How to Avoid Water Pressure Loss in your Shower
Any loss of water pressure in your shower can only be described as being annoying, even if it only lasts a short while due to a toilet being flushed elsewhere in your home. Although several homeowners may think there is nothing they can do to alleviate this issue, there are in fact a few steps that can be taken to do so.
Malfunctioning Diverter Valve
If you have a bathtub and shower combination, there will most likely be a diverter valve installed as well. This is a switch or knob that will divert the water from the tub faucet up to the showerhead. After working hard for a few years, these switches are known to malfunction or even stop working completely, resulting in them not being able to open far enough to provide full pressure to the showerhead. While it is normal for water to dribble from the tub spout while it is diverting, if there is a steady stream, the diverter will need to be replaced.
Pressure Balancing Valve Limitations
If there is a pressure-balancing valve in your shower (a single knob that controls both water temperature and flow rate), this can result in there being interruptions to water pressure as well as to water temperature when other plumbing fixtures like toilets are used.
These types of valves work by combining hot and cold water at specific pressure levels. This means that when a toilet is flushed, cold water will be diverted to refill the tank – which will cause a reduction of pressure in the cold water supply line. It takes a few seconds for pressure balancing valves to adjust, meaning that the water can turn quite hot when the valve doesn’t get the amount of cold water it needs.
This issue can usually be resolved by having a plumber replace the pressure-balancing valve with a thermostatic mixing valve.
Obstructed or Broken Piping
This is the worst possible cause of a reduction in water pressure in your shower because the resulting leak can cause serious damage to your home. If you are hearing water dripping or running when all faucets are off or if you notice water stains appearing anywhere, you should immediately turn off the water supply at the main valve and put in an emergency call to your local plumber.
A Clogged Showerhead
In some cases, uneven water pressure in a shower can be caused by something as simple as a clogged shower head. To determine if this is the case with yours, unscrew the head from the wall if possible and soak it in a cleaning solution for an hour or two. Remove from the solution and clean all of the nozzles out with an old toothbrush. If there is mold inside or on your showerhead, it will need to be cleaned thoroughly with bleach as well.
Although projects such as cleaning showerheads can be performed in a DIY capacity, most of the other above-mentioned tasks should be left to a qualified and experienced plumber. This will ensure that they are performed correctly and according to industry regulations.
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