There are a number of things which can influence the water pressure in your home, some of which homeowners may have no control over. Plumbers working on London properties will know that water pressure will depend on the ground level of your home compared to the water tower or reservoir which supplies your water. How much of this water is being used by other homes and building is another factor which might come into play. If you’re sharing the same water supply as many others, you might find that is the reason your water pressure is lower than usual. In hilly areas of London and its outskirts, water pressure might be lower in homes which stand at the top of a hill, and higher in the valleys where water doesn’t need to travel upwards.
Sometimes poor water pressure can be traced to the plumbing in your home. In these cases, if you can’t immediately see where the problem area is, we can help you to pinpoint what is affecting the pressure. It might be that the poor water pressure is masking an underlying problem such as water flow, which is the amount of water actually getting into your pipes from the mains in the first place. Low flow is common in older London houses where smaller pipes have been installed.
Stopcocks, or stop taps, can be internal or external. Inside, they are usually found where the water supply first enters your home, this is most commonly under your kitchen sink. However, in converted properties these could be anywhere that the water from the mains enters your home; ask Michael The Plumber if you aren’t sure and they’ll locate it for you. Outside stop taps are usually located under a metal cover in the pavement; sometimes these are turned off when work is being done on the pipes in the area. One stop tap might also be used for several properties, so it may be best left to Michael The Plumber to look at. Never leave a stop valve fully open; often plumbers tend to do a half turn back to prevent the valve from sticking.
Finally, London is an area of hard water, which means that limescale can build up in pipes over time, affecting the amount of water which can get through and the speed it can travel at. For showers, leaning your shower head to remove this limescale every few weeks is a good idea and will help the flow of water you experience. If you leave this for too long, you may need to replace your shower head completely. In extreme cases, you might want to think about getting Michael The Plumber to install a water softener to remove the deposits in your water which lead to limescale.
Hopefully this has cleared up some questions over water pressure in your home and what can and can’t do about it. If your plumber is local to your London borough, they should be able to tell you what the water pressure is like in the area, and whether yours is lower than average. If it isn’t enough to operate your usual kitchen and bathroom appliances, and the problem is definitely external, getting your water company involved might be necessary. They might be aware of the problem already, or else they may be able to schedule some local network changes which could make a difference.