Are you noticing a drop-off in hot water pressure from your shower? You’re not alone. Low hot water pressure is a fairly common problem we see. In this article, we’ll explore what causes low hot water pressure in your shower and the things you can do to help diagnose the problem.
However, like most plumbing problems, if despite all efforts, you still can’t diagnose the problem, it’s probably best to call in the experts. The friendly team at Swan’s Professional Plumbing service the entire Perth & Peel regions, we’re here to assist you with any plumbing query you may have!
Need a plumber to assess your shower’s hot water pressure? The team at Swan’s Professional Plumbing is here to help! Call us today.
What Causes Low Hot Water Pressure in Showers?
Several factors can contribute to low hot water pressure in showers, and understanding these causes is the first step in resolving the problem. Once you’ve outlined the cause of low or no hot water pressure in the shower, you can work to address them. Here are some common reasons behind low hot water pressure in showers:
Over time, mineral deposits can accumulate in your hot water pipes, restricting the flow of hot water. This buildup is often due to hard water, which contains high levels of minerals like calcium and magnesium. As these minerals accumulate, they create blockages that reduce the flow of hot water to your shower head.
Sediment in the Hot Water System
Sediment, such as sand, dirt, or rust, can settle in the bottom of your hot water system tank. This sediment can clog the water lines, including those supplying hot water to your shower. As a result, you may experience reduced hot water pressure.
Faulty Pressure Regulator
If your home has a pressure regulator, it could be malfunctioning. A malfunctioning pressure regulator can result in uneven water pressure throughout your home, affecting your shower’s hot water pressure.
Old or Corroded Plumbing
Ageing or corroded plumbing pipes can restrict water flow, including the flow of hot water. Older pipes may develop rust or corrosion, which narrows the passage for water and reduces pressure.
Hot Water System Issues
Problems with the functioning of the hot water system itself can lead to low hot water pressure. For instance, a malfunctioning heating element or a failing thermostat can result in inadequate hot water production or distribution.
Faulty or partially closed water supply valves leading to your shower can limit the flow of hot water. It’s important to make sure these valves are fully open and functioning correctly.
Peak Demand Periods
If you’re in a shared living situation or using hot water during peak demand times, you may experience low hot water pressure as the supply struggles to keep up with the demand.
What Should I Do to Diagnose the Cause of Low Hot Water Pressure in My Shower?
As you can see, in order to address low hot water pressure in your shower, you may need to identify the specific cause and take appropriate steps. As no or low water pressure can be caused by a variety of different things, the most efficient way to find the root cause would be to call out your trusted local plumber. However, if you want to take a crack at fixing it yourself, here are some things you can check:
Start by determining if the low water pressure issue is specific to one fixture (e.g., a single shower head) or affects multiple fixtures in your home. This helps narrow down the location of the problem.
Check Cold Water Pressure
Turn on a cold water tap in the same area as the affected shower. If the cold water pressure is also low, it might indicate an issue with the plumbing supply to that area of the house, rather than a specific hot water problem. If only the hot water supply is affected this could indicate hot water system problems.
Check the Shower Head
Remove the shower head and inspect it for mineral buildup or debris that might be clogging it. Then clean or replace the shower head as needed.
Sediment in the Hot Water System
If low hot water pressure affects multiple fixtures, it might be related to the hot water system. You can try flushing the unit yourself but this is something usually done when you get it professionally serviced. Make sure you are keeping up to date with regular hot water system servicing!
Pressure Regulator Check
If your home has a pressure regulator, check its settings or consult a professional plumber to ensure it’s functioning correctly. A malfunctioning regulator can cause low pressure throughout your home.
Check Water Supply Valves
Ensure that the water supply valves leading to the affected fixture or area are fully open. Sometimes, partially closed valves can restrict water flow.
Replace Old or Corroded Pipes
Don’t Put Up With Low Hot Water Pressure, Call the Team at Swan’s Professional Plumbing Today!
There’s nothing better than taking a nice hot shower at the end of a long day. Lucky for you, low hot water pressure issues can usually be fixed quite quickly. If you’re dealing with low water pressure, don’t hesitate to call the team at Swan’s Professional Plumbing. With a team of experienced plumbers located all across Perth, rest assured, we’ll get the problem fixed quickly. Call us today on 1300 634 581.
When only your hot water pressure is low, it typically results from issues within the hot water system itself. Common causes include mineral buildup in hot water pipes, sediment accumulation in the hot water system, faulty or corroded plumbing parts or problems with the hot water system (e.g., heating element or thermostat malfunctions). Identifying the specific cause and addressing it, such as cleaning pipes, fixing corroded pipes, or servicing the hot water system, will help restore proper hot water pressure while leaving your cold water supply unaffected. One of our experienced plumbers will be able to advise you on how to fix this.
You generally need to follow the following steps to flush your hot water system.
- Turn off power: If you have a gas hot water system, set it to the "pilot" position. For electric systems, switch off the power at the circuit breaker.
- Shut off water supply: Close the cold water inlet valve to the hot water system. It's usually located near the top of the system.
- Connect a hose: Attach a garden hose to the drain valve at the base of the hot water system. Position the other end of the hose where you can safely discharge hot water and sediment.
- Open a hot water tap: Open a hot water tap in your home to prevent a vacuum from forming in the lines as you drain the hot water system.
- Drain the hot water system tank: Carefully open the drain valve on the hot water system by turning it counterclockwise. Allow the water to flow out until it runs clear. This will remove sediment and mineral buildup from the bottom of the tank. Be cautious, as the water may be hot.
- Flush the tank: If the water coming out is still murky, close the drain valve and open the cold water supply valve for a few minutes to agitate the sediment. Then, repeat the draining process until the water runs clear.
- Close the drain valve: Once you're satisfied with the clarity of the water, close the drain valve by turning it clockwise.
- Refill and turn on: Turn on the cold water supply valve and allow the tank to refill. Keep the hot water tap open until a steady stream of water flows, ensuring that air is purged from the system.
- Turn on power: If you have an electric hot water system, switch the power back on at the circuit breaker. For gas hot water systems, reset the control knob to the desired temperature setting.
- Check for leaks: Inspect the drain valve and connections for leaks. Tighten any loose connections, if necessary.
Alternatively, your plumber can do this at your annual hot water system service!
Adjusting the hot water pressure in your shower can be somewhat limited depending on your plumbing system and the type of shower fixture you have. Most modern shower heads allow you to adjust the flow rate by turning a dial or adjusting a lever. This can be a simple way to increase or decrease the perceived water pressure, but it won't change the actual hot water pressure. True hot water pressure adjustments usually require plumbing work or adjustments at the hot water system. If you're experiencing consistent issues with low hot water pressure, it's best to get in contact with your local plumber to assess and address the problem properly.