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What Causes Low Hot Water Pressure in My House?

There can be several different reasons why hot water pressure decreases. The water that passes through your hot water tank or tankless system should be flowing at the same amount of pressure as the cold water. When it is not flowing at the same rate, then the cause could be hot water heater problems or problems with the plumbing water supply lines inside your home.

Common Causes and How To Fix Them

Shower head with low water pressure

A variety of common issues may be causing your home’s poor hot water pressure. The first thing you should do is determine whether the problem is isolated to a single sink, bathtub, or shower, or if it is affecting all of the hot water faucets and fixtures in the entire home. Once you have done this, then you can start to narrow down the potential reasons for reduced hot water pressure to fix it.

The following are eleven common reasons for hot water plumbing problems and how to fix no hot water pressure. Keep in mind that every case is different, and there may be multiple reasons for reduced hot water pressure.

1. Hard Water Scale and Mineral Deposits Inside the Plumbing Lines

If your home has hard water, there will be scale and mineral deposits that gradually form inside water supply lines. Eventually, the buildup can become so bad, it will cause the water pressure to drop since water flow is being restricted.

How To Fix It

The two options to fix this problem are to either have your plumber clean the water supply lines or replace them with new water pipes.

2. Sediment and Scale Buildup Inside the Water Heater

For homes with tank-type water heaters, sediment and scale problems do occur. The inside of tank-type heaters can corrode and, eventually, this corrosion settles to the bottom of the tank. However, sometimes the pieces of sediment get drawn into the hot water supply line and will create a blockage which lowers water pressure. For tankless heaters, scale buildup does occur and can be an issue affecting water pressure.

How To Fix It

If your water heater is not that old, you could have your plumber flush and clean the sediment and scale from inside the tank. If your water heater is more than eight years old you may need to replace the water heater.

3. Kinked Water Supply Intake or Outtake Lines

Most tank-type water heaters have accordion-style copper water pipes which are easy to bend. If the pipe itself is bent too sharply or kinked, the water will not flow through it correctly and could cause a reduction in water pressure.

How To Fix It

You will need to replace the water supply lines that are kinked too badly. If they are just bent too sharply, you could attempt to reduce the sharpness of the bend, but you do need to be careful to not further kink the pipe.

4. Too Many Bends in the Plumbing Lines to Reach the Faucet

The distance the hot water has to travel until it comes out of the faucet also affects the water pressure. If the water has to go around numerous bends, each time the water hits the elbow in the pipe, water pressure goes down.

How To Fix It

A plumber can repipe the lines located in the areas with reduced hot water pressure. If the entire home is affected, another option is to have a pressure regulator installed if you do not have one or to have your plumber adjust the setting to increase water pressure.

5. The Water Heater’s Shutoff Valve Is Partially Closed

Fixing a water heater

If the shutoff valve on the water heater is partially closed, water flow is restricted. This will cause a reduction in water pressure in all hot water supply lines throughout the entire home. If you’re experiencing low pressure on hot water only, this could be your problem.

How To Fix It

If the shutoff valve to the water tank is partially closed, simply open it up all the way. If you can’t get it fully open, a plumber can help.

6. The Whole House Has Low Water Pressure

If both your hot and cold water supply lines have low water pressure, then the problem is often related to the direct main water supply line coming into your home. If it’s just low hot water pressure in the kitchen sink only, the problem is localized to that sink.

How To Fix It

Have a plumber help diagnose and address the issue. If a hot water tap has low pressure afterward, there is another issue closer to that tap in the system.

7. The Water Supply Lines Are Not Sized Correctly

If the water supply lines are too small or have been downsized from the size of the main water supply, then water pressure is reduced. The water is trying to flow into a smaller pipe from a larger one, causing a reduction.

How To Fix It

To fix this problem, you could have your water supply lines repiped by your plumber so they are larger. With larger water supply lines, pressure reduction and friction are reduced. In certain cases, you could gain quite a noticeable amount of pressure increase.

8. The Shutoff Valve for the Main House Water Supply Is Partly Closed

If this water main shutoff valve is partially closed, both hot and cold water taps will experience lower water pressure.

How To Fix It

Open the water main up all the way so it is fully turned on. If the valve is stuck, call a plumber to help open it.

9. The Pressure Regulator Is Not Configured Correctly or Needs to Be Replaced

On homes with pressure regulators, if it was not set correctly and was left on a lower water pressure, you will not have good pressure inside your home. In addition, if the regulator is defective or has worn out, it could result in very low hot water pressure.

How To Fix It

Check the setting on the pressure regulator. If it is set correctly but you are having low water pressure issues in both hot and cold water supply lines, it needs to be replaced. If it is too low, it needs to be adjusted carefully so as to not increase the water pressure too much. For both fixes, call your 24-hour plumber and schedule a service call.

10. Your Home’s Old Steel Water Pipes Have Corroded So Badly, It’s Creating a Blockage

On homes that still have steel water pipes, they will corrode and rust inside the water supply lines. Just like tank-type water heater sediment, the corroded pieces can break off and create a small clog that restricts hot water flow and reduces water pressure.

How To Fix It

The best solution is to get a whole home water repiping completed from a qualified plumber who has experience performing this service.

11. The Faucet or Fixture Is Worn Out and/or Has Excessive Scale Buildup

The cause for reduced hot water pressure could also be related to a worn-out faucet or fixture that needs to be replaced. Hard water scale and mineral deposits also build up inside faucets and fixtures. For example, low hot water pressure in the shower could just be a sign that the shower head is clogged or broken.

How To Fix It

If the cause for reduced water pressure is the faucet or fixture, you can use descaling products to clean it or have your plumber replace it with a new one.

How Can I Turn Off the Water Under the Sink?

Turning off the water under the sink is a straightforward task that can prevent flooding or allow for maintenance.

To do this:

  1. Locate the Shutoff Valves: There are usually two shutoff valves under the sink—one for hot water and one for cold water. These are usually small, round or oval valves connected to the pipes.
  2. Turn Off the Valves: Turn each valve clockwise until it stops. This shuts off the water supply to the sink.
  3. Test the Faucet: Turn on the faucet to ensure the water is off. If water still flows, double-check that the valves are fully turned off.

How Can I Strike a Balance in Water Pressure to Prevent Plumbing Problems?

Balancing water pressure is crucial to avoid plumbing issues such as leaks or burst pipes.

Here are four ways to achieve the right balance:

  1. Install a Pressure Regulator: A pressure regulator ensures that the water pressure entering your home is at a safe level. This can prevent high pressure from damaging your pipes and fixtures.
  2. Check for Clogs: Clogged pipes can cause uneven water pressure. Regularly inspect and clean your pipes to ensure smooth water flow.
  3. Adjust the Main Valve: The main water valve controls the water flow into your home. If the pressure is too high, partially close the main valve. If it’s too low, ensure it’s fully open.
  4. Use Pressure-Reducing Fixtures: Aerators and pressure-reducing shower heads can help maintain a balanced water pressure throughout your home.

Why You Should Call a Professional 24-Hour Plumber for Help

Professional plumber

While determining the reasons for your home’s reduced hot water pressure is something most people can do themselves, when it comes time to do the actual fix, it is often better to call in a professional plumber for assistance.

Here are just a few good reasons to hire a plumber:

  • Tank-type water heaters are under a large amount of pressure.

There are safety risks, including the risk of severe burns and potential water heater explosions. Hot water heater problems should be left in the hands of an experienced professional so you do not have to risk injuring yourself or others.

  • If you need repiping performed, it requires knowing exactly where your water supply lines run in your home.

If you attempt to do the job yourself, you could end up with large sections of walls, ceilings, and flooring torn out that should not have been and which will only add to your repair costs.

  • Professional plumbers have access to special equipment to determine the precise location of water supply lines.

They also use the latest repiping methods to minimize the amount of walls, ceilings, and flooring that needs to be removed.

  • Most importantly, any plumbing work you have done needs to be completed correctly and up to current building codes.

This way, if you ever decide to sell your home, you can easily assure potential buyers all plumbing work was completed by a professional licensed, and insured plumber.

Let Our Expert Plumbers Help You Fix Hot Water Flow Problems

Still asking “what would cause low water pressure in my home?” For help finding the reasons for reduced hot water pressure and hot water heater problems in your home and having them fixed correctly, please feel free to contact your nearest Christianson Air Conditioning and Plumbing location in New Braunfels, Temple, San Antonio, or the Austin Metro Area today!

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