Water pressure too low: Possible causes and remedy.

Our water experts

In the physical sense, water pressure is the hydrostatic pressure in water. It increases with increasing water depth and is referred to as the water column and measured in meters of water column, mH2O or mWS for short. A meter of water column is about 0.10 bar.

In everyday life, water pressure refers to the the force applied per unit area with which the fresh water – alternatively also called tap water – is pressed through the water pipe. A distinction is made between the domestic water pipe for the water supply of residential or commercial buildings and a pressure water pipe as a long-distance pipe, the pipeline.

Nowadays, the pressure required to transport water is generated by pumps – in earlier decades and centuries this was done by the water tower and gravity. The higher the water tank was in the tower, the higher the water pressure. Today’s domestic supply of drinking water is provided by the local supplier or regional waterworks. From there, fresh water is pumped through the local network with a supply pressure of between 2 and 8 bar. As a rule of thumb, 1 bar corresponds approximately to the air pressure on the earth’s surface or a water depth of up to 10 meters.

Water pressure too low – Eliminate the causes and improve the effect.

Whether it’s a faucet, a toilet flush, a shower or household appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers – most household installations are designed for a water pressure of up to a maximum of 10 bar. If it drops, i.e. the water pressure becomes too low, then less or no water flows out of the pipe in the worst case.

This is a serious problem – illustrated by the example of the running washing machine.

Strictly speaking, the washing machine does not draw any water at all, but lets it run in through the existing water pressure. The minimum water pressure required for this depends on the brand and model. In a commercial washing machine, it is between 1 and 1.5 bar. As soon as this water pressure is no longer available, the modern washing machine switches off automatically.

Here are some numbers for homeowners, property managers, janitors and do-it-yourselfers:

  • Drinking water pipes in new and middle buildings are usually designed for a water pressure of up to 10 bar:
  • The common, average supply pressure from the local network is 3-4 bar.
  • A pressure reducer in your own home is usually set to 3 bar to prevent the house pipework system from being permanently too high or overloaded. However, the pressure can also be set somewhat higher in order to supply higher floors with the necessary water pressure. The necessary pressure is also dependent on the height of the house.

If you are also interested in a cost-effective alternative without hidden costs for consulting, installation, additional material, energy or even follow-up costs, please contact us.

Fresh water pipe for each residential unit in the house.

Each residential unit is supplied with its own freshwater pipe, which is laid as vertically as possible. It runs from the lowest floor in the wall upwards into the individual floors. From where it arrives in the rented apartment, for example, it is distributed horizontally to the individual extraction points such as the sanitary area, kitchen, utility room and other utility rooms.

One or more DEA, the so-called pressure boosting systems, are used in multi-storey buildings, high-rise buildings or skyscrapers. These are automatically controlled pumps or a combination of pumps and other technical equipment to increase the supply pressure in the water supply. A particular technical challenge is to ensure the permanently constant supply pressure even with slightly to strongly fluctuating water delivery volumes.

This makes it clear how important and at the same time sensitive the water pressure is. The supply pressure for the public water line is adjusted by the water supplier – then in the building on the property first by the plumber and then optionally by facility management via the concierge service to the homeowner himself. He needs at least basic knowledge in order to be able to help himself, if the water pressure is suddenly low from one minute to the next or if the water pressure at a single point of use (e.g. faucet in the bathroom) is too low. Otherwise, the know-how and experience of a professional, in this case a plant mechanic for sanitary, heating and air-conditioning technology with a focus on gas and water plumbing, is required.

Low water pressure: Find possible causes in the house and rented apartment.

Fresh water line and supply pressure.

The search for the causes of water pressure that is too low begins with the water supplier, in other words when checking the supply pressure. A call to the local water supplier can clarify whether the cause is a burst water pipe or a planned or unplanned repair to the public water pipe system. In such cases, the water supply is stopped. Another reason is that the pumping capacity in the waterworks is decreasing. Experience has shown that such faults are less frequent than the causes in one’s own, i.e. the private area of ​​water supply and pipe systems.

Main water connection as distribution point.

It is the connection point at the transition from the public to the private water supply. If there is a defect, an intentional or accidental interruption, then all other distribution points in the building are affected.

Before further testing is carried out in individual residential units and connections points, it should be ensured that the main water tap is (fully) turned on and is working smoothly. It is mounted directly behind the water clock.

INFO: Any operating elements and pipe sections in front of the water meter in Germany are property of the water supplier – they fall within their area of ​​their responsibility. Everything behind the water clock belongs to the owner.

Filter blockage at the house connection.

The freshwater flows from the water supplier through the public water pipe to the house connection, and then on through the main water meter and fine filter. Particles that have been washed in, such as iron, lime or sand, are retained here. The freshwater is thus filtered.

Contamination of the tap water can be caused by construction work, reversal of the flow direction or maintenance work. If these filters are clogged and therefore need to be cleaned or replaced, then this is definitely a concrete reason for the water pressure to suddenly become low. Filter maintenance and filter replacement are the responsibility of the property owner. In an apartment building with residential property, the property management or the appropriately commissioned concierge is responsible for this; the billing with the apartment owners takes place via the monthly housing allowance payment.

Faucet clogging.

Water pressure that is too low at an individual connection point could be due to calcification of the immediate water supply line or the respective connection point (bathroom fitting, water connection, etc.). An indication of this could be if, for example, when you turn on the faucet in the bathroom, small white solids are discharged, in other words flushed out, or the water pressure here is significantly lower than in other areas of the house. This is a pretty sure indication that the relevant water supply line or fitting is clogged. This is where the lime test comes in, in which the lime removed is dissolved in vinegar or citric acid without leaving any residue.

Another outlet is the aerator, or mixing nozzle. With the aerator, the water jet emerging from a faucet is optionally broadened, unified and slowed down. Air is usually added for this purpose. It is unavoidable that the water pressure at a tap will be too low if the aerator is calcified or dirty. One like the other can be removed by storing the mixing nozzle in acetic acid or commercially available descalers for several hours.

Calcification in line and valves.

Just as and for the same reasons as any aerator or faucet, pipes in general and valves can clog – especially any angle valves. Many of them are equipped with screens or flow restrictors. Both components can become clogged with lime or other particles and thus clog – here too with the effect that the water pressure becomes too low.

Attention: The danger is of course the greater the harder the water is. Depending on the age of the water pipes and the hardness of the water on site, the pipes can become clogged over a long period of time. This applies to both the public water pipes and your own pipe system, and above all to old and existing buildings.

In this situation, a non-expert person, does it by self and at the end – a specialist is asked or required. The measures to be taken then sometimes cost a fortune and vary from a total renovation to a partial replacement of the affected lines or valves to the so-called “sandblasting process”. Following such a cost-intensive measure, an endoscopic check is then carried out to ensure that it is again suitable for drinking water.

Blockage of the pipe ventilation.

The tube aerator is a mechanical valve with an internal float. It prevents service water from getting back into the freshwater network of the house supply. Pipe aerators are attached to each individual connection point for fresh water to prevent backflow. Experience has shown that the reasons for a blockage and thus for the water pressure for cold water being too low are wear and limescale. If the float becomes clogged or jammed, the flow of water will be blocked and the water pressure will be too low.

Water hardness & Water pressure – Definition, information and measurement.

Definition: Water hardness: The proportion of calcium and magnesium in the water is defined as water hardness. With this content, the fresh or drinking water becomes a real source of minerals. For health reasons, it is not necessary to soften the water in its original form – but this is often the case for household appliances such as dishwashers or washing machines. One like the other must be adjusted to the local water hardness.

German water hardness, dH (deutsche Härte) for short, is measured in degrees.

  • 0 to 8,4 degrees dH is soft
  • 8,4 up to 14 degrees dH is medium hard
  • from 14 degrees dH is hard water

The optimal water hardness is about 8.3 – 8.4 degrees dH. This ensures adequate solubility of soaps. At the same time, equipments and appliances are protected and limescale formation is largely avoided. The dH has no influence on health – neither positively nor negatively according to the motto: Water is water!

Increased water pressure in just a few simple steps.

The pressure reducer has a key function in this context – it is essential for controlling the water pressure. To put it bluntly, it takes over the fine adjustment of the water pressure at the transition point from the public water pipe to the building’s water pipe system. The main function of a pressure regulator is to achieve the state in which the pressure in the line system downstream is lower than that in the supply line. This pressure reduction is part of every domestic water connection. The pressure reducer is not a must – but it is almost indispensable. Because only this small device ensures the necessary pressure equalization between the local supply pressure and your own house line pressure.

So, it is more than obvious to ensure a higher pressure at this point if the water pressure in the house is too low. The pressure reducer indicates the supply pressure with which the main water is pumped into the supply line in the building. In order to increase the pressure at the pressure reducer, the supply pressure should also be at least 1 bar higher.

Conclusion: Sialex®Ring helps with low water pressure.

As a summary of the topic “water pressure too low” or “water pressure suddenly low“, shall be noted that there are a large number and variety of causes for this. From external influences far in front of one’s own property to the main connection point or to every single connection point distributed in the house or rented apartment.

The search for the latter can be made from two directions – either from the water pressure at a connection point that is too low to the pressure reducer or vice versa from the main water tap to each individual aerator.

It doesn’t matter whether the water pressure is too low, or the pressure is too high – both conditions are a major annoyance for the consumer. Over the long term, too high a pressure has a damaging effect on the water pipe and the adjacent household appliances in the building – whereas extremely low water pressure in the worst case, no fresh water flows out of the pipe at all.

The issue of “insufficient water pressure” has not yet been addressed when it comes to flushing the toilet: As the word suggests, flushing the toilet requires adequate water pressure in order to (sufficiently) flush the toilet. Likewise, without the appropriate water pressure, a shower is not the same as a shower, and common household appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers cannot function at all without the water pressure specified by the manufacturer. Against this overall background, it is therefore essential to ensure that the right, i.e., suitable, water pressure prevails in the house or in the rented apartment at all times – not too low and not too high!

If the water pressure in your house or rented apartment is too low, don’t hesitate and try it – find out more at www.sialexring.com/product-users/private-households/ and arrange your personal consultation appointment now either by email or by phone! It is precisely in this area that we can achieve excellent results. And that in just a few weeks. Do you still have questions about the Sialex®Ring? Contact us today and install it in your own four walls!

If you are also interested in a cost-effective alternative without hidden costs for consulting, installation, additional material, energy or even follow-up costs, please contact us.