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Washing Machine


Our water pressure is extremely low throughout the whole house and outside. It takes around 2 hours to wash a load of clothes in the washer. Where should we start to find the cause?


Dear Sandy:

Regarding of low water pressure throughout your home, first, I assume that you are on public water supply, and not well water?

With that said, here are some things you can check to determine and remedy the cause of your home’s low water pressure:

1) Have you checked with your neighbors to see if they also have low water pressure? Most likely if you are all on the same street, then you are likely to be tied into the same water supply main. So a first thing to check is whether the problem is with the public water supply for your neighborhood.

2) Next, check the shutoff valves from the street into your home. You want to check to make sure these valves are in the full open position. The two important valves to look at are the ones on immediately upstream and downstream of your water meter. If you have an outdoor meter that is in an underground pit, you may have to purchase a special socket wrench to open the meter box cover. Water supply valves typically have a long handle on them, and the valve is in its fully “open” position when the handle is lined up directly with the pipe that they are located in. So check to be sure that these valves are fully open.

3) Then check downstream of your water meter to see if there are any other shutoff valves in this main line bringing water supply into your house. And if there are, then be sure that these valves are in their completely open position.

4) If you have a pressure regulator valve that lowers the pressure of the public water supply down, then you can check to see if this valve is set too low, or is malfunctioning.

5) If all of the valves are fully open and the water pressure is still low at all locations within the house, this indicates that there could be a restriction in the supply line to your home. For example, the buried portion of the water line leading to your home from the street could be crushed or crimped. And there is also the possibility that some debris may have gotten in the supply line and lodged in the valve. Unfortunately, checking to see if the line is crimped means having to trench the line. And checking for a blockage in one of the valves means having to cut that valve out of the line.

6) The problem could also be with the water meter. To check this, you would have to have to have your water company do this work.

7) The other possibility is that there is a water leak somewhere in your water system. You can check the system in your house by watching your water meter when you are not using any water for a given period of time (for example, overnight).

8) If you have a water softener system for your house, then you should check that its valves are fully open, and the canister was installed properly.

9) If you are in a region of the country that has hard water, then there is the possibility that all of the filters in your home (washing machine, faucets, shower heads, etc.) have all gotten clogged with mineral deposits over time. To eliminate these deposits you can soak /scrub these filters with vinegar from time to time.

Hope this is helpful.

Washing Machine