The 8 Causes (and Fixes) of Low Hot Water Pressure
You turn on that hot tap, but it's not a satisfying shower. You want to quickly do the dishes, but it takes an excruciatingly long time to fill up that sink. Sound familiar? Welcome to one of the most frustrating day-to-day plumbing issues: low hot water pressure. But when the hot water system seems to be working fine, and the actual water is still steaming hot, diagnosing the low water pressure is not straight forward without experience.
The reason for that? Simple. There's more than one, two or even five things that could have gone wrong. The cause of your low hot water pressure could be debris and sediment in showerheads and taps, water leaks, blocked filters, a faulty tempering valve or something else.
The answer? Calling the specialist hot water plumbers at In Deep Plumbing! But before you dial, we're going to explain the 9 leading causes of low hot water pressure in detail to help you troubleshoot your plumbing.
Low hot water pressure - What's going on?
1. Debris & Sediment
Make sure you compare your low hot water pressure with the water pressure from the cold taps. Is it the same? If it's only the hot water that is at a trickle, you might need a plumber to clean and flush your hot water unit. Sediment and scale in your hot water tank can build up as the tank ages and corrodes. This can cause blockages over time and low hot water pressure.
2. Showerhead & Taps
When there are cases of low hot water pressure that are isolated to a single outlet, the fix can be extremely simple. Is the hot water pressure low in your shower but ok from taps? It might be a blockage in the shower head itself. If you've moved in recently check that the showerhead isn't, in fact, a water-saving one. Worn out taps can cause low pressure. The fix is changing tap washers or updating with complete tap replacement.
3. Water Leaks
A leak is definitely a more dreaded cause of low hot water pressure, but diagnosing it is actually fairly easy - just head to the water meter and see if the numbers are still spinning even if every tap is turned off. Check to see if the cause of the leak is the actual hot water system. The hot water system tank may be leaking or joints in pipes to the unit. In this case, immediately contact emergency plumbers to avoid water damage or worse - water coming into contact with electrical wiring.
Some hot water systems are fitted with filters on the inlet and outlet. Over time they collect more and more sediment. Among the most common hot water issues is a blocked filter, which is easy to replace or clean.
5. Tempering Valve
Your hot water system's tempering valve ensures the hot water temperature isn't so hot that it burns you, but like the filter and a few other valves in your unit, they can go wrong and be replaced at a reasonable price.
What else gets blocked up? Your pipes do! The culprits are usually debris, rust, calcium, sediment and other deposits. Some blocked pipes can be addressed with easy DIY methods such as sink drains. but a call to your local Gold Coast plumber may be necessary for hot water pipes.
Did In Deep Plumbing install your hot water system? If so, you can be sure a fully professional and compliant job was done. If not, the cause of your low hot water pressure could be incorrect installation - a common mistake that can cause this problem is mismatched pipe diameters or too many bends in the pipework.
8. Hot water system
Like everything man-made (and even those things that are not!), sometimes the problem is simply old age. If your hot water system has deteriorated to the point that it is delivering water at low pressure or leaking, perhaps it's time for a hot water system replacement. If your unit is not so old it may just need some maintenance, servicing, unblocking or leak repairs done by trusted local plumbers.
Fixing low hot water pressure
From the checks above you can isolate or narrow down the problem. Ask yourself the following questions.
- Is the problem isolated to one room, tap or showerhead?
- Is the water pressure low for hot and cold water?
- Is your hot water system leaking?
- Have you found leaking pipes?
While you can DIY changing a blocked showerhead, don't tamper with your hot water system (it's dangerous and illegal without the right training and licences), leave that to plumbing experts.
Armed with this information, give the friendly team at In Deep Plumbing a call right now. If you do, you won't have frustratingly low hot water pressure for very much longer!