Shower Losing Pressure? These Are The Causes

Have you experienced this inconvenience? You’re ready for a hot steaming shower after a tiring day of work or exercise, needing some hot water therapy.  You turn on the shower and all you get is a trickle, maybe a drizzle.  It can be so annoying, but here we will share what can cause a shower to lose water pressure and what can be done about it.  Read on to find out more.

Main causes of a shower losing pressure

The main reason for pressure loss in a shower is due to a showerhead becoming blocked with mineral residue and limescale.  Other reasons include a leaking hose, small pipe sizes going to the shower, and the location of the shower on an upper floor so the water requires more pressure to rise up there.

shower losing pressure

How a shower can lose pressure

Some of these causes are relatively quick and inexpensive to fix, like clogged showerheads and failing bath tap diverters; and issues such as leaking pipes, and water pressure coming to your home which are more complex and costly to resolve.  Here, we will look at some of the main reasons for a shower to lose pressure.

Mains water supply is affected

If this is the first time your shower has lost pressure, one of the first things you can do is to find and call your water company, such as United Utilities, Severn Trent Water, etc. They can tell you if any problem is affecting your area and if is, when it’s expected to be resolved.

The local supply could be affected by remedial or road works digging and hitting underground pipes or even growing tree roots causing a blockage. This will affect your neighbours too so ask them if they are having the same problems.

Increased demand in the neighbourhood

Many times the water to supply the shower has been taken by branching the pipe out from the nearby bath supply pipe, so anyone using water, even by flushing the toilet, will affect the amount of water you get.

Peak time usage

If your neighbours are also using the water, especially at peak times in the morning when people are getting ready for work, the pressure to your home will be reduced.  This you can’t do anything about.

image of a shower with low water pressure

Clogged shower head

Check other hot water taps to see if they’re working fine. Sometimes the small holes in the shower heads can get clogged up.  To test, unscrew the showerhead and then turn on the shower, if it has a good flow from the shower hose, then the shower head will need to be cleaned or replaced.

If the pressure in all the taps is weak you may have limescale, deposit, or debris build-up in the pipes, possibly near to one of the main branches.  You may need to get a professional to repair it.

Faulty bath-shower diverter valve

This is a simple valve on the bathtub faucet that moves the water pressure from the tub to the shower head. If it is clogged up with limescale or the spring fails within it fails, the water pressure in the shower head may be weak or the shower may not turn on at all, so you will probably need to replace the unit.

You’ll notice this is the problem when the bath tap gives you good pressure, but your shower doesn’t.  If your hot water in the shower is controlled by a combi boiler, make sure the boiler’s pressure gauge is showing a minimum of 1 bar.

Plumbing leak in your home 

It could also be caused by a leak somewhere in your home’s plumbing system. If water isn’t flowing fully to where it’s supposed to, you will notice a drop in pressure. 

Find out the route the pipework takes to get to your shower and check for any signs of leaking and stains along the route.  If it’s somewhere you can’t access, it’ time to call in professional help.

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The main reasons for a shower to lose water pressure are:

  • Mains water supply is reduced.
  • Increase in demand during peak times.
  • clogged showerhead.
  • Faulty diverter valve on the shower.
  • Leak somewhere in your home.

*The information in this article should be used for general guidance only and not as financial or health advice.  Full details are on the link in the footer to our disclaimer page.  Always discuss your requirements with a competent and suitably qualified professional before undertaking any work.

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