A shower is best enjoyed when there’s sufficient water pressure through your shower head. Low pressure can be caused by a number of things like incorrect pipe sizing, old galvanised pipes with built up deposits, or government regulations that restrict water flow in the shower heads to save water and energy. Fortunately, all these problems have a solution, and you can achieve the ideal water pressure in your shower by:
Increasing Water Pressure
Generally, your home should have higher pressure if you live closer to your water supply, or if you live on low level ground (as opposed to a hill) where there’s greater potential energy. You also experience more water pressure if the water has to overcome fewer obstacles to get to you. Things like corroded and dysfunctional pipes can cause low water pressure.
Start by checking the public water system that feeds your house. If it includes a pressure gauge, check to ensure that the reading is over 30 psi (pounds per square inch). Anything less than 30 psi is not good, and could be the cause of low shower flow. So, contact your local water department about increasing your water pressure.
Increasing water volume
There is a gate valve where the municipal water supply comes into your home. If this valve is not fully opened, it could be the cause of low water volume in your shower. Ensure that the valve is fully open by turning the handle counterclockwise.
Cleaning the shower head screen
The screen is positioned at the inlet of the shower head, so you have to remove the shower head from the water supply pipe to access it and clean it. If you have difficulty removing the shower head by hand, use a piece of cloth and a wrench – the cloth will help protect the shower head’s finish.
Not all shower heads have a screen; but if you find one, clean it under running water to remove all sediment. If there’s a gasket holding the screen in place, remove it carefully using a screwdriver, making sure not to damage the shower threads. After cleaning, return everything and use Teflon tape to reinstall the shower head.
Remove the flow Restrictor
Due to government restrictions, all shower heads sold in the US contain a flow restrictor – a piece of plastic positioned at the inlet of the shower head. The National Energy Act limits water flow to 2.5 gallons per minute. You can however, remove the restrictor. You may have to remove a gasket in the shower head before you can reach the restrictor, which you can easily remove with a slotted screwdriver.
Note that increasing the water pressure in your shower will also increase your utility bill. Instead of increasing the pressure, you may consider using an amplifying shower head to increase the water velocity while maintaining your usual volume.