What does Low Water Pressure mean?
Low Water Pressure is a warning related to the home water system experiencing lower water pressure than normal at a certain period of time. Low Water Pressure is not necessarily a dangerous condition, but may result in inconveniently low pressure to your water fixtures and may be a sign of problems in your home water system. Low Water Pressure may be caused by the water supply being shut off (either by the Smart Water Shutoff or the main water shutoff valve), insufficient water pressure being supplied by your water utility, an issue with your water pump, or sometimes from simply opening too many fixtures at the same time in your home.
What do I do about Low Water Pressure?
Low Water Pressure is a warning related to the home water system experiencing lower water pressure than normal at a certain period of time.
First, check your Control Panel in the Flo by Moen app. If your water pressure is less than 1 PSI, it may mean that you have little or no water in your home water system as a result of your water being fully or partially shut off. Confirm that your water is in the “On” position in your Control Panel, and inspect your main water shutoff valve and verify it is in the open position. Also, verify that the Manual Knob on your Flo by Moen device is in the “Open” position. In many homes, there’s also a water shut off at the water meter.
Next, if your water pressure is above 1 PSI and you have a water pump, check the pump to make sure it is working properly. If your water pressure is above 1 PSI and you receive water from a water utility, you may want to contact your provider for assistance.
Another common cause for home water pressure problems can be the pressure reducing valve (PRV) --if your home plumbing system is equipped with one. A PRV is a control valve that reduces the input pressure in your plumbing system to a safe level that will not damage your pipes. Not all homes have them, but for those that do, a failing PRV can cause a serious upward spike in water pressure--but it can also have the opposite effect: a sudden reduction in your water pressure.
You also may want to inspect your plumbing for any signs of damage or wear that may be causing water to leak and decrease the water pressure in your plumbing system. The most serious and potentially expensive reason for low water pressure occurs when old plumbing pipes finally have become too corroded and filled with scale for water to run freely anymore. This is especially true if the pipes are old galvanized iron pipes. Over the years, the insides of pipes gradually accumulate buildup that eventually closes off the water flow until it is almost non-existent.
The key here is the very gradual reduction in water flow: you will not notice a sudden reduction but eventually realize that your water flow is much, much slower than it is in other people's homes--and it has been for quite a while.
The solution here may be to hydro-jet the system. Hydro Jetting is the process of using a high-pressure flow of water to scour the interior surfaces of the plumbing pipes, removing scale, grease and other debris that's built up inside the pipe walls over time. As opposed to rodding, where a plumber uses a tool to power a hole through the buildup, hydro jetting achieves a comprehensive cleaning of the pipes.
If that doesn’t work, the last resort is to re-pipe the system with new copper or plastic water supply piping. Since a re-pipe job is a major plumbing repair that requires a permit and is best to call in a professional plumber for this work--and be prepared for costs approaching $10,000 or more depending on the size of your house and the complexity of the work.
If new water supply lines are needed, comparison shop carefully and consider what materials you want. Copper pipe is both the most durable and also the most expensive, but flexible PEX piping can cut the costs nearly in half.
If damage or a plumbing failure if found, please contact your local plumber or Flo Support for further assistance.