Pressure is the force that pushes water through pipes and water pressure determines the flow of water from the tap. The amount of pressure at your tap can depend on two things, how high the service reservoir or water tower is above your home, or on how much water other customers are using. The height of your property can also have an effect on your water pressure – if your property is at the top of a hill, you may receive lower pressure than properties which are at the bottom of the hill. So, avoid living on the top of a mountain if you’re looking for a powerful shower in the morning!
High pressure and low pressure both bring issues. We’re going to focus on low pressure here and tackle the issues of high pressure in a later article.
Low pressure can reduce water flow to a trickle and it will take a long time to fill a kettle or a cistern. The issue is that some modern heating appliances and showers will not work below certain pressure levels. If you believe your new purchase may be affected by the water pressure in your area, then check with your water company before installation to check whether the pressure in your water company’s area is sufficient for these systems to operate efficiently.
Low pressure can have a number of causes. If demand for water is high (such as in the morning when much of the region will be showering) pressure can be lower than during the rest of the day. Dry spells can also bring problems when people use hosepipes or sprinklers to water their gardens.
If your water pressure is too low, you should check that there is no problem with the plumbing in your property, such as a partially closed internal stop tap (if fitted) or a leak. If the problem doesn’t become apparent, contact your water company. They can take pressure and flow measurements and determine whether the problem lies in the company’s or your pipes.