Hard water problems are increasing in Manitoba, and as most people know the most reliable way to bring the water from hard to soft is with a water softener. That being the case the number of water softeners in Manitoba has risen over the years. In some cases, there is a concern from homeowners on well water who have heavy iron or really hard water that they could have a problem with the water softener causing low water pressure. Whether the water pressure was affected gradually over time, or all of a sudden, it is our intention in this article to go over some of the reasons you will experience low water pressure. 

Main Ball Valve Shut Off
Main Ball Valve Shut Off

THE MAIN WATER SHUT OFF VALVE

The main water shut-off valve is usually found on the line leaving the pressure tank going into the house. They come in two varieties one being the gate valve and the other being a ball valve. Of course, the installer who put the water softener/iron filter in has to shut that valve off to relieve the water pressure in the home. On rare occasions the main water shut off valve may not be left partially closed  causing a drop in water pressure throughout the house. Also, children playing and accidentally turning or bumping the ball valve or moving something in the basement and coming in contact with the main water shut-off valve could have the same effect.

Pressure Switch
Pressure Switch

A FAULTY PRESSURE SWITCH

Included with every main water pressure tank are a pressure switch and pressure gauge. Over time electrical contacts that come together to turn on the pump will become fouled or the spring mechanism becomes weak. If the pressure switch becomes weak then the well pump won’t turn on as required causing low water pressure in the house sometimes making it so there is no water pressure.

Pressure Tank
Pressure Tank

A FAULTY WATER PRESSURE TANK

Pressure tanks are also a problem when the bladder which is inside the tank develops a leak allowing water to be on both sides of the bladder. You can usually notice this when the well pump keeps going on and off trying to regulate the pressure in the pressure tank.  This activity not only will lower your water pressure but also reduce the life expectancy of your well pump. Check your pressure gauge and see if the pressure jumps up and down which is a good indicator as well.

Submersible Well Pump
Submersible Well Pump

SUBMERSIBLE WELL PUMP

Well pumps don’t give us many signs that there is a problem until one day they just quit. So most people are caught right in the middle of their day, and all of a sudden no water.  One of the problems people in Manitoba have is high iron/manganese deposits in their well. The iron/manganese builds up on the screen that is installed on the well pump to protect it from sucking in large pieces of sediment. What this does is make it very difficult for the water to be pumped through a plugged screen and reduces the life expectancy of your pump. We suggest if this is the case to have your well pump pulled every five years or so and have the screen cleaned to increase pump life.

SEDIMENT FILTER

Sediment Water Filter
Sediment Water Filter

Sediment filters are found on the water line to prevent sediment and some people mistakenly think it will eliminate iron in the water. It will take out ferric iron because like sediment it will accumulate however ferrous iron which is totally dissolved in the water will pass right through a sediment filter. When a sediment filter is left too long without a filter change it will plug up and cause low water pressure.

Copper Plumbing Pipes
Copper Plumbing Pipes

PLUMBING

Plumping over time can become plugged and cause low water pressure. If there is hardness in the water that isn’t removed or iron/manganese is left to run through your plumping this can become a serious problem.

Comercial Water Softener
Comercial Water Softener

Water Softener Causing Low Water Pressure?

So to go back to the title of this article “Water Softener Causing Low Water Pressure?”. Yes if it is undersized or left without regenerating over time this will cause low water pressure. Having said that we don’t see the water softener being the problem much of the time.