Hello again everyone and welcome back for another episode of “How Not to Call the Plumber”! This week we’re going to talk about an issue that plagues older homes in the city – a lack of water pressure.
There are a few potential causes for low water pressure in your homes:
First, if you notice the lack of pressure at a single fixture, for example a faucet or showerhead, the problem will most likely be with the fixture itself. This is good news, because it is usually just a buildup of debris or calcium in fixture’s outlet. If that is the case, simply unscrew the faucets aerator, take off the showerhead, etc. and clean the visible internal filter. If you wanted to take another step, you can even soak the affected parts in CLR for the night, which would help to clear a calcium buildup. After you take care of those issues, simply screw everything back together. Easy as that!
The second potential cause of a lack of pressure is peak usage. Toronto Water has the city pressure set between roughly 50-70 psi, depending on the area you live in. The fixtures in your home are designed to withstand about 80 psi, so you wouldn’t want it higher than that! There are times in the day where many more people than usual are using the water (think morning showers, etc.). If enough people are all using the water at the same time, this will cause a water pressure decrease for everyone! It is usually slight, but often noticeable.
The last and most serious potential issue is the water piping supplying and within your home. Most homes in the area would be considered “mature”. With this maturity comes issues. In the past, homes were often supplied water with galvanized or lead piping. Aside from the obvious dangers, these pipes tend to corrode internally, sometimes leaving only a very small pathway for the water to travel through. In today’s new construction, we supply homes with ¾” or even 1” copper piping, rather than the ½” copper, galvanized, or lead piping many of you have in your homes. This larger pipe size does not increase pressure, but rather increases the volume of water in your home. Sometimes that is a bit of a tough concept to wrap your head around, but just know that more volume is a good thing!