How To Increase Water Pressure In Shower | Top 6 Methods

how to increase water pressure in showers

Remember taking a shower and realizing how great the water feels against your skin?

With a soothing flow of water going down your back, through your hair and down your legs… there’s no doubt that the feeling is great!

If you’ve been showering or any length of time, it becomes clear when something’s up with the pressure. In this guide, I’ve put together a guide explaining how to increase water pressure in your shower.

There’s SIX different methods which can resolve your low water pressure. Most of these methods won’t be needing specialized skills. As you read towards the second half of the methods, it may be wise to hire a plumber. If you’re confident, let’s get things started and fix your showers water pressure!

Diagnosing low water pressure

Diagnosing Low Water Pressure

Let’s first figure out where the low water pressure is coming from. Is it from the shower head or in the piping?
 
The difference between the two could mean spending less than one hour, or several hours fixing the issue.
 
  1. Method ONE is to unscrew the shower head and place a one gallon jug over the shower arm. Turn the water on to full and get a timer to count how long it takes for the gallon jug to fill completely. For example, if you start the timer and the jug fills to the top in exactly ONE minute, that’s ONE gallon per minute. If it fills in 30 seconds, that’s TWO gallons per minute.
  2. Method TWO is to screw the shower head back on and get a 5 gallon bucket. Make sure the bucket has one, two, and three gallon marketing. Turn the shower head on and time it for exactly ONE minute. After one minute, turn the water off and place the bucket on the ground. See how much water is in the bucket using the markings you drew earlier. If you got 1.5 gallons in the one minute time, that means your shower head is outputting 1.5 gallons per minute.
Using those two methods, compare the results. One could go in many directions in diagnosing the issue.
 
If after removing the shower head you are getting a steady 2 to 3 gallons per minute, but if shower head is attached than you get only 1/2 of that… your shower head may be the issue.
 
If after removing the shower head you are getting sub 2 gpm flow rate, there could be other issues present.
 
Below I’ve outlined SIX different paths you could take to resolve the low water pressure issue.

6 Ways to Increase Water Pressure In Shower

Below I’ve outlined the 6 ways you can increase your shower heads pressure. Starting with the easiest and moving towards the more invasive methods. 

#1 Clean Your Shower Head (Inside and Out)

Depending on how long you had your shower head, there could be some mineral build-up. Look at the nozzles of your shower head, see if there’s any white calcium build-up. If that is the case, get some white distilled vinegar to resolve this issue.
 
Get a plastic bag and fill it up with vinegar. Place the shower head “head first” inside the bag an ensure nozzles are drenched. Let the shower head sit for 24 hours and use an old toothbrush to clean the nozzles afterwards (rinsing with water to finish up).

#2 Check for Flow Restrictor

This method is simple and straight to the point. Almost all shower heads have flow restrictors in place. Unscrew your shower head and look in the area water enters to see if there’s a plastic gasket (it’s usually colors). If you see it, remove and test water flow to see if there’s any difference.

#3 Try Changing Your Shower Head

Some shower heads suck. While most shower heads have water flow from 2 to 2.5 gallons per minute, many others are less from the factory. Go buy a high pressure shower head that is designed in a way where the nozzles pressurize the water flow. Install and test the water flow and feel to see if there’s a noticeable difference.

#4 Turning UP Flow Volume at Curb-Side Main

Now this method will take a bit more effort (in most cases). What you first need to do is locate the water meter and shut off valve. It’s usually located in front of your home in the yard somewhere.
 
In the event there has been a construction project in the proximity of your home, the company may have turned down your water pressure.
If possible, see if the shut off valve was tampered with. Turn it clockwise as far as you can to ensure greatest water pressure.  
 
*WARNING: Accessing this area and making any adjustments could be prohibited. Contact your water company directly to do this for you (if necessary).

#5 Turn On Main Home Water Entry Valve

Like the curbside main mentioned above, #5 on this list is the main water control valve located inside your home.
 
You can usually find it underneath the floor on the ground level (basement, side or behind your home). 
 
Locate the valve, and see if it has any room to be turned to release more pressure. Once done, go ahead and check the water flow from your shower head. 
 
If the water valve was turned down, it may be wise to ask…
 
Was there a previous owner to your home?
If the answer is yes, past owners can sometimes turn the valves down to save money on their water bill. This would apply if they lived there or rented it out to save money on their water bill.

#6 Replace Single-Control Shower Volume Valve

The shower valve is one of strained components of your shower system. It directs water flow and helps mix both hot and cold water to create the perfect temperature.
 
Over time, this valve can wear down and have calcium build-up. This can mess with the water flow and result in lower water pressure. If all else fails, you may have to replace the valve in your shower.
 
There’s a perfect article explaining how to replace the shower valve in your shower.

Bottom Line

We’ve come to the end of this post. I outlined each method which could help you increase water pressure in your shower. While the first few methods could be done by anyone, the last few may need help (depending on your situation).
 
Leave a comment and share your experience. There’s at least a dozen other ways to increase pressure, tell us about yours!