Taking a shower is supposed to be a relaxing and refreshing experience, but low water pressure can turn it into a frustrating and time-consuming task. If you're experiencing low shower water pressure, don't worry. There are many ways to increase shower pressure without hiring a plumber.
In this blog post, we will cover some of the best techniques to increase water pressure in the shower that won’t break the bank (or require professional help).
But first, let’s talk a little bit about how shower pressure actually works, and what impacts the water pressure in your home.
How Shower Pressure Works
Shower pressure is the force with which water flows out of the shower head. It's determined by the amount of water that's available to flow through the shower head and the resistance the water encounters as it flows through the pipes and the shower head. The more water that's available and the less resistance it encounters, the higher the shower pressure will be.
Several factors can impact water pressure in your home. One of the most common factors is the diameter of the water pipes. If the pipes are too small, they can't handle the volume of water needed to maintain high water pressure. Additionally, mineral deposits from hard water can build up in the pipes, reducing their diameter and causing blockages that reduce water flow and pressure.
Another factor that can impact water pressure is the water pressure regulator. The water pressure regulator is a valve that controls the water pressure in your home. If it's set too low, it can cause low water pressure in the shower.
Finally, leaks in the pipes or the shower head can cause a drop in water pressure. It's important to fix any leaks as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your plumbing and to maintain water pressure.
By addressing these factors, you can increase shower pressure and enjoy a more satisfying shower experience.
6 Ways to Increase Shower Pressure
If you’ve checked to ensure there are no major leaks or plumbing issues within your home and you’re still experiencing low water pressure in the shower, there are some simple steps you can take to increase shower pressure.
Check the Water Pressure Regulator
The water pressure regulator is a valve that controls the water pressure in your home. If it's set too low, it can cause low water pressure in the shower. To check the water pressure regulator, find it near the main water shut-off valve. It is usually found in your basement or utility room.
Use a pressure gauge to measure the water pressure. If the pressure is below 40 psi, adjust the regulator to increase it. You can hire a professional to do this for you, but for many homeowners, this can be an easy DIY project.
Clean the Water Pipes
Mineral deposits can build up in the water pipes over time. This can cause blockages that reduce water flow and pressure. To clean the water pipes, you can get a descaling solution at your local hardware store. A descaling solution is a chemical that breaks down mineral deposits within pipes. Follow package instructions to remove mineral deposits from your pipes.
Install a Water Softener
If you have hard water, which is water that contains high levels of minerals like calcium and magnesium, it can cause clogs in the water pipes and reduce water pressure. Installing a water softener is a long-term solution to hard water problems.
A water softener removes minerals from the water, making it easier on your pipes and appliances, and improving water flow and pressure. Water softeners can be expensive, but they are a worthwhile investment if you have hard water.
Clean Your Shower Head
This may sound obvious, but cleaning your shower head is very important! Not only does it ensure your shower head functions properly and lasts a long time, it can also help increase shower pressure.
One of the most common reasons for low shower water pressure is a clogged shower head. Over time, mineral deposits from hard water can build up in the small holes of the shower head, reducing the water flow. Cleaning the shower head is a quick and easy way to increase shower pressure - without ever touching your tools!
You don’t even need harsh chemicals to clean your shower head - there’s a great natural cleaning solution we recommend.
All you need is a plastic bag, white vinegar, and a rubber band. Fill the plastic bag with white vinegar and tie it around the shower head, making sure that the shower head is fully submerged in the vinegar. Leave it overnight, and in the morning, remove the bag and run the shower to flush out any remaining vinegar.
Another tip to help maintain your shower head and shower pressure is to install a shower head filter. There are many benefits of filtered shower heads one of which is reducing the minerals and gunk that could potentially clog your shower head reducing water pressure.
Check Your Shower Head Flow Restrictors
Inside every shower head is a small part called a flow restrictor or flow regulator. This part is designed to control the flow of water to the shower head and it has a significant effect on the water pressure in your shower.
If you’re experiencing low water pressure, it might be time to check what kind of restrictor or regulator you have.
With a traditional flow restrictor, water flows to your shower head. No matter what pressure you have in your house, the flow restrictor only lets through a certain amount of water. If you have really low water pressure in your home and you have a shower head flow restrictor, you might get even less water pressure than you’re supposed to.
Flow regulators, on the other hand, provide a more consistent flow. Whether you have low-pressure or high-pressure water in your home, it will always deliver the same, consistent pressure through the shower head.
Flow regulators expand or contract based on your water pressure. If you have high pressure, the flow contracts, letting less water through to reduce pressure to a certain level. If you have low pressure, the regulator expands, letting more water through so pressure remains consistent.
Upgrade your shower head with a flow regulator instead of a flow restrictor, or look for a new shower head that comes with a flow regulator installed. We recommend flow regulators made by Neoperl. This is the brand that comes pre-installed in all Hammerhead Showers and it is a top-of-the-line quality product.
Watch this video to learn how to remove and replace your shower head flow regulator.
Replace the Shower Head
If cleaning the shower head and installing a flow regulator doesn't help, it might be time to replace your shower head altogether. There are many high-pressure shower heads available in the market that are specifically designed to increase shower pressure.
When shopping for a new shower head, look for one with a high flow rate, which measures the amount of water that flows through the shower head per minute. The higher the flow rate, the stronger the water pressure.
What to Look for in Shower Heads That Increase Water Pressure
If you’re in the market for a new shower head to help increase shower pressure, there’s a few key features you’ll want to keep an eye out for.
Flow Regulators vs Flow Restrictors
As we discussed above, flow restrictors are not the same thing as flow regulators. Flow restrictors only allow a set amount of water to flow to the shower head, no matter how much water is flowing through your pipes. If you have low water pressure in your home or building, this can mean even lower pressure in your shower.
A flow regulator, on the other hand, is designed to adjust the water flow rate for consistent pressure in your shower. This means you can still enjoy the stated flow rate even if your home or building water pressure is lower.
At The Shower Head Store, we use Neoperl flow regulators in all of our shower heads.
The nozzles on your shower head can also impact your water pressure. At The shower head Store, our single-function handheld shower heads come with our proprietary silicone nozzles that actually pressurize the water. This means you can get a strong, steady flow of water even if you have low household water pressure.
These nozzles are designed with narrower openings than traditional shower head nozzles, which boosts the pressure. Just by changing to a shower head with these silicone nozzles, you can see up to three times the water pressure!
Check out our video demonstrating the difference in water pressure below:
A Handheld Shower Head with Hose
Another easy way to increase shower pressure with your shower head is by purchasing a handheld shower head with hose. This style of shower head allows you to remove it from the wall and direct the spray where you need pressure most.
Want to ease tension while getting clean? Take off the shower head and spray it directly on your shoulders and neck. By directing the spray closer to your body you’ll increase pressure.
All-Metal Shower Head Design
The best way to ensure consistent performance and pressure is to look for a high-quality, durable shower head that will stand the test of time. An all-metal shower head is our recommendation.
All-metal shower heads are more durable than traditional plastic shower heads and easier to clean (and keep clean). They also stand up better to mineral and hard water deposits over time.
Our Pick for a Shower Head to Increase Shower Pressure
If you’re ready to replace your shower head and increase shower pressure, there are a lot of options on the market. But there’s only one shower head we recommend for the highest quality and long-lasting durability.
HammerHead Showers All Metal Handheld Shower Head Set - High Pressure 1-Spray - 2.5 GPM
This handheld shower head is made from high quality materials like 304 stainless steel and brass to ensure a lifetime of the best showers. This shower head has just one spray setting, so we could focus on creating the best, most consistent, high pressure shower head on the market.
Our proprietary silicone nozzles pressurize the water so you can get a powerful stream of water even with low household water pressure.
Use this shower head on its own as a handheld shower, or purchase it as part of our dual shower head package to combine a high pressure shower head with a relaxing rain shower head.
Ready to Increase Shower Pressure Without a Plumber?
Low shower water pressure can be a frustrating problem, but it doesn't have to be a permanent one. There are many ways to increase shower pressure without hiring a plumber, from cleaning the shower head to replacing it with a high-pressure shower head with a hose. By trying these techniques, you can enjoy a refreshing and relaxing shower with strong water pressure.
And if you run into any issues while improving your shower pressure, contact The Shower Head Store today. We’re more than just a place to buy quality shower parts - we’re a source of expert knowledge on all things shower upgrades. And we’re always happy to answer your questions!