Why do I have low water pressure in the shower?

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It's half-past way-too-early in Atlanta and you're barely awake. This is not the time to discover you...

It's half-past way-too-early in Atlanta and you're barely awake. This is not the time to discover you have low water pressure in the shower. If your morning routine has been ruined by bad water pressure, grab the tool box. Here are three reasons your water has slowed to a trickle.

1. Clogged Shower Head
If you have hard water, your shower head may simply be clogged. Calcium and other minerals build up in the aerator portion of the shower head. To wash away the minerals, dip the shower head in a bucket filled with mineral-dissolving solvent, or use vinegar water. Then scrub the shower head with a stiff-bristled brush to remove the debris. Rinse the shower head and try the shower again.

2. Galvanized Pipes
Peek at the plumbing pipes in your basement. Do they appear to be galvanized? In other words, are they iron pipes with a zinc coating? Over time these can rust. The buildup of sediment in the lines can lead to increasingly lower water pressure. If you've noticed discoloration in the water, or tiny particles of sediment recently, it might be time to start replacing the galvanized pipes with rust-resistant PVC.

3. Water Heater Problem
Do a quick test. Turn off the shower and turn on the cold water only. Does it have good, steady pressure? Now, do the same with the hot water. If only the hot water has bad pressure, you may have a problem with the water heater. Check the shut-off valve on the water heater. Make sure it is fully open. If your water pressure is still low, it's time to call an Atlanta-area plumber to trouble shoot your low water pressure problem.

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