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Sanctuary Bathrooms Blog
Posted on Friday 10th May 2019 by Des Roberts
Water pressure is the force that moves water through the mains into your pipes. If something goes wrong with it, it can cause a whole host of frustrating problems.
If your water pressure falls too low, you’ll find yourself with a barely-there shower, and potentially a lack of water throughout the house. Too high and pressure from your outlets will be irregular, and it could lead to leaks and banging in your pipes.
To get to grips with water pressure and know when there’s a problem and how to solve it, read our handy guide below.
Water pressure is measured in bars. One bar is the force you need to shoot water 10 metres up in the air. Water regulator, Ofwat, states that all water providers are required to provide water pressure of at least one bar. Good water pressure in your plumbing would be three to four bars.
2-bar pressure is above the minimum requirement set by Ofwat, so it should meet the basic needs of your average household. Your water appliances might struggle, however, if you’re using more than one thing at once. It could be worth looking into ways of upping water pressure if your house is receiving this level.
If you think something’s wrong with your water pressure, it’s fairly easy to check what’s going on. Just follow these steps:
So, if you collected 0.8l of water in six seconds, your water flow rate will be eight litres per minute. If you’re getting less than 10 litres per minute, there’s a lot of room for improvement. Water flow around the 15 litres per minute mark is considered good.
If you want a more accurate picture of the bar pressure you’re getting, you can use a pressure gauge. Put this on an outdoor tap and turn on for an exact reading.
At a base level, your water pressure is determined by where your house sits in relation to the water supply network. If you live above your local reservoir, or on a hill, your pressure’s likely to be lower than someone who lives on low-lying ground.
There are plenty of things in your home that can also contribute to low pressure. If your water pressure is low across your house, it may be a sign that something is wrong with the shut-off valve on your Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV). The valve may have been turned slightly or need replacing. Low water pressure can also be caused by leaks or blockages in your plumbing. If you suspect you have a property-wide water pressure problem, contact a qualified plumber who will be able to provide more information.
Low pressure isolated to your shower might indicate that the problem is specific to this area. Common causes of low water pressure in showers include:
If your problem is property wide, it’s likely to be related to your home and local water supply network’s infrastructure. This can be tricky to rectify on your own, so it’s worth contacting a qualified plumber if you think this is the nature of the issue you’re having. They can advise on ways to get the most from your water supply and plumbing and may be able to install a pressure booster to your mains.
If low pressure is specific to just your shower, you can try the following:
If you’ve got a combi-boiler, it can be a little more challenging to increase the water pressure in your shower. This is because a lot of methods used with a non-combi boiler (such as installing pumps and boosters) cannot be used with a combi-boiler.
If you are looking at getting a combi-boiler, or are looking to improve water pressure in your shower with one, consider the following:
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