lines, the Moxie features a Bluetooth enabled wireless speaker that can connect to your phone or another device.

If your pressure tank installation is part of a renovation, consider an upgrade to a fully integrated shower system by Riobel.

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