If you’ve been gardening for some time, you already know how much of an annoyance low water pressure can be. It can make gardening and watering an absolute chore and drastically slow down your progress. In addition, low water pressure can make your indoor activities more frustrating and cut short showers or cooking.
There are plenty of ways that water pressure can drop, but thankfully there are also ways to increase your outdoor water pressure and save your garden. Let’s go over the best ways to boost your water pressure below.
Where Does Low Water Pressure Come From?
Low water pressure is the result of water failing to reach your activated outlet with the necessary speed and force. There are many different reasons that your water system might suffer from low water pressure, and there are several ways to alleviate this issue or determine exactly what’s causing the problem.
Low water pressure generally arises from either your water being split between too many faucets or outlets at once or a mechanical failure from the outlet or faucet itself. It may also be that your water source is filled with grime or debris that is preventing water from traveling to its intended destinations efficiently.
Measure your Demand for Water
In order to start figuring out your home’s personal low water pressure problem, you’ll need to measure the demand for water across all the different faucets and outlets both inside and outside the house.
The first step is to record when you experience low water pressure since this might give you an idea as to the root of the problem. For instance, if you only experience low water pressure at the beginning of the day when you’re using a lot of water for showers and coffee, you may need to only make a few minor adjustments to restore your water pressure to normal.
On the other hand, you may be experiencing low water pressure all the time. This is probably indicative of a larger issue at work and you’ll likely need to undertake a greater repair effort to fix everything.
Go outside and try watering your plants at different times of the day to determine whether or not over-use is the root cause of low water pressure for your outdoor activities.
You should also test various hoses and faucets and see if everywhere experiences low water pressure to the same degree. If only a single hose or faucet is having trouble, then the issue is likely localized and you don’t have to fix your water pressure as a whole across your water system.
What to Test
To test water pressure’s PSI, you can purchase a cheap pressure tester online that you attach to an outdoor or indoor faucet. These devices read back to you your system’s pressure via a dial on its face.
This is a simple option available on Amazon but a local garden center at a big box store will likley have what you need as well.
There are many things you should test to determine the specifics of your water pressure. Let’s go through them one by one.
Check the Garden Faucet
First off, examine your garden faucet or any other faucets that you frequently use for outdoor watering and maintenance. If your garden faucets are the only places experiencing low water pressure, then your problem is probably a leaky or blocked pipe system that might need to be cleaned out or replaced.
You should also test run in your garden faucet with the indoor kitchen sink running at the same time. This can give you an idea as to whether or not your water system can’t handle too many outlets running water at the same time.
Check Your Hose/Sprinklers
You should also check your garden hose and sprinkler system for low water pressure specifically. Both of these outlets are often run throughout the day or in the morning or evening when water use is at its highest and most households.
If your garden hose is experiencing low water pressure, make sure that the hose isn’t kinked anywhere or being blocked at some point along its length.
You should also check its fitting and make sure that it isn’t leaking excessively.
Your sprinkler system should be examined to maintain the hydration of your lawn; if your sprinklers are having trouble but nothing else in your house is, then you may have to replace the piping beneath the ground.
On the other hand, if only one or two sprinklers are acting up, it’s likely that only those affected units need to be cleaned or replaced.
Check Your Pipes
Pipes as a whole should be checked if you experience widespread low water pressure. The best way to tell whether or not the issue is affecting your pipes is if many different connected outlets which all use the pipes to get water are experiencing low water pressure.
To test, simply run some water sources indoors and check that water pressure against the water pressure of outlets outside. If only the outdoor faucets and hoses are experiencing low water pressure, then it’s likely an issue with the pipes and not your water source as a whole.
Check Main Water Valve Indoors
Most main water valves are located under the sink. Before settling on a reason for your low water pressure, do a quick check and make sure that the main water valve is fully turned on. Many people either never adjust this when they move in or aren’t aware of its presence at all. But the main water valve is oftentimes partly closed by maintenance workers or previous homeowners.
If your main water valve isn’t fully opened and that solves your problem, you’re all set. On the other hand, if your main water valve is already open and you’re still experiencing low water pressure then you’ll need to continue investigating.
You may also contact the plumber and have them investigate your main water valve to check for damage. If the main water valve has been damaged from physical cracks or blockage, this may cause low water pressure throughout your water system.
Check Your Water Pressure Regulator
Checking the water pressure regulator is another great idea. These are usually found next to your home’s main stopcock, either beneath the sink, outside, or sometimes in the garage. Try to see what the PSI, or pressure rating, is according to your regulator. Anything below 30 PSI is probably too low for most gardens or yards.
If this is extremely low, you may want to call a plumber and have them increase the water pressure manually. We recommend calling an expert for this adjustment to avoid causing widespread damage to your piping and water system. A plumber’s advice may also help you identify other potential mistakes you may be making regarding your water system.
How to Boost Water Pressure
Now let’s go over the best ways you can increase your water pressure outside for gardening and watering purposes.
Clean or Repair Faucets/Hoses/Sprinklers That Leak or Are Clogged
If the problem is localized in one or more faucets, then you can easily clean the faucets manually using soap and water or a bleach solution. If you use either of these methods, be sure to run some water through the faucet before attaching a hose or other transportation system to avoid contaminating your lawn or plants with synthetic chemicals.
If your faucets are cracked or are constantly leaking, you may need to replace the faucet units by visiting a home improvement store or calling a plumber. Either of these options can help you replace your faucets with new models that won’t leak.
The same principle follows for hoses and sprinkler systems. Hoses are easy to replace at any home improvement store; just be sure that you get a hose with the right size fitting for your faucets. For a sprinkler system, you can usually find new individual units at most home improvement stores or online gardening stores.
Clean or Repair Pipes
Pipes may be broken or dirty in the same way that faucets or other outlets might. If this is the case, you’ll need to try to identify whether or not the entire piping system is busted or clogged or if it’s just a small section. You can tell by checking to see if the entire faucet or sprinkler system is suffering or if it’s just one localized area.
In the latter case, you can usually dig up the damaged pipe after turning your water system off to avoid further damage and hurting yourself. Once dug up, the pipe can be cleaned or replaced based on its needs. Most replacement pipes can be found at home improvement stores or online marketplaces.
But if the entire piping system needs to be replaced, be sure to shut your water system off immediately and take to manual watering of your lawn and flowers while you replace the piping system one section at a time.
Install a Booster to Improve Pressure to Your Sprinkler System
If you have overall low water pressure as a result of a valve issue or your home’s water source, you can install a water pressure booster.
These units are a bit expensive and are attached to your main water system. The machine will artificially boost your overall pressure up the past 30 PSI, and can even go as high at 50 PSI or so depending on the model.
Here’s a popular booster for sale on Amazon. You may also want to check with a local irrigation company or plumber for their recommendations if this is the way you think you should go.
Water pressure boosters can be permanent solutions if your low water pressure problems aren’t something that you can fix in the short term.
Install Rainwater Harvesting System to Lighten the Load
On the other hand, if your low water pressure problems are coming from your home and outdoor gardening habits using too much water at the same time, you might consider installing a rainwater harvesting system. By installing this on the surface of your house or in areas around your property which frequently get a lot of rainfall, you can collect this water and use it for either human consumption or for watering your garden.
These collection systems basically reduce the amount of water that your system uses for its various outlets. It artificially increases your overall water supply, letting your water pressure remain high since you won’t use all of your stored water in the morning or evening.
However, you will need to contact a plumber in most cases to efficiently install the rainwater collection system unless you have prior experience installing similar systems.
Outdoor water pressure isn’t a problem that you have to worry too much about. While there are many different ways that your water pressure can sink, there are also plenty of potential solutions that are easily achievable by even the most novice gardeners and homeowners. Got any more tips? Let us know and thanks for reading!
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