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Question DetailsAsked on 7/15/2015

We have poor water pressure in bathroom shower. Need it fixed

Sink water pressure in upstairs bath is fine. The shower has very poor water pressure.

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Quite likely it has a flow restrictor in it - built-in in newer models, a slip-in disc with a small hole in it in older ones. If you carefully take the shower head off without twisting the pipe that goes into the wall (may be able to do holding with hand, may need strap wrench to hold - be carerful about damaging finish on pipe wiuth a wrench) you may be able to take out flow restrictor or drill a larger hole in the shower head.


Federal law restrict shower heads to 2.5 gpm at 80 psi - which means about 1.5-2 with normal household pressure. Note in some areas you are required to have a more restrictive flow restrictor nozzle - especially in California where the limit is 1.6 gpm.


There are a few places that sell pre-1992 showerheads and toilets and such that do not meet the newer standards, because manufacturing has to meet the standard - not used items. THere is a fair market out there still for full 5 gallon toilets and tanks, for instance.


If a designed low-flow showerhead, you can sometimes get higher flow rated ones at places like Amazon - I have found Waterpik generally has a couple of higher flow oscillating/spray adjustable plastic types for sale, as does Plumbshop for simple metal spray heads. There are also companies like Zoe Industries that make multi-head shower head manifolds that allow 2,3 or even up to 8 heads coming off the pipe, each of which is not more than the fedcersal 2.5 gpm limit - but all combined lets out a fair amount more. (Normal shower valves and piping will max out at about 3-5 gpm regardless of what type of head you have).


Note if you change one out (which can be illegal in some areas) a higher flow one might pop up as a deficiency on a sale inspection, so keep the old one. As for the federal law - as I recall, it is not actually illegal to have more than a 2.5 gpm nozzle - you just can't manufacture or sell them in the US.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD




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