12-18-2010 11:22 AM - edited 12-18-2010 11:29 AM
Welcome to the community! Increasing water pressure at your home can be done by knowing the sources of what is causing your low pressure to begin with, so lets go over some key things around the house that you can check to get your water pressure to the level you want. If you do a bit of investigation you may not have to use pumps and storage tanks. Here are some of those key points to do first before upgrading anything first, as simple checks may be the solution...
I have split the how-to's in 3 different sections. One for basic check-up of your lines, the second one for more in-depth problems and the last one is a to install a specific booster on your water system. Since you already know your faucets and showerheads have low pressure, let's dig a little deeper into the diagnosis, if they are the culprit...
1. Check your main water lines and make sure they are turned all the way open. Older houses have water lines outside the house on the side with metal levels alongside. The level should be turned all the way parallel to the water line for maximum flow. This is generally where the front hose fitting is. You will see a wagon-wheel valve on the water line leading into your home. Turn this valve a half turn clockwise (shutting it down slightly), and then turn it counterclockwise all the way, as far as it will go. This should loosen any deposits and restore your full water flow if this is where your problem lies.
2. You can also increase pressure by opening the water valve at the water meter. You will need a special wrench to do this. Be advised doing this will also increase your water bill significantly.
3. Now check under the sink to see if there is a water flow valve adjustment. You simply have to turn this knob open. (usually counterclockwise)
4. If these methods fail, you probably have debris in your appliance. Most kitchen faucets have an aerator on the tip where the water comes out. This can get clogged or the seal broken. These can be replaced. You will need a rag to wrap around this and an adjustable wrench. Turn counterclockwise with the wrench to remove. Take the aerator to your local home center and ask the salesman to help you find a replacement. To replace, simply screw back on the faucet clockwise. Make sure the threads are completely clean so you don't get debris into the threads and cause the faucet to leak at the top.
5. If your showerhead is clogged, simply take a rag to wrap around the stem and use an adjustable wrench to remove the showerhead at the stem. Usually there is a filter and you will find some sort of sand or black particles in the filter that is causing the showerhead not to flow. Simply wash this out and replace. Alternatively, you can buy a better showerhead at your local home center and replace the old one. Take the old one with you just in case you aren't sure the new one will match the piping. Rub the shower stem threads clean with a clean cloth. Place a small amount of plumbing tape around the threads. Screw the new showerhead in place. You will need to wrap the stem with a rag and use the adjustable wrench again to tighten completely (otherwise the shower will spew water at the top when you turn it on). Turn the shower on to test if the head is tight. If not, make sure you threaded the showerhead on correctly - take it off and start over. If you cannot get the showerhead straight onto the stem, do not tighten it - you will strip the threads!!! Use all your strength to tighten it. Overtightening is difficult in this case, but be careful not to strip the threads.
If we know after ascertaining that isn't the case then here are some other options for great ways to increase your water pressure...
1. Check for any leaking pipes. This may mean crawling under your home with a flashlight, looking for leaks or wet places under your home. If a water line is leaking it will need to be repaired or replaced. You will need to shut off all water to your home by turning the wagon wheel valve at the front of your house all the way clockwise, as far as it will turn. This will shut off all water to your house and allow you to make repairs.
2. Leave your kitchen sink faucet open, and quickly turn the water to your home off and then on several times, using the wagon-wheel valve at the front of your house. This will help loosen any mineral deposits that might be clogging your pipes and reducing your water pressure.
3. Install a special water pressure pump if all else fails. This pump, which will need to be placed in a basement or somewhere near where the water line enters your home, fills with water and then fills partly with air to keep an even pressure on your water lines. In some parts of the country this pump may be referred to as a "bladder tank," and is frequently used in homes which are supplied by well water.
The final and possibly best way to increase the pressure after all the above steps didn't work is the use of a pressure-boost pump on your water system, be it municipal water lines or well water. Here's some steps on how to use it:
1. Shut off your source of water. Either close the water main to your house or turn off your well pump.
2. Mount booster pump on concrete pad or stable ground close to the water source.
3. Separate the water main to your house and remove a segment long enough to accommodate the size of
your booster pump system.
4. Connect the water line from your water source to the input of your booster pump.
Remember: the input to the booster pump will include a pressure regulator so incoming pressure
does not exceed the capacity of the pump.
5. Connect the output of the booster pump to the water inlet of your house.
6. Connect power to the pump and set up for operation as described in the pump manual.
7. Open water supply from water main or turn well pump on. Check entire line for leaks.
8. Place protective housing over pump system.
Hope this helps you out in getting your low pressure up to speed again. Again, welcome to the community and if you have any further questions....we are here to help!
I am a 12 year Home Depot Store Associate, trained and authorized to help people on the Internet.