There are myriad causes of low water pressure. In standard housing environments it could mean that pipes have become so corroded that flow is being restricted, or it could be the sign of an impending disaster in the form of hidden or unknown leaks.
Pinhole leaks are very common in structures that have copper piping installed. Though these leaks are small, several leaks can cause a noticeable difference in water pressure. This can lead to extensive water damage to drywall, ceilings, floors, and wood. It can eventually lead to mold and rotting, and even damage to the building’s foundation. Though it seems like a small problem, water damage can cost thousands of dollars to repair and be a health hazard, especially for those with asthma or allergies to mold.
What Can You Do?
Take drops in water pressure seriously. If water pressure drops significantly, immediately investigate causes. If you have access to water-use records for your building, this may help you spot a leak. If you see a drastic increase in monthly usage, chances are that a major leak is the cause.
If you’ve previously had repair work done on pipes in your home or building, you should note the location of those fixes and the condition the pipes are in when you’re having them fixed. This can help you track potential problem locations and figure out which pipes need to be replaced first. If your building is 20 or more years old, there’s a good chance that extensive plumbing repairs are in your future.
Ignoring it is Not an Option
Failing to repair minor leaks will cause extensive damage. It can be difficult in some cases to determine where a leak is coming from, as water will travel down and across pipes and cause damage elsewhere. If you start seeing mold or mildew, or stains, bubbling, or warping on walls, ceilings, or floors, you likely have a serious problem behind the walls or under your floors. Untreated plumbing leaks, no matter how small, will cause serious damage to your property and will eventually lead to an emergency situation. Though the signs of plumbing problems are sometimes subtle, property owners should educate themselves on what to look for and the many places they could be facing a problem…from water heaters to drains to water supply systems.
In order to prevent further damage to your property if you suspect a leak, you should look online for potential causes and easy solutions. If the potential solution requires a more professional solution, know that you can save yourself weeks of effort and hundreds or even thousands of dollars in repairs to pipes, fixtures, walls, and floors by hiring a professional. Especially if you suspect or find mold, you’ll want professionals to contain and eliminate the health hazard. Don’t be afraid to talk to a plumber about what might be wrong if you encounter low water pressure. If you ignore it, chances are very likely you’ll be talking to one soon anyway.