My master, Bernard loves to tell his customers that I’m able to respond to his questions by answering back in spoken English. Customers refuse to believe it until Bernard asks me, ” What covers a house?” and I reply twice to make sure, “roof – roof!” And of course it’s easy for me to say how sandpaper feels, “rough – rough!” The pressure is always on to perform.
Talking of pressure…
At this time of year, as temperatures fall, we always receive a number of calls from customers who fear that the cold weather has caused the water pressure to drop in their home and affect normal supply. If water has frozen in a pipe then supply can be affected. However, the “truth –truth” is that there’s likely to be another more common cause.
The most typical reason is due to water supply being temporarily reduced or stopped completely for repairs to burst mains or routine maintenance. Advance notification tends to be rare and it’s always best to check first to see if neighbours are also affected and/or online with the area supply company.
Changes in supply demand
Another reason outside of the home can be the length of the external supply pipe. On longer supply pipes, particularly those with a smaller internal diameter, the water pressure at a property’s boundary can be affected if the internal supply pipe is too small to deliver the flow of water to the taps at a high enough pressure.
The pressure of the water coming through household taps can sometimes vary anyway due to the changes in response to the demand for water being placed on the distribution system.
Water pressure is actually at its highest at night when very little is being used while during the day and at peak times of use, such as at breakfast or an evening meal, more people in a residential area are using more water, which can cause the pressure to drop. A bath can take longer than usual to fill with water and cause a delay in getting your ducks in a “row-row-row!”
There can be various reasons for a water pressure problem within the home…
Leaks from pipes or fittings are usually the most common reason for reduced water pressure and it’s important to check by carefully listening for hissing sounds from inside pipes or looking for damp patches.
Some pressure problems can be caused by faulty, damaged or leaking pipes and fittings, for example, to ball valves and stop taps. On older properties, the pipes may have become corroded and are restricting water flow.
A partially closed branch stop tap inside a property could also be the cause of low water pressure. By gently opening up the tap, the pressure can be increased, then open and close several times until the number of turns from open to closed is constant and the tap is fully open. Finally, reverse back by a quarter of a turn to prevent the tap from seizing up.
So, it may be no more than a coincidence that water pressure becomes low when the cold winter weather arrives but Bernard may still need to come and take an urgent look.
I might even come along too and answer any customer questions but I’m sure they wouldn’t want to see a dog outside when the weather is so bitterly “raw-raw-raw!”