Water system solutions
Check the water pressure entering your home; it should be 40 to 100 pounds per square inch (psi). If the incoming pressure is OK, corrosion, sediment, or mineral buildup in galvanized pipes may be the problem, according to the northern California plumbing specialists. Horizontal lines and hot-water pipes are most prone to clogs. However, any galvanized pipe can clog.
The ultimate solution is to replace old plumbing with copper pipes – a time-consuming and expensive job. Here are several simple solutions. The method described here will clear pipes but can also clean corroded joints where sediment alone was preventing leaks. Use compressed air gently.
Clear pipes between a faucet and the water heater, then use the same method to clear pipes from the water heater to the main shutoff. Don’t blast compressed air through a water heater – you could damage its lining.
Forcing out sediment with an air compressor
Shut off the clogged supply line at a convenient spot on the street side of a union. At the other end of the pipe run to be cleared, disconnect pipes or remove a stop valve.
Attach the hose of an air compressor (a model that has a holding tank) to the pipe end. Making this connection requires several fittings; consult with a home center salesperson to assemble them properly.
Clearing aerators and screens
If water flows slowly at one faucet or appliance only, chances are that an aerator or a screen is clogged. At a washing machine shut off the hose valve and disconnect the hoses from the back of the machine. Pry out the screens in the machine’s inlets or hose ends and clean them.
Use pliers to unscrew an aerator from the end of a faucet spout and clean all the little parts. Replace the aerator if it is damaged.