Low pressure problems can be very frustrating. Why is your shower so weak, or why does it take forever to fill your pots at the kitchen sink? The cause may be a bad water heater. Here is how a bad water heater can cause low pressure problems.
The most common cause of low pressure in and from the water heater is sediment build-up. Calcium and other minerals in your water may slowly build up in the tank and in the pipes leading from the tank. This restricts how much water can pass through the pipe and to the rest of your home. In areas with hard water, this problem will happen faster. However, for most people, this problem develops so slowly that it is hardly noticeable until seriously low pressure starts ruining your enjoyment of your plumbing utilities.
Sediment can also reduce the efficiency of your hot water heater itself, so it is wise to correct this problem right away. Plumbers can remove sediment from your water heater, and regular flushing can keep the problem from coming back.
The shut-off valve on your hot water heater may also be the culprit of a low-pressure problem. If the valve isn’t open all of the way, it will restrict the flow of water from the pipe. You or a child may have moved the valve accidentally. Or, if the low-pressure problems started just after installation or after your water heater, then it’s possible that your plumber forgot to open the valve all the way. Either way, this is a simple fix. All your plumber needs to do is open the shut-off valve all of the way to restore full pressure to your plumbing.
Sometimes, water heaters are installed with pipes that have too many twists and turns, lowering the pressure that they can deliver. This is a common problem when the layout of your basement doesn’t easily accommodate a tank water heater, so your plumber has to put it in an unusual spot and then get the plumbing to it. Or, you may have twists and turns in the pipes on their way up to your fixtures, which can also cause low pressure problems.
The solution to this problem may be simple or complicated, depending on the nature of the twists and turns. A skilled plumber can fix many layout problems. Sometimes, the water heater can’t be put in an ideal spot unless you change the layout of your home. In this case, you could consider a tankless water heater, which goes right into the wall and doesn’t take up any of your precious square footage.
Other Causes of Low Pressure
While a water heater may be the cause of low pressure in your shower or other plumbing fixtures, it is far from the only cause. You will likely need a professional plumber to find the cause of your low pressure and fix it properly.