Losing water pressure in your shower can be annoying, especially when it affects your ability to rinse the shampoo or conditioner out of your hair. At Cates Heating and Cooling, our plumbers often receive questions about how to prevent showerheads from losing water pressure. Luckily, there is plenty you can do to prevent a loss of water pressure in your shower.
1. Install a Thermostatic Mixing Valve
A thermostatic mixing valve offers separate controls for water temperature and pressure. Other valves, like a pressure-balancing valve, have a single knob that controls both the temperature and flow of the water. With these valves, you have a risk of losing water pressure when other plumbing fixtures are in use, such as a flushing toilet.
Pressure balancing valves mix hot and cold water. When a nearby toilet flushes or a sink is turned on, both water temperatures and pressure with fluctuate, which of course, is not comfortable for the person showering. Installing a thermostatic mixing valve will ensure that the pressure and temperatures do not fluctuate while someone is in the shower. If you are interested in upgrading to a thermostatic mixing valve, call your plumber to perform the installation.
2. Clean Your Shower Head
Another reason that the water pressure in your shower may be decreasing is that it is dirty or clogged. You can soak your showerhead in vinegar or another cleaning solution by pouring it in a plastic bag and securing it with a rubber band around the showerhead. You can also remove the showerhead and soak it in a bowl. However, you should turn off the water if you are going to go this route. You can also scrub the showerhead with an old toothbrush or another cleaning tool to ensure any grime buildup is removed.
This problem is more common in areas with hard water that carries mineral deposits that accumulate in your plumbing. You can help prevent this from affecting your water pressure by installing a water softening system.
3. Replace the Diverter Valve
Diverter valves are in bathrooms with one-piece bathtub-shower combos. This valve acts like a switch that directs water from the bathtub faucet to the showerhead. Like most things in the home, the diverter valve can become worn over time. When this occurs, the valve may not be able to open and close fully, which means it can’t send full water pressure to the showerhead, resulting in weak water pressure when you shower.
Replacing the diverter valve is something you should let an experienced plumber handle. If you notice that the water flows from the bottom faucet with full pressure but the showerhead continues to lose pressure, this is an indication that the diverter valve is not functioning like it should.
4. Replace Your Showerhead
If you notice your shower’s water pressure is dwindling, it may be time to replace the showerhead altogether. Grime and mildew can easily build-up to the point of clogging the showerhead from releasing water at the intensity it should. Mineral deposits, such as calcium, can block the water. While cleaning the showerhead is one way to avoid losing water pressure, it may eventually be time to replace the showerhead instead. You can replace your showerhead yourself or call in professional help.
5. Maintain Your Plumbing System
The best way to avoid losing water pressure in your showerhead is to maintain your plumbing system. Make sure you are regularly cleaning any frequently used showers or bathtubs, including the drains, faucets, and showerheads. While everyday wear and tear is natural, it is important to take care of your plumbing system.
You can ensure your plumbing system stays in tip-top shape by providing regular maintenance. If you notice any problems, be sure to address them right away. When certain problems are left unfixed, they can lead to further damage.
Our plumbers at Cates Heating and Cooling are well-equipped to handle plumbing installation, maintenance, or repairs for homes in the Kansas City area. Whether it is a tub and shower valve replacement, clogged drain, or water line repair, we can address any of your home’s plumbing needs.
To schedule service, call 913-914-2800 (Kansas) or 816-944-1844 (Missouri). Our 24-hour service is always available in case plumbing issues turn into emergencies in the middle of the night.