Water pressure problems with South West Water

When South West Water undertake some necessary works to local pipes and sewerage your pressure can potentially be affected intermittently. If the company are doing any work in your area you will be able to track it on their WaterLive service on the website.

Water firms have no limit on the water pressure so it is your responsibility to ensure pipework are capable of transporting the water at pressure they supply.

What affects the water pressure?

There are a number of things that could make your water pressure lower or higher than usual. They could be:

· The height of the property – as the higher the elevation of the property equals more of a pressure loss, it all depends on the height in relation to the water main and local reservoir

· Internal plumbing – the longer the pipes, the longer the water has to travel so pressure is lost along the way

· The condition of the service pipe – as you would imagine, the worse the condition of the pipe, the bigger loss of pressure as the water will struggle to be drawn through smaller and older pipes or ones that are made of galvanised iron or lead

· If the property shares a supply pipe with others – the more properties the supply is shared with the greater loss of pressure

· Peak demand – times such as breakfast and tea have a higher demand for water so if your water supply is shared the lower the pressure will be

· Leaks – if you are losing water elsewhere the lower the flow of water to taps and showers and the lesser the pressure

What can I do to improve pressure?

You can alter the internal stop tap to receive lower or higher pressure by fully opening it or turning it down a small amount at a time, respectively. Turning it downs means your pressure will reduce downstream of the tap as flow is drawn off.

If you are concerned about the high pressure you can also install pressure-reducing devices on your pipework, which can be fitted yourself or a plumber. Alternatively, it may be an issue with the external stop tap – usually found at the edge of the property - which you can check if it safe to do so.

Your stop tap may also be situated inside the meter chamber if you are in a metered property. It will be a plastic toggle that should be turned 90 degrees to open or a brass tap that should be unscrewed until it stops naturally.

What can South West Water do?

Isolating the supply by the external or internal stop tap will limit any risk of property damage, but if the problem persists you can contact South West Water on their services helpline where a technician can be sent out to view the property.

They will then investigate and if the test is inconclusive there will either be an external service pipe issue or an internal plumbing problem. South West Water will check if it the fault of a burst water main or other operational fault and if not will send another inspector out to make further checks.