Tired of Your Shower's Low Water Pressure? Here's What May Be Causing It and What You Can Do to Fix It

Showering when the shower's water pressure is too low is an annoying experience—it can be difficult to wash shampoo out of your hair or wash soap lather off of your skin. You'll end up taking more time in the shower than necessary in order to feel fully clean. Thankfully, fixing your shower's pressure problem is usually simple—in most cases, the cause of the problem is a clogged or badly designed showerhead. If you're experiencing problems with your shower's water pressure, here are a few potential causes and what you need to do in order to fix them.

Your Showerhead Is Clogged with Sediment

The first step you should try is to give your showerhead a thorough cleaning. Showerheads are easy to remove—you simply unscrew them from the fixture. Soak the showerhead in a diluted vinegar solution in order to remove any mineral buildup, and then brush the holes of the showerhead with an old toothbrush in order to clear any clogs. Removing all of the built-up sediment in your showerhead helps water flow freely through it, which can increase your shower's water pressure.

Your Low-Flow Showerhead Isn't Self-Pressurizing

All newer showerheads come equipped with a flow regulator that limits the amount of water flowing into the showerhead. These low-flow showerheads prevent you from wasting water in the shower and reduce your water bill. Unfortunately, many of them exhibit poor performance and significantly reduce your shower's water pressure.

While you could remove the flow inhibitor or widen it in order to increase your shower's water pressure, you'd significantly increase the amount of water you use while showering. Instead, replace your current low-flow showerhead with another one that's self-pressurizing. While these types of showerheads are slightly more expensive, they force water through narrow channels in the shower head and pressurize it. This increases your shower's water pressure without using more water.

You Have Clogs or Leaks in Your Shower's Plumbing

If cleaning and replacing your shower head doesn't solve your low shower pressure, your home's plumbing may be at fault. When water leaks from the pipe leading to the showerhead or from the connection between the fixtures and your shower wall, your showerhead receives less water. You may also have sediment buildup in the pipe leading to your showerhead, which constricts the pipe and reduces the rate at which water flows through it. When your showerhead receives less water than it's designed to, you'll experience low shower pressure—this problem will occur even when you're using a self-pressurized shower head.

When your home's plumbing is at fault, it's time to call a professional plumber to test your home's overall water pressure and inspect the pipes in your shower. The pipes may need to be replaced in order to provide an even flow of water to your shower head.

In summary, your home's low shower pressure can either be caused by a clogged or poorly performing showerhead, or it can be caused by a problem with the pipes in your home that reduce the amount of water flowing to your showerhead. The first step is to try cleaning the showerhead, and then try replacing it with a self-pressurizing showerhead. If neither of those solves your shower's pressure issues, call a professional plumber to have your shower's pipes inspected for leaks and clogs.