Home Repair

Shower head has very low pressure

This topic is available here on The Repair-Place forum
Hey Guru,
My shower head has very low pressure. The flow of water that comes from my shower is a trickle. It is so bad it takes forever to take a shower. The water flow out of the sink and tub spout are fine. I read somewhere there is a flow restrictor in the shower head. Can I remove it?

If you have good pressure in the sink and the tub, then the culprit must lie in the shower head or the mixing valve. There is a small plastic or metal disc in the shower head with small restrictor holes in it to limit the amount of gallons per minute you can get from the shower head. It is there to save on water usage and to conserve our precious natural resources.

If this has been a problem since the beginning, then the plumber who installed the fixture didn't flush out the lines before the shower head was installed. When he was soldering the pipes together small debris pieces accumulate inside the pipe and needs to be flushed out just before the final fixtures are installed.

If the low pressure has come on gradually just recently, the shower head may just be caked with hard water deposits.

So the test would be to remove the shower head itself and turn on the water to see if the pressure is normal coming out of the angled pipe where the shower head was attached. If the pressure is good there then you would need to remove the small disc and clean it good.

Use a small toothbrush and a toothpick to clean out the little holes. Rinse it good (don't drop it down the drain!) and then look inside the rest of the shower head. If it looks grungy, let the shower head soak in some warm white vinegar for several hours. The vinegar will often remove or soften the hard water deposits. After soaking, use a toothbrush to remove any residual deposits and rinse with clear water. Install the small plastic flow restrictor disc (make sure it is installed the same way it came out) and reattach the shower head to the water pipe.

Remember to use Teflon tape on the water supply pipe that connects to the shower head. This prevents leaks where the shower head connects to the water supply pipe.
First of all, nothing short of spending thousands of dollars on new pumps, pressure tanks, and ripping all of your old pipes out of the wall and replacing them with all new larger diameter pipes will actually increase ones water pressure, and even then all these measures may not really do that much. There has is no such thing as a shower head that will increase your water pressure and anyone who tells you anything differently simply does not know what they are talking about. Certain shower heads CAN increase the velocity {force} of your water, which does in fact give you a better shower. The problem is that most people who suffer from low water pressure have absolutely no clue what shower head to buy. Just going out and buying a shower head and removing the flow restrictor does NOTHING. Removing the flow restrictor only increases the flow rate and not the velocity. The secret to getting a good quality shower if you have low water pressure is this:
1. You have to buy a shower head that is engineered from the drawing board for low water pressure. Don't fall for a simple sales pitch that says that a shower head will work for low pressure. 99% of the shower heads that claim to give you a better shower with low water pressure do absolutely nothing other than empty your wallet.
2. Most consumers are clueless when it comes to buying a shower head. They purchase shower heads without any idea as to what they are actually buying.
3. When buying a shower head you MUST purchase it from a company that specializes in this item, that has tested hundreds of shower heads, and has been in business for a long time. A guy selling shower heads out of a closet in his apartment isnt the person that you would want to do business with.

I live in Maine and have a well. My water pressure has always been bad. My wife and my children have always complained that they can not rinse the soap off their skin or the shampoo out of their hair. I think that I bought and tried every shower head that I could ever find in every home center and hardware store in New England. They were all junk!!! Finally I found the solution at a small home show in Portland. A company was there that specializes in shower heads for low water pressure. Their name was [SPAMMING LOWLIFE COMPANY] Water Management in Boston, MA, and their website address [FOR THEIR LOWLIFE SPAMMY COMPANY -ed.] is TAKEASHOWER.COM. They sold me a shower head that worked so well with my low water pressure that it almost felt like we had drilled another well. IT WAS UNBELIEVABLE!!!! Unlike all the other shower heads we bought this one actually worked. If you are suffering from low water pressure you MUST visit this website. I only wish that I had found this company 10 years ago when I first moved to Maine because I would have eliminated a decade of suffering in the shower for me, my wife and my family.

[Why would anybody do business with a lowlife spamming company that resorts to spamming forums with fake testimonials for advertising? In my opinion you should Run away! Run away! -ed.]
Well, it was nice of you to post exactly the same answer as you have posted at answerbag. Thanks for your input but I'm on city water and the pressure everywhere else in the house was great.

I did as Guru suggested and found that my shower head was clogged with sediment from my hot water heater.

I dismantled and cleaned the shower head and everything was all better! Thanks, Guru!
Shannon, just so you know, larger diameter pipes will not increase water pressure, they would allow for more volume to be delivered. Your pump and storage/pressure tanks would need to be able to supply the volume for all of the fixtures turned on at once (i.e. toilet flushed while taking a shower) for bigger pipes to have any advantage.

If you're on a well system and you don't have enough pressure throughout the whole house, and this has come on gradually or is a change from "the way it used to be", then you probably have a problem with the system. One possible scenario is that when pumps are failing they might be able to deliver sufficient pressure, but insufficient volume; it would look like low pressure at the fixture, but when all the fixtures were closed the pressure dial would be in the normal range.

A plumber experienced with well systems should be called in to diagnose the problem.

Good luck.

Funny how you have the exact same answer (asides from changing Florida to Maine) as on this forum. answerbag.com/q_view/23069

Stop selling people crap and answer the question.


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