The average American showers six to seven times per week. If you are frustrated with the low water pressure on your shower head, it may be time to upgrade.
What causes low water pressure? How do you increase the flow of water from your shower head?
It may surprise you, but the solution is often a simple one that you can do right away. Here are eight reasons your shower ran low.
- Blocked shower head
Mineral deposits from hard water can build up over time and cause clogging in your shower head. In this case, the water will not be able to completely flow out of the shower head and will result in a weak flow.
An easy way to check if this is your problem is to take a look at your shower head. If debris builds up in the holes in the shower head, you will need to use a vinegar solution to break up the mineral buildup.
Mix a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water. Pour this mixture into a plastic bag and then wrap it around the shower head so that the holes are immersed. Secure the bag with an elastic band or zip tie so it stays in place long enough to break up the debris.
Wait 1-2 hours or even overnight. Then remove the pouch and remove the mineral deposits with a toothbrush. You’ll soon have a shiny, clean shower head and enjoy higher flow rates.
- Outdated low flow shower head
In some homes, particularly California, low flow shower heads are installed to save water. While you may not be able to switch to a high flow shower head in California, there are still ways to improve your showering situation.
Outdated, low flow shower heads are likely to have deteriorated, causing the water to flow even lower than normal. When you upgrade to a new model, you get the best shower head for low water pressure and a refreshing shower.
- Controller defective
A water flow regulator or limiter is sometimes installed in shower heads to help conserve water usage. It will limit the flow of water to less than three gallons per minute.
Shower head controls can be great for reducing water waste and lowering your monthly bills. However, if your normal water flow is already low, a regulator can bring the water down to frustrating levels.
If you have a regulator installed in your shower head, you can simply remove it. While you do this, you can even check your shower head sections for damage or debris.
- Worn single control shower
Individual control showers make it easier to achieve the perfect water temperature. You use a volume valve that affects how the water goes into your shower head and that valve can sometimes cause problems.
The volume valve is a complex part that needs to be repaired frequently. Over time, parts of the shower system will wear out and need to be replaced in order for the shower to function properly.
Due to its complexity, you may need to call a plumber to fix a shower with a single controller. You can also visit This page for more information Troubleshooting a shower with low water pressure.
- Partially closed valve
Sometimes the cause of low flow water cannot be found right in your shower head. If you’ve checked the reasons above and are still having trouble increasing shower head flow, you may have a partially closed valve.
A water shutoff valve may have been moved so that it is not fully open. This is often a simple solution and can help improve the flow of water in your home.
- Obsolete pipes
The pipes in your home have been used frequently over the years and will eventually rust and deteriorate. Sometimes it can even build up in the pipes, creating problems like a low flow shower.
To determine if it’s time for a pipe change, read the house inspection report you received when you bought the house. Supply pipes are made of brass, copper or galvanized steel. Each type will last a different number of years, so knowing your home’s pipes is important.
You can also try to find out what your water looks like and whether it has a high mineral content. This will wear out your pipes more and will need to be replaced sooner.
When your home is near the 100 year mark and you know your water is high in mineral content, it may be time to replace the pipes. Hire a trusted plumber to inspect your water system.
- Faulty water heater
Sometimes the reason for a low flow shower head can be traced back to the water heater. How do you know if this is your problem?
If your shower head only has a low flow when using hot water, the problem is probably with your water heater. It may leak or be corroded to function properly. If you are working with a water heater, it is a good idea to hire a professional.
- Water Leak
A low flow shower head can also be a sign of a water leak in your home. If you suspect this problem, you should immediately consult a specialist. Water leaks can do great damage to your home and it is important to stop it early.
Fix low water pressure
Increasing the flow of your shower head with low flow is often an easy solution if you can pinpoint the cause. Constantly low water pressure in your home can be frustrating, but once this is fixed you can enjoy a refreshing shower every day.
Would you like more ways to improve your home? Read our guide on how to increase the market value of your home.