Why Does My Shower Have Low Water Pressure?

A good shower can help you get moving in the morning, or refresh you after a good workout or long day of work. That’s why dealing with a shower with low water pressure can be so frustrating. When water is trickling instead of spraying, you may have to scrub harder and wash longer — and the water may feel colder because it’s covering less of your skin surface. 

Does this sound all too familiar to you? Are you dealing with low water pressure in your shower and wondering what to do about it? If so, read on for more information on a few things you need to know.

Perks of Proper Pressure in the Shower

Determining the cause of poor water pressure is worth the trouble. An obvious reason is that you want to know that the root issue isn’t something that will lead to bigger problems down the road. Proper water pressure also makes for more efficient water use and more enjoyable showers. 

Fixing poor water pressure starts with understanding what has gone wrong. Whether your water pressure is too high or too low, it’s a red flag indicating something isn’t working as it should. There’s no better time than now to figure out what’s going on.

What Causes Low Water Pressure in the Shower — and What to Do About It

Whether you are experiencing low water pressure in one shower or multiple showers in your home, there’s a possibility that one of the following common problems is to blame: 

  • Too much demand on the water supply.

If you’re in the shower while the dishwasher is running or the toilet is being flushed, your water supply is being directed to two different places. The pressure is basically being diluted, and some of the water that would have gone to the shower is being sent elsewhere. If your shower water pressure increases and returns to normal when no other water is being used, this is probably the issue. 

Solution: Don’t run other water when you’re in the shower. 

  • The shower head is blocked.

If the shower is alone in experiencing low water pressure, no matter how many faucets are running, the problem could be a blocked shower head. 

Solution: You likely will have to unscrew the shower head to remove it. Check to see whether there’s an obstruction preventing water from flowing freely. Remove any sediment by soaking the shower head in a bowl of vinegar overnight and pushing obstructive material out with a toothpick. Alternatively, you may have to replace the shower head. 

  • You have a water-saving shower head.

If the problem has existed since you moved in, it’s possible you have a water-saving feature in the shower head and weren’t aware of it. These shower heads are designed to lower water consumption, which may also mean lowering the water level pressure. 

Solution: Determine whether you have a water-saving shower head installed. If so, replace it with a standard shower head. 

  • Your water main is leaking.

A larger-scale issue that can affect shower pressure is a problem with the water main. If it’s not all the way open, if the main is leaking or obstructed, or if there’s a related equipment malfunction, the water pressure throughout the house likely will be affected. If you just bought a new build, the water main may not have been opened all the way. Similarly, if you just bought an existing home, it’s possible previous owners adjusted the water main to try to reduce household water consumption. If you’re dealing with a leak, you could be paying for water you don’t even use. 

Solution: Ask your water provider to check your water main for leaks, as well as the shut-off valve on your water meter to see whether it’s turned all the way to the “open” position to maximize water flow. 

A nice shower is one of life’s little luxuries. So is having a bathroom that features quality fixtures and design. Whether you’re updating a bathroom, upgrading plumbing fixtures or adding accessories, a great resource is modernbathroom.com. 

As the Internet’s leading provider of bathroom products at factory-direct prices, Modern Bathroom is pleased to offer affordable items, free shipping and a low-price guarantee. We’ll refund 110 percent of the difference if you find something you buy from us at a lower cost within 30 days. Whether you’re swapping out a shower head or overhauling your entire bathroom space, we’re your resource for getting it done at affordable prices, with quality products. 

Are you interested in updating your shower or other aspects of your bathroom? Check out our full catalog of quality, brand-name bathroom products at modernbathroom.com. And if you have any questions, contact us anytime to learn more about our quality showers, shower heads, glass enclosures and more.

Should You Replace Your Shower And Tub Valves?

If you’re remodeling your bathroom, you’ve probably put a lot of time and effort into making sure your updated bathroom will have the right feel to it. You want your newly redesigned bathroom to be the perfect place for you — down to the color of the tiles on the shower wall. You’ve probably selected a shower head that features multiple settings, so you’ll always have the exact type of experience you want, depending on the circumstances. The bottom line is that you want your updated bathroom — and shower — to be flawless. Yet imagine if you go through all the trouble of remodeling your bathroom to look exactly how you want, only to find that the shower doesn’t work as well as it should.

It takes more than fresh grout or marble tiles to ensure the perfect shower experience. If your shower isn’t working at its best behind the scenes (i.e., plumbing), no amount of fancy tile or color combinations will overcome it. That’s why, when remodeling your bathroom, you need to consider whether or not it’s time to replace your shower and tub valves to guarantee everything about your shower will be working to the best of its abilities. Even if your shower seems to be working fine, your shower and tub valves might be costing you performance that could enhance your morning routine and make every shower more enjoyable.

What’s more, underperforming shower and tub valves could be costing you extra money each month by not performing as efficiently as they could. They also could be slowly damaging your home and creating the conditions for dangerous mold growth. In any event, remodeling your bathroom is a golden opportunity for checking your shower valves and considering replacing them. If you want your updated bathroom to be perfect, it’s worth considering what’s behind the wall as much as what’s going on the wall.

Why You Should Consider Checking Your Shower Valves

Remodeling your bathroom may include pulling down the walls inside your shower, which makes it a good time to look at your shower and tub valves. The valves will typically be in the general area of where the knobs that turn on the water are on the shower wall. The first issue to look for is if there are any leaks in the valve when you turn on the water. If there are drips, that’s a good indication that you should think about replacing the valve. Because, not only are you wasting water, but water that leaks behind the wall can cause rot as well as mold and mildew growth.

Slow reaction time when changing water temperature is another red flag of which to be aware when considering whether or not to replace your shower valves. If a sudden change in water pressure elsewhere in the house (such as when a toilet flushes or the washing machine starts) causes a drastic change in the water temperature in your shower, the valve may not be functioning properly.

Options for a New Shower Valve

If you’ve determined that it’s time for a change to your shower and tub valves, there are a few options for a new setup. The two main types of shower valves are pressure-balancing and thermostatic. Pressure-balancing valves are the most common types of shower valves. They work to maintain a constant temperature in the shower by balancing the ratio of hot water to cold water. Inside this type of valve, a piston or diaphragm reacts to pressure changes inside the hot and cold water pipes — adjusting the flow accordingly so you’re not scalded or chilled when the pressure suddenly drops in the opposite water pipe.

Thermostatic valves are less common. However, they offer a greater degree of control over the temperature of your shower than the pressure-balancing variety. These valves allow you to set the water temperature without having to balance the hot and cold water manually. Thermostatic valves typically contain a heat-sensitive material such as wax that expands and restricts the flow of hot water until it cools enough to let more hot water through again. This can ensure that the water never gets too hot or cold.

An optional type of valve you may want in your shower or tub is a diverter or transfer valve. These valves change the flow of water to different fixtures — such as from the tub faucet to the shower head or from the fixed shower head to a hand-held shower head. Depending on how you want your remodeled shower to function, you may need to install a diverter or transfer valve. 

A bathroom remodel is an opportunity to create the in-home oasis you’ve always wanted. Now is the time to think about new valves for your tub or shower, so don’t let the opportunity get away from you.

Bathroom Plumbing: Common How-To's

Beyond the kitchen, the bathroom is the next most complex room of the home, which means that there are a few things that can go wrong with various fixtures. There isn’t always time to wait for a plumber. The good news is, some fixes are easy enough to do yourself — without the expense or long wait time that comes with hiring a plumber. Here are a few common issues and what you can do to solve them yourself.

Fixing a Clogged Toilet

When fixing a clogged toilet, first make sure that the toilet doesn’t overflow as you’re working on the problem. To do this, shut off the valve on the supply line that feeds the toilet and make sure that the flapper inside the toilet tank stays closed as you work. 

To fix the clog, start with a plunger. Often, the pressure that repeated plunging applies to stuck debris in the soil pipe is enough to fix the clog. If the plunger doesn’t work, you’ll need to use an auger. These inexpensive tools are cables that are designed to be run down the toilet’s drain. Push the auger into the bowl’s drain and apply pressure, feeding as much of the cable into the drain as you can. Eventually, you’ll feel the auger come to a stop where the clog is located. Apply a bit more pressure to break through the clog. If you’re having trouble getting the auger through the toilet itself, then you may need to remove the toilet for better access to the drain pipe. Refer to the next section for instructions on installing a toilet.

How to Install a Toilet

If you are installing a new toilet, then the first step is to put the toilet together. For this, refer to the instructions that came with the toilet: Some toilets come pre-assembled. Others are one-piece with little assembly required. Some toilet models are two-piece — the tank and bowl are separate — which means you’ll need to do the assembly before you can install it. If you’re simply putting your old toilet back after fixing a clogged drain, then move to the next step. 

Once any assembly is completed, start with the flange that sits underneath the toilet itself. Scrape any remaining bits of the original wax ring and then place a new wax ring over the flange. You’ll also need two closet bolts, which are brass bolts that secure the base of the toilet to the floor — insert these into the keyhole slots in the flange. 

Next, pick up the toilet (carrying it by the bowl and not the tank so that you don’t accidentally crack the tank) and gently place it on the flange, making sure that the closet bolts are threaded through the holes in the base of the toilet itself. Once in place, you can now tighten the nuts on the closet bolts to secure the toilet to the floor. 

Re-attach the supply line and turn on the angle stop (the shut-off valve behind the toilet) or start the next how-to for instructions on replacing the supply line and angle stop.

Replacing a Supply Line and Angle Stop

Replacing the supply line and angle stop is a simple task. Start by locating a shut-off valve that will shut off water to the plumbing that feeds your bathroom (or shut off the water to the entire home at the main valve). Once this is done, use a crescent wrench to remove the original angle stop. Gently clean the threads on the exposed pipe to remove debris or bits of old Teflon tape. 

Apply a new layer of Teflon tape to the pipe’s threads. Then, screw the new angle stop in place. Once the valve is finger-tight, use a crescent wrench to gently tighten the angle stop the rest of the way. However, be careful not to over tighten, as this can crack the angle stop’s housing. When that is finished, the new supply line simply screws down to the exposed threads on top of the new angle stop. When you’ve installed the supply line to the angle stop, you can then attach it to the bottom of the toilet and you’ll be finished with the toilet installation!

What About Bathroom Sink Drains?

What if you have a clogged bathroom sink drain? The process to this repair is a little bit different. Start with the drain plug assembly, as the problem is often hair or other debris that has collected on the plug itself. Underneath the sink, you’ll find a rod that connects to an arm, which fits into the sink drain. This is the assembly that allows you to open and close the drain plug. Unfasten the spring clip that attaches the vertical rod to the horizontal arm, then unscrew the nut that holds the arm and ball valve inside the drain. Remove the arm and ball valve, and you’ll be able to lift the drain plug out of the drain. Remove any debris, then replace the parts in the reverse order in which you removed them.

Clogged P-Traps

Clogged P-traps are even easier to fix. For this job, place a bucket underneath the trap to catch water as you take the trap apart. Then, locate the two nuts on either side of the trap and loosen them to remove the trap itself. Once it comes free, you can use a toothbrush or a bottle brush to clean the clog before replacing the trap. 

As you can see, not all bathroom issues require a plumber. Follow these steps to correct some of the most common issues that you’ll face quickly and easily.

Vessel Sinks: Still A Hot Trend

If you think vessel sinks were a fad that has faded, think again. These unique bathroom sinks haven’t disappeared, even if their heyday seemed to be a decade ago. The vessel sink option has remained not only available, but desirable for many discerning designers. Several standout qualities are responsible for vessel sinks remaining popular among many designers and remodelers today. You’ll find them in model homes, renovated bathrooms, hotels, restaurants, upscale stores and many other types of commercial buildings. And you’ll find that they are available in a wide range of styles, from rustic to modern. They come in all kinds of looks, are easy to install and look great in any number of bathroom settings. 

So what’s great about bathroom sinks that are mounted vessel-style? How could you incorporate a vessel sink in your own bathroom update, and why would you want to? If you’re thinking about going with a vessel sink design, what do you need to know? 

To help answer these questions, here’s a look at some of the biggest advantages a vessel sink provides:

1. A stylish look.

Rather than “hiding” the sink within the counter, a vessel sink celebrates it as a showpiece of the bathroom space. Putting the sink basin above the countertop makes it a real focal point of the bathroom. A vessel sink grabs attention, creates visual interest and makes a real statement in a space. So when you want to make a strong design statement with your sink choice, a vessel sink is a great way to go. 

2. Design flexibility.

There seem to be very few limits when it comes to styles for a vessel sink design. Shop around for traditional, modern, bold and classic looks — whatever appeals to you. While these sinks tend to feature oval or round shapes and they are beloved for their compactness and clean lines, vessel sinks do come in various colors, materials and styles. If you explore the market far enough, you’ll find porcelain, glass, bronze, bamboo, copper, stainless steel and more materials available. 

3. Versatile installation options.

A vessel sink is traditionally installed above the counter, but it may also be partially recessed if you prefer. This is one more way it adds possibilities to a bathroom design that you can customize for your tastes. 

4. Easy installation.

Another perk with vessel sinks is their convenient installation process. Because they are typically mounted on top of the counter, it’s easier to put them in place and easier to hook up the plumbing. 

5. Easy replacement.

Easy installation means easy replacement, should you ever want or need to swap your vessel sink with another style. This kind of flexibility is a great selling feature when you know you might want to change your mind later. 

6. Useful counter space.

A vessel sink leaves a little bit of counter space beneath its ridge that otherwise would just be part of a bigger bowl for a regular sink. This is one reason why it can be a great fit for a small bathroom space. 

7. Taller design.

Because vessel sinks are set higher than under-mounted options, they can be a great bonus for tall individuals who typically would have to lean down farther to use the sink. 

For all their benefits, vessel sinks may require a little extra care to clean. Because they’re higher, they also may not be optimal for households with shorter individuals or small kids. A vessel sink can also be more vulnerable to damage due to its exposed edge. Nonetheless, it has so many features and benefits, many homeowners make it their sink of choice. As you explore the marketplace of sinks and bathroom designs, consider incorporating a vessel sink. 

Finding the Right Vessel Sink for You

Are you interested in exploring vessel sink options for your bathroom design or remodel? If so, visit ModernBathroom.com to find the Internet’s best factory-direct pricing on all things associated with bathroom design, from a vessel sink to a glass shower enclosure. Our online catalog sets you up with savings of up to 70 percent on a wide range of bathroom design products. On top of that, we offer a low-price guarantee. We’ll refund 110 percent of the difference if you find a lower price on a purchase somewhere else within 30 days.

So when you need vanities, faucets, sinks, toilets, showers, bathtubs, mirrors or accessories for your bathroom makeover, come to us. Explore our website at ModernBathroom.com to find the best products for your home — and enjoy free shipping to all 48 contiguous states.

Guide To Cleaning A Porcelain Tub

Anyone who owns a porcelain tub would tell you that the worst part of having one is cleaning it. Whether you’re talking about a vintage claw-foot tub that’s made of cast iron and coated with porcelain or a new model for which you’ve been the only owner, porcelain tubs need regular upkeep to keep it looking good. When you find an old one, it’s not uncommon for it to have dingy, dirty marks from years of use. When you buy a new one, it won’t be long before you see some signs of damage. 

  • If you’ve got a porcelain tub that you want to clean, what should you do? 
  • What materials should be avoided, and which are the best for getting your tub clean? 
 To help answer these questions, here’s a look at the basics of porcelain tubs and what you need to know to care for them.

The Appeal and Frustration of Old Porcelain Tubs

If you’re the kind of person who loves vintage charm, you probably love porcelain tubs. Made of cast iron and covered with porcelain enamel, porcelain tubs are beautiful and luxurious. What’s more, they’re designed to be durable. However, over enough time and use, they tend to chip, crack and dull. In fact, if you use the wrong products on the tub, you can wind up damaging it even faster. This is why understanding the proper materials and methods for cleaning is so important.

Materials to Avoid

When it comes to porcelain enamel, abrasive cleaners and materials can ding or chip the surface, making it even worse through the cleaning process. To avoid increased damage, here are a few materials to avoid: 

  • Scouring powder 
  • White vinegar 
  • Steel wool

Materials to Gather

You know what materials to avoid, but what materials should you use? When you buy or rent a home or otherwise inherit an old porcelain tub, you need a few key materials to take care of it properly. About once a month you will need to gather the following materials to deep-clean your tub: 

  • Warm water 
  • A bucket 
  • ¼ cup ammonia 
  • ¼ cup baking soda 
  • A cloth or non-abrasive nylon sponge for scrubbing 
  • For tough stains: Salt and the juice of half a lemon

How to Deep-Clean the Tub

Fill a bucket with warm water and add ammonia and baking soda to the liquid. Soak a cloth or sponge in the mixture and use it to scrub the tub — focusing especially on stained spots. Keep dipping the sponge, scrubbing and repeating until the tub is clean. Afterward, rinse it well with warm water and use a clean rag to wipe the tub clean.

What to Do About Tough Stains

If you have any tough-to-remove stains on the tub, cover them with salt and squeeze the juice of half a lemon on top. Or, you can try two parts baking soda and one part hydrogen peroxide set on a stain for about 30 minutes. Use a clean cloth or sponge to scrub the salt mixture into the stain and remove it. If this doesn’t work, leave the salt mixture on the stain for about an hour and retry with a little more lemon juice.

Strategy for Weekly Upkeep

Once your bathtub is sufficiently cleaned, all you need to do is gently clean it on a regular basis to keep it in good shape. Ideally, you’ll want to give it a scrub once a week or so. Here’s what to do: 

  • Mix a gallon of hot water with a few tablespoons of dishwashing soap. 
  • Use a cloth or sponge to scrub the tub’s entire surface. 
  • Rinse well and repeat a week later. You may also want to polish your tub with a little lemon essential oil, rubbed all over with a soft cloth.

What to Do About Stubborn Stains That Won’t Clean

If proper cleaning and upkeep do not resolve your bathtub’s stains and damage, another option is to call in professional help. Through a re-glazing service, you may be able to see your cast-iron fixture looking like new again.

Where to Find a Quality Bathtub

If you’re in the market for a new porcelain bathtub or other bathroom fixture, Modern Bathroom is your online resource. We’re proud to offer factory-direct prices that save customers up to 70 percent off retail costs on bathroom products of all kinds. What’s more, we offer free shipping and a low-price guarantee. If you buy from us, we’ll refund 110 percent of the difference when you find a lower price on that product anywhere else within 30 days. Shop our website to learn more!