The poor water pressure in the shower of tankless water heaters can ruin your whole day’s mood. Certain issues like leakage, blockage, scaling, plumbing fault, flow restrictors in plumbing lines, and low gas pressure can cause this problem. To help you deal with these issues, we have shared some reliable methods to increase the water pressure in the shower. Also, in this post, we have discussed the ways through which you can increase the water pressure with tankless water.
How to Increase Water Pressure in Shower?
Low water pressure in the shower is quite frustrating and can make you think about replacing the shower. However, before you fix the shower or purchase a new shower, it is critical to ensure that the water pressure in the shower is actually low. You can conduct a simple test to see if your shower has low water pressure or not.
Take a measuring container and open the shower. If it takes more than 10 seconds to fill 1-litre water, you face low water pressure issues, and it is time to look for a solution. Before we jump to the solutions, it is crucial to understand the reasons that can cause the low water pressure in the shower.
What Causes Low Water Pressure in Shower?
Check the Main Water Supply
The main reason for low water pressure in the showers in the center of the city or town is the old and outdated piping. You cannot deal with this issue since it is a matter of local government.
Check Your Plumbing System
Undersized plumbing pipes can be another reason for the low water pressure in showers. The old plumbing lines in your house do not match with the modern taps and shower designs. If your home’s plumbing and supply line are not replaced recently, it is undersized supply piping restricting the water flow.
Check for Clogging In Plumbing Lines
Old iron supply pipes can be clogged since they are highly prone to rusting and scaling. It can create build-up in pipes leading to blockage. You can ask a professional plumber to look for any blockage in the pipelines.
Flow Control Water Head
The advanced plumbing system uses flow-restricting or water-saving showerheads. Under the National Energy Act, some local governments have made it compulsory to install these shower heads to prevent water wastage. If a power-saving shower head is installed in your house, it could be the reason for the low water pressure in the shower.
Check for Closed Valves
Plumbing lines have multiple valves installed at different positions. If any of the shut-off valves are not fully opened, it can lead to low water pressure in taps or showers. Valves are usually located at the main water supply entrance. These valves can also be placed under inks and outside the kitchen and bathroom.
Fix the Low Water Pressure in Supply Lines
If the shut-off valves and save-water shower heads are not restricting the water flow, you may detect a clogging or breakage issue in the plumbing lines. You may need to replace or repair any part of the plumbing line, and it may cost you a few extra dollars.
Replace the ShowerHead
If your shower head is using a flow restrictor, but you want to increase the water pressure, it is time to replace the showerhead and remove the flow restrictor for the existing showerhead. You may or may not be able to remove the flow restrictor from the showerhead since some of them have a built-in flow restrictor.
Hire a plumber for this task and see if he can find and remove the flow restrictor. The next option is to replace the showerhead. Buy a new fully compatible low-pressure shower head for a nearby hardware store. See the product user manual for damage-free installation. If you don’t know much about plumbing lines, it is advised to seek professional help.
Installing a Pump
If outdated plumbing lines are causing low water pressure in the shower, it is not feasible to replace the whole plumbing lines. In this case, you can increase the water pressure by installing a shower pump. Install the shower pumps on the tap of the shower where you want to increase the water pressure. Shower pumps use impellers that boost the water pressure. Remember, installing the pumps at your house’s main water supply lines is illegal.
Installing an Electric Shower
If you are ready to spend money on increased water pressure in plumbing lines, you can install an electric shower. An electric shower is an advanced and complex plumbing fixture that comes with a separate accumulator tank. The accumulator tank takes its supply from the mains water tanks and accumulates the water for quick and uninterrupted supply.
Electric showers have built-in impellers and water heating mechanisms. An electric shower involves a flawless warm water supply with impressive pressure. Remember, electric water heaters are expensive and involve a complex plumbing mechanism. It is advised to seek professional plumbing services for this task.
Remove the Scale Build Up and Clogging
Scale build-up is one of the most commonly found reasons for low water pressure on the shower or taps. You can get the best out of outdated plumbing supplies with a little maintenance. Since tap water is full of minerals, scale development in the showerhead is inevitable. If the build-up is not much, you can use warm water and vinegar to remove the scaling.
Unscrew the showerhead and submerge all its parts in the vinegar. Leave it overnight, and then wash with warm water. However, if the scale build-up is stubborn and thick, you may need a commercial-grade scale remover for the plumbing lines.
See the Twists and Kinks
If the plumbing lines in your house are flexible, a kink or twist in the plumbing lines can restrict the water flow. This is a common problem in handheld showers. Carefully check the pipes and if you detect any twist, remove it as soon as possible. Remember, it is not recommended to apply force in winters since the contracted pipes can be cracked.
Check for the Valves
The first thing you need to check is the main shut-off valve. It is usually located at the curbside. This valve is usually installed near a water meter at the outside of the property. If the valve is not fully turned on, you can expect reliable and high water pressure inside the home.
The round valve should be turned at the maximum level in the counterclockwise direction. For lever-type valves, the handle should be in a parallel position with the pipe. Also, you should look for the main shutoff valve and in-line shut-off valves in the home and turn on the valves all the way.
Installing a Power Shower
If you have a strong water heating system installed in your home, you can use a power pump to increase water pressure in the shower. A power shower contains both hot and cold water faucets and has built-in water pumps. However, if the flow rate of your water heater is low, a power shower may not help you in this situation.
How to Increase Water Pressure for Tankless Water Heater?
A tankless water heater is a cost-effective and space-saving mechanism that ensures an on-demand warm water supply. Tankless water heaters have a complex mechanism, and a minor issue can lead to a significant drop in water pressure. It is critical to find out the reason behind the dropped water pressure in tankless water heaters to find an effective solution.
What Causes The Low Water Pressure In Tankless Water Heater?
A tankless water heating system is a sensitive and complex plumbing mechanism. If it is not installed properly, you may face low water pressure issues.
Inconsistent Flow Rate
Every tankless water heating system has a specific flow rate and feeding capacities. With a flow rate of 8-10 GPM, a water heating system can maintain a flawless hot water supply at three to four points. However, if it is connected with 5 or more fixtures in the home, the water pressure will be reduced at all points.
Leakage at any point in the plumbing line can cause low water pressure in tankless water heating systems. Old galvanized and iron piping is highly prone to leakage and you must check the valves and joints in the plumbing lines. There are many parts in the plumbing line that we cannot check manually.
However, you can perform a leakage test through your water meter. Take the meter reading and do not use water for the next three to four hours. Again take a reading and if you see any difference, it means your plumbing lines are facing leakage issues. Also, some advanced water meters have leakage indicators installed on them. It is a rotating disk device that gives an indicator if there is any leakage in the plumbing lines.
Pressure Regulator or Main Shut Off Wall
If no leakage is found, the next thing you can check is the main shut-off valve. If the valve is partially closed, it will cause low water pressure at multiple fixtures, including tankless water heaters. Also, many buildings and homes have a pressure regulator installed near the water meter of the main shut-off valve. If it is set to low-pressure settings, it can cause low water pressure in tankless water heating systems.
If you are facing problems with a specific fixture connected to a water heating system, you need to check for mineral deposits at the fixtures. Showerheads and taps are highly prone to mineral deposits leading to decreased water pressure.
If the gas supply is low to the tankless on-demand water heating system, you may face low-pressure issues. This problem is usually indicated by flame failure. Checking and fixing the issue is a risky process, and it is advised to hire a well-qualified plumber to fix the problem.
Hire a professional to check if a tankless water heating system is installed properly. It is advised to refer to the instruction and user manuals of the system. You may also get the manufacturer’s support, and it is the best idea to hire a professional through the customer care services of the manufacturer.
Do Not Overload the System
It is advised to connect the water heating system to a limited number of fixtures. Design upon the flow rate and feeding capacity and tankless water heater can provide uninterrupted warm water at a specific number of fixtures. If you have an entry-level tankless water heater with a flow rate of 2-4 GPM, it is advised to use it for 1-2 fixtures. If its flow rate is 8-10 GPM, you can connect the system to up to three fixtures in the home.
Blacked In the Hot Water Pipes
If any of the pipes in the whole hot water system is blocked, you will face low-pressure issues. You can identify the blockage in pipes through a pressure gauge. Contact the pressure gauge to the main water supply pipe and note down the pressure. Now connect it with the hot water pipe and again see the pressure. A difference in both values indicates the blockage.
You can use a mixture of baking soda, vinegar, and warm water to open the blockage. Boil an adequate amount of water and add half a cup of baking soda and vinegar per litre of water. Pour it down the pipe, and then add more vinegar and baking soda. This remedy may not work for stubborn and old blockage. In that case, you need a high-quality commercial drain opening product.
Crossover is another common issue found in tankless water heaters. The crossover is when hot water gets mixed with cold water due to improper installation or leakage. It doesn’t reduce the water pressure but limits the hot water supply. It is advised to seek professional help to figure out the faults and fix them.
Adjust the Temperature Settings
Low gas pressure can cause low water pressure in hot water pipes. It happens when the gas pressure is low and fails to meet the high-temperature demand. In winters, especially during power hours, the gas pressure is reduced, and it is suggested to adjust the temperature setting of the water heart accordingly.
Scaling in hot water pipes, taps, faucets, and showerheads restrict water flow. If the water pressure is low at a particular fixture, it can be the mineral build-up causing the problem. Unscrew the showerhead or faucet and submerge all the parts in vinegar. After 12-14, clean with warm water. You can also use commercial-scale removing products if thick and stubborn scaling.
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What causes poor water pressure in the shower?
Poor water pressure in the shower can be caused by many reasons such as clogged showerheads, leakage in plumbing lines, partially opened valves, closed valves, or the low gas pressure in water heaters.
Can you get a shower head that increases water pressure?
Yes, you can buy high-pressure shower heads to increase the water pressure in the shower. These showerheads are engineered to minimize the restriction and optimize the flow through the shower.
Is it OK to remove the flow restrictor from the showerhead?
Flow restrictors are installed in the showerhead under the National Energy Act. It is illegal to remove the flow restrictor from the showerhead in some states. If you remove the flow restrictor, it will increase the water pressure but will also increase your water bills.
It is evident that low water pressure can be caused due to many reasons. If it is a minor problem at your end, like closed valves, scaling, or skinks in the plumbing lines, you can easily fix it at your home. However, if you want to replace the showerhead or install a low-pressure pump, hiring a well-qualified professional for proper and damage-free installation is best. Also, you should not deal with the flame and low gas pressure issues yourself.
With years of experience under his belt, Adam decided to put his water heater knowledge to work. By providing high-quality content and expert guides, Adam hopes to help anyone looking for expert water heater advice.