Express Plumbing on 12 April 2017

What to Do When You've Got Poor Water Pressure

Usually, when a person is experiencing poor water pressure, they naturally assume it is their responsibility. Whether it is a new house, a renovation or an old plumbing piece, Australia has strict installation and plumbing standards to protect the consumer and to ensure that all professional plumbers are completing work to the highest standards.

While the stars on plumbing products are noticeable, few people know what they actually mean. The Australian Government has a water efficiency rating system (WELS) which is displayed by stars. This not only ensures the consumer is running water at a minimum cost but is also a minimum requirement for plumbing fixtures.

The WELS scheme covers everything from showers to urinals and sets a standard minimum of water usage. If a person is experiencing poor water pressure, their product will be rated low on the WELS scheme. A normal shower generates up to 25 litres of water per minute and a low rated shower uses as little as 6 litres per minute.

Showers or taps may have an aerator flow restrictor that limits the water pressure. If a person is experiencing poor water pressure, they should first check the WELS product search to assess if there is an aerator flow restrictor and if it is functional.

Poor water pressure can be frustrating and time-consuming and it can be caused by a number of factors.

There are 4 main causes of water pressure:

1. Pipe restrictions such as debris

Sand, mud or debris can easily enter a pipe, particularly if a main is damaged. Minerals natural build up inside of the pipes over time. While a professional plumber should always be consulted for major plumbing jobs, there are several ways a person can clean their own blockages easily. 

2. Corrosion

Pipes have a lifeline and standard galvanised pipeline last approximately 20 years. A plumber must always be called in to replace corroded pipes.

3. Leaking pipes

A leak is a definitive way to reduce water pressure. Assessing if a leak is evident is simple. Turning off all the taps then measuring the water meter will show if there is a leak. Leaks also need to be repaired by a professional.

4. Council works

Occasionally, water flow may be altered by councils completing works in the same area. Some states allow for a rebate on any water cost changes. The standards vary per state, so it is essential to research the effected council. A council will always provide notice in writing if water is to be effected.

Australia is fortunate enough to have strict plumbing codes that ensure work is completed to the highest quality. 

It is vital to call upon a professional plumber if low water pressure is due to damage or pipes in need of replacing.

The strict laws that they follow ensure that the replacement or repair will be perfect and the water pressure will suit the consumer's specific needs, without affecting the neighbours!