how to increase water pressure in shower

An Easy Guide on How to Increase Water Pressure in the Shower

It happens to all of us and often at the most inconvenient times. You are taking a shower, all lathered up in foam and bubbles, and when it is time to rinse, you need to stand right where there is the most water coming out from the shower head. Sounds all too familiar? Low water pressure can be frustrating to deal with.

But before you decide on calling the plumber, take a look at these simple 5 step-by-step ways on how to increase water pressure in the shower so that you can try to see if the problem can be fixed by yourself (and save money!).

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Step 1: Check if it is Just Your Showerhead

This is an essential step for determining whether you’re dealing with low water pressure only in the bathroom or whether this problem is persisting in other areas of your home.

All you have to do is turn on the faucets in your house and check whether they are also having water pressure issues. If only your showerhead is exhibiting low water pressure, then you can move on to the next step.

Step 2: Clean Your Showerhead

Water contains minerals, particularly calcium and magnesium, that can clog up your showerhead over time. This means that even if you buy a new showerhead, sooner or later, it will be clogged up with mineral deposits.

So, it’s best to clean your showerhead every few months. You just need basic household items like distilled white vinegar and a toothbrush to clean your showerhead.

Once you have these items, here is what you need to do:

  • Detach the showerhead from the hose or its holder.
  • Submerge the showerhead in a container filled with vinegar (note: if your showerhead is made of plastic and floats, use a weight to keep it fully submerged).
  • Scrub the face of the showerhead with the toothbrush to remove the mineral deposits.
  • If the deposits are still there, leave the showerhead submerged in vinegar overnight.

This trick works with most kinds of showerheads. You can also find YouTube videos to assist you with DIY cleaning.

Alternatively, you can also use commercial limescale removal cleaners and follow the above steps, but vinegar works well in most cases.

But what if the problem persists? Then head to Step 3.

Step 3: Turn on the Water Shut-off Valve

For this step, you need to find your water shut-off valve. This valve controls the flow of water entering your home. It is rarely tampered with unless you’ve had some renovation done in your home and the contractor did not turn it back on fully. The location of this valve depends on whether you are living in a house or an apartment.


If you live in a house, the water valve is usually located where the plumbing first enters your house.

If you have a basement, it is probably at the front wall closest to the street.

If your house has a supply closet, the water valve will probably be there if you cannot find it anywhere else.


If you live in an apartment, the location of the water valve will vary. It could be in the closet in your bedroom. If it is a studio, it will be in the living room closet.

Once you have located the water valve, check whether the handle is perpendicular or parallel to the pipe. If it is perpendicular, it means the valve is off, and all you have to do to turn it back on is turn the handle until it is parallel to the pipe.

If it is a knob, you need to turn it clockwise all the way until you cannot turn it anymore.

Note that it may be difficult to turn on the valve fully since it is rarely touched and could have become too stiff to turn. In this case, you can use a little bit of oil or valve grease to loosen it.

Step 4: Remove the Showerhead Flow Restrictor

So, even after checking that the water shut-off valve is fully turned on, the water pressure in your shower head is still the same. What’s next?

Step 4 involves dissecting the shower head to find the flow restrictor.

Flow restrictors are designed to restrict the rate of water flow by reducing the size of the channel through which water flows. It is a water-saving measure as it results in you using less water per minute.

To remove this flow restrictor, you need to look inside the neck of the showerhead and find a disc-like structure. This is the part that needs to be removed. However, take note that flow restrictors are not easy to be removed since their function is to reduce water consumption and help you save on your water bill.

You may also run the risk of damaging your showerhead if you are uncertain about removing the flow restrictor. If you are not careful, your water bill can also increase since there will be unrestricted water flow and you keep taking the same amount of time to shower.

If you are not ready to do Step 4, or you have removed the flow restrictor, but the problem is still there, then it is time for Step 5.

Step 5: Change Your Shower Timing

There are times when you’d be taking showers at certain times of the day, such as in the morning or at night, when other members of the household are also using water. Or maybe, you shower when the dishwasher or washing machine is also running.

Any of the above situations can cause a drop in water pressure since you are sharing your water resource with others. One way to work around it is to shower when no one and nothing else is consuming water.

Last Resort: Time to Call the Professional

If you’ve done your due diligence and exhausted all options without any noticeable difference in your water pressure, chances are the issue is beyond your control. It’s now time to call a professional and let them fix your water pressure issue.

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