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Learn How to Increase the Water Pressure in Your Shower

It’s the middle of a Toronto summer, and you’re taking a shower after a long day at work. You’re hot and sweaty, and all you want to do is rinse off and get some relief. However, as soon as the water hits your skin, you realize something is wrong.
The pressure is so low that the water barely feels like it’s hitting you. What can you do? Read on for tips on how to increase water pressure in your shower.

Identify the Source of the Problem

Does the water pressure issue lie with your shower plumbing or the main water supply? If you’re unsure, one easy way to find out is to turn on a faucet in another room of your property. Low water pressure across multiple fixtures likely stems from a water line problem.
Here are some potential culprits:
  • Closed shut-off valve. Inspect your water valve, likely located in your basement, to see if it’s open. If it’s open all the way, but you’re still not getting enough water pressure, there may be a problem with the valve itself.
  • Faulty water pressure regulator. Some properties have a water pressure regulator. This device is a valve that controls the amount of water flowing into the property. If you have this regulator, it may be malfunctioning and needs a replacement.
  • Water provider maintenance. If the water pressure in your neighborhood is low, it may be due to maintenance or repairs carried out by your local water provider. In this case, there’s not much you can do except wait for the water supplies to return to normal.
  • Old plumbing. Outdated, galvanized steel pipes can cause low water pressure. Besides poor water pressure, old pipes may cause rusty water and rising water bills. If you’re experiencing this situation, it may be time to upgrade your plumbing.

Fixing Your Shower Plumbing Problem

With water line issues ruled out, it’s time to focus on your shower plumbing. Let’s go over some common culprits and how to increase the water pressure in your shower.

Shower Pipe Damage

Even the smallest breach in your plumbing can decrease water pressure. If you suspect you have leaking pipes, watch out for these telltale symptoms:

  • Water stains on ceilings or walls
  • Mold or mildew growth
  • A sudden spike in your water bill
  • Sounds of running water, even with no fixtures in use

The best next step is to contact a professional plumber in Toronto. They can properly assess the situation and make the necessary repairs.

Faulty Showerhead

Showerheads are notorious for accumulating buildup due to hard water or sediment. This buildup can restrict water flow and lead to low pressure. To clean your showerhead, lightly brush the aerator screen and other components with a vinegar and water solution.
If this solution doesn’t do the trick, it’s time to buy a new showerhead. Try to look for one with a high flow rate (2.5 gallons per minute or higher) and a durable material like stainless steel.

Low-Flow Showerhead

If you want to be more eco-friendly, you may have installed a low-flow showerhead without realizing it. The pressure in the showerhead will feel weak because of the water-conservation feature. Fortunately, you can find newer high-performance fixtures on the market that deliver both water savings and a powerful spray.
salt blocks in newly installed water softener

Hard Water Mineral Buildup

Does your area have hard water? The high mineral content can accumulate in your shower pipes and lead to low pressure. Some common symptoms of hard water include:

  • Soap that doesn’t lather well
  • White, chalky film on your plumbing fixtures
  • Stiff, scratchy-feeling laundry
  • Dry, itchy skin and hair after bathing
The best way to remove mineral deposits is to schedule a hydro-jetting service with a Toronto-area plumber. Hydro jetting uses high-powered water jets to clean away even the most stubborn clogs and buildup. Not only will this improve your water pressure, but it will also help prevent future clogs.

We also recommend investing in a water softener if you have hard water. This appliance will remove hard water minerals before they can build up in your pipes. You should also regularly flush out the water from your heater to prevent mineral buildup.

Small Pipework Diameter

Some plumbing systems are too narrow to handle a high volume of water flow. If your property uses half-inch water pipes that can’t keep up with demand, it’s time to replace them.
A three-quarter or one-inch line will have more space to provide a steady stream of water. A new line can handle water flow from multiple fixtures in use at the same time. Newer pipes also reduce the risk of future clogs.
This upgrade is a major undertaking, so you’ll need to hire a professional plumber. An experienced plumber in Toronto can assess your situation and recommend the best solution.

Venting Problems

For your shower to properly function, it needs an adequate supply of air. If your vent stack has a blockage or there’s not enough airflow, you may experience lowered water pressure.
The best way to improve airflow is to have a professional clean your vent stack. A plumber can safely remove any blockages and ensure air flows smoothly. You should also ensure that no objects are blocking your vents, such as furniture or storage boxes.

Get in Touch with a Toronto Plumbing Expert Today

As you’ve learned, low water pressure can happen for many reasons. While you can easily fix some minor issues yourself, it’s always best to contact a professional for more serious problems. Professional plumbers can save you time, money, and a lot of headaches in the long run.
At MT Drains & Plumbing, our plumbers have over 20 years of experience fixing large and small plumbing issues in Toronto. We’re available 24/7 for emergency service, so don’t hesitate to give us a call at (905) 761-5551. We’ll be happy to offer advice on how to increase the water pressure in your shower and other plumbing questions you may have.

Paul S

Paul has more then 20 years in basement waterproofing and plumbing projects experience. Looking for an advice from an expert plumber? Make sure to read Paul's articles about residential waterproofing and plumbing projects in Toronto.

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