If you are experiencing a total water outage or have had a sudden, drastic decrease in water pressure, please contact Customer Service at 913-895-1800.
Water pressure will vary based on several factors, namely the elevation of your building. Water pressure may also fluctuate during peak demand - the times of day and/or days of the week water is most in demand. Typical water pressure runs from 40 to 170 pounds per square inch (psi).
The heaviest demand for water is Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, when most customers are in the habit of watering. If you'd like to improve pressure in your neighborhood, talk to your neighbors about Smart Watering - balancing out watering throughout the week by taking turns between even and odd number houses.
Most fluctuation in pressure is unnoticeable, yet WaterOne ensures that water always remains at a safe level. WaterOne is required to maintain 20 psi in the system to ensure adequate pressure for emergency services (i.e. fire fighting), but WaterOne's goal is 40 psi and above.
Troubleshooting Low Pressure
Most low water pressure problems originate inside the home. If you are experiencing low or reduced water pressure, please check these common culprits.
Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV)
Most homes in this area have pressure reducing valves (PRV). These valves are usually installed to protect the household plumbing from high water pressure (80 to 170 psi), but some cities require them on all new construction.
The PRV is a fist-sized bell-shaped device with a screw sticking out of the top of the "bell." It's usually located near the household shut-off valve.
If you have a PRV and the pressure is low on all faucets, the PRV probably needs to be adjusted to allow for more pressure. Generally, adjusting the screw clockwise will increase pressure and counter-clockwise will decrease pressure. Watch a How to Adjust a Water Pressure Reducing Valve Demo video.
Water softeners can cause a sudden change or decrease in water pressure. To check it, switch the water softener to bypass mode and see if pressure improves. You may also want to have the water softener serviced by a service technician, if you believe it’s the cause of your low pressure.
If you only have low pressure at one faucet, it may be a clogged aerator. Check the aerator screen for rust, debris, and other particles restricting flow. This most commonly occurs when water service is shut-off. Without pressure in the indoor plumbing system, mineral particles adhering to your pipes flake off and become trapped in the aerator filter. Watch a How to Clean a Faucet Aerator video.
The shut-off valve shuts off water to the home. It’s normally located where the water service pipe comes into the home. If this valve is partially closed, it will affect water pressure throughout the entire home. Check that the valve is completely open.
Low Flow in Older Homes
Sometimes low flow masquerades as low pressure. What’s the difference? Pressure is the degree to which the incoming water supply enters your home. Flow is the ease of the water traveling within your internal plumbing system.
A common problem in older homes (generally 50 or more years and older) is a reduction of flow rate. Over time, mineral deposits and corrosion sediment accumulate on the interior of galvanized pipes. This decreases the diameter of the interior pipe, creating a more turbulent and restricted path for the water.
This internal build-up of minerals and corrosion does not pose a safety concern, but it does cause weaker flow. Indoor plumbing and the service line are owned by and the responsibility of the property owner.
Pictured: Mineral accumulations on hot and cold stainless steel braided hose lines. These hoses were installed new only eight years ago. If you want to improve your flow you may want to consult with a licensed plumber about replacing the service line and/or indoor plumbing. The cheaper alternative is switching to water-conserving fixtures (i.e. low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators) which may help.
Changes to Nearby Water Mains
Changes to your pressure can occur if WaterOne installs or relocates a main feeding your property. Check to see if there are any water infrastructure projects in your area on our Project Updates page.
Questions about pressure? Call Customer Service at 913-895-1800.