skip to Main Content

Most Common Causes of Low Water Pressure

a close up of a sink

Low water pressure is a common home plumbing issue that can affect faucets and sinks as well as dishwashers, showerheads, toilets, and any other plumbing fixture. There are various causes of water pressure problems. Here is a look at some of these common issues and possible solutions.

Debris Buildup in Pipes

A pipe blockage can easily interfere with water pressure. It may be caused by debris such as dirt, sand, solidified oil and grease, food particles, or foreign objects. Pollutants can block pipes if they back up due to fractures in the water main. Mineral buildup clogs pipes over time and causes the water pressure to go down, as there’s less space for water to travel through.


Corrosion results in oxidation that collects on interior pipe walls, restricting the path for water to flow. Like mineral scaling, it is common in older galvanized steel pipes. Corroded pipe eventually develops holes until it fails completely.

Water Meter Valve

A closed or partially open valve can cause water pressure issues in your house. If work has recently been done on your plumbing system, and the water pressure is low, check to see whether the water meter valve is fully open. One of the two main shutoff valves connected to your home water supply, it is usually owned by your local water supplier.

Water Shutoff Valve

The water shutoff valve is what controls the flow of water into your home. Only if it is fully open will you have full water pressure. Low water pressure could result if it is only partially open. Reopening the main water shutoff can resolve the problem.

How you proceed to open it depends on the type of valve; if it is a lever type valve, move the handle until it is in-line with the water pipe. To open a wheel type valve, turn the wheel counterclockwise until it is tight. Then turn it a quarter turn clockwise, which prevents the valve from getting stuck or springing a leak.

Broken Pressure Regulator

The pressure regulator is designed to maintain a constant water pressure in plumbing systems that have one installed. It is usually set by the manufacturer to around 45-60 psi, so adjustments aren’t usually necessary. If you have low water pressure, try adjusting the regulator. However, if the device is faulty, it may need to be fixed or replaced, which requires a licensed plumber.

Plumbing Leaks

All kinds of problems can result from plumbing leaks. Low water pressure is one of them, because some of the water in your plumbing system is not getting to where it should. It is either diverted or flows out of the pipe. If you suspect or spot a leak, contact us for professional plumbing service in Northern Virginia right away. Cardinal Plumbing provides emergency services and can quickly address the problem to avoid further damage.

Water Supplier Issues

If your water supplier is experiencing water pressure problems, you might have low water pressure at home. Issues with your supplier or municipal water supply can’t be fixed from your home. If your neighbors are also experiencing a problem, contact your water supply company to ask if any issues are occurring and when they’re expected to be fixed.

Contact Cardinal Plumbing

Get in touch immediately if there is low water pressure in your home. We will send a licensed plumber out right away. Our company is open and serving customers during the coronavirus pandemic, providing no contact service, using sanitizer, and practicing social distancing. Experienced plumbers are available to address your concerns and answer all your questions.

To request same-day service, book online or call 703-721-8888 to reach our Alexandria, Sterling, or Gainesville offices.

Follow our Facebook page for more updates

Share this article

Back To Top