How to increase water pressure in your shower
First, let’s get the bad news out of the way. Getting better water pressure in your shower is somewhat out of your hands, at least when it comes to the water pressure from your local water department and the shower head water flow restrictions in your state.
But here’s the good news. While you can’t increase shower pressure yourself or improve water pressure without a big fix, you still have a ton of worthy options.
Diagnose the proper issue to fix things on your end if you discover that’s really where your low water pressure issue lies. In fact, switching to a better shower head might be all you need to drastically improve your at-home shower experience.
But here are a few more solutions to help you turn things around…
Diagnose the issue to find the real cause of your water woes
Before you dive into how you can fix the issue, on your own or with help, read this brief guide to all of the basics. This quick 101 will make it easier for you to find out why you have less than amazing shower head pressure. Only then can you spring into action.
IS IT YOUR SHOWER HEAD?A shower’s rate of gallons per minute, or GPM, controls the amount of water that can flow through a shower head. All shower heads have their GPM etched into them, so it’s easy to check the flow rate of any given style. And if your regular shower head is the culprit, that’s going to be an easy fix. You can simply swap out your low-pressure shower head for a higher-flow model.
- Note: Different shower head flow rates are (and are not) allowed in different states and even in different countries. The same goes for washing machines, dishwashers and other appliances that use water. Although federally in the US, the standard has been set to 2.5 gallons per minute, different states have tighter restrictions to help reduce water waste and improve our eco impact. So the actual shower head flow capacity you can legally buy will be determined by your state of residence.
IS IT YOUR SHOWER?If you have low water pressure coming from your plumbing system – lower than your shower head’s GPM, no matter how high the rate your shower head allows, the flow will always be controlled by your shower. You can learn how to measure your shower’s GPM here. If this is the case, the best thing you can do is to buy a shower head designed for lower-flow environments – it can definitely improve the overall experience.
IS IT A MUNICIPAL WATER SERVICE ISSUE?Water pressure in the shower is regulated by water flow and water flow depends on your pipes. If you have low shower water pressure because of your actual water supply, reach out to your local water department for support. But remember, you do have some control in this situation. Call a plumbing professional, tell them what’s happening and they’ll be able to tell you the plumbing services you need. Also ask for help before you purchase and install a shower pump (also called a booster pump). A professional plumber will know which shower pump will work best for your particular situation and your existing shower setup. For example, sometimes people have to buy shower pumps to regulate water pressure when the flow of their hot water is much lower than their cold water. Pumps can use a lot of electricity, so invest the extra time to find a good fit with a smaller carbon footprint – and smaller electric bill!
No matter what the issue is, it’s always a good idea to fully diagnose the issue. You might discover the culprit is your water heater, a shower head clogged with mineral deposits, a closed water valve, a broken or faulty pump, leaking pipes or corroded water pipes!
But it’s not all about low pressure. Some people struggle with the opposite issue, and showers with extremely high pressure water can sometimes be even worse than low water pressure. Too-high water pressure can be dangerous for you and wreak havoc on your shower and pipes. If your shower pressure is too high, get in touch with your local water department. If they’re unable to resolve the issue for some reason or if you find the pressure is still too high to feel comfortable, you can install a water-flow restrictor. Pro Tip: A water flow restrictor can help you meet your state’s new water limit if you still have an older shower system in place.
Buy a water-saving shower head with good pressure.
Thankfully, no matter the cause, you can still buy a better shower head. It can make a world of difference.
- You can buy another low-flow shower head that offers better performance.
- Or you can buy a higher-flow shower head to overcome your low water pressure.
Times have changed. You can buy an efficient, low-flow shower head and still have amazing showers. Companies have gotten savvier about creating lower-flow designs, so they still mimic the feel of higher-flow showers or stronger water pressure at home.
Aerating shower heads are a great example. They mix water and air to create larger water droplets. Those droplets replicate the look and feel of higher water pressure, but the resulting sensation is gentler on the skin than traditional water jets. And since the water drops are part air, part water, your total water and energy usage is lower for every shower.
Switch to an efficient shower head with a low-flow rate.
Choosing a low-flow shower head doesn’t have to be a sacrifice. The best low-flow, non-aerated nozzles reduce water usage, energy usage and your power bills, but they still offer a great feel – even if you have low pressure coming through your pipes. If you want an awesome-feeling low-flow shower head, choose one with features for better coverage and control (such as multiple spray settings and a longer hose).
Again, reference your state’s water-flow limits before you shop. It’s possible to choose a low-flow shower head (lower than 2.5 GPM) that still has a higher flow rate than your home state allows.
Pro Tip: Shop for WaterSense-certified, low-flow shower heads. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awards the WaterSense label to products, programs and even new homes that certify they save energy, use at least 20% less water than traditional models and offer comparable or better results!
Get a smart shower head by hai.
hai is available in two designs so you can get the full hai experience no matter who you are, or where you live: a WaterSense-certified, eco-friendly 1.8 GPM shower head model* and a standard 2.5 GPM shower head design**. The EPA awards WaterSense certifications to shower heads that are eco-efficient but don’t skimp on experience. We designed our 1.8 GPM model to feel as close to our higher flow 2.5 GPM option as possible– full coverage spray for an invigorating session. You’ll still get immersed in your own hai at-home spa, but with a little more water savings. For you and for the planet.
Here are a few more reasons why you might love hai:
Spruce up your shower aesthetic with an uplifting pop of color or go for a subtle tone instead. Choose from one of six hues: rose quartz, citron, persimmon, surf, charcoal and moon.
Color-coded LED lights offer extra features and control! Beyond a better showering experience, hai shower heads feature water-powered Bluetooth technology that pairs with a partner app to help you reduce water waste and further personalize your experience. You can customize its LED lights with any colors on the RGB scale to reflect what you want to see when the water’s warm enough to get in– and to help you meet your water goals. When you’re not in the shower, use the hai app to track your water and energy consumption over time.
There’s no need to call a professional plumber and wait. It’s easy to install hai on your own – and aside from (maybe) needing an adjustable wrench and pliers to remove your old shower head, you can install hai with your hands.
Here’s a quick overview of those installation steps:
- Remove your old shower head. You have a few options:
- If it isn’t stuck or stubborn, remove it with your hands.
- Try the vinegar method.
- Use a cloth (to avoid scratches) and an adjustable wrench.
- Clean the surface of your shower arm if it’s sticky or has any other residue from your old shower head.
- Attach hai’s Bluetooth base to your shower arm.
- Secure and position the Bluetooth base.
- Attach the hose to your hai shower head.
- Pair your shower head with the hai app.
- Tap into the moment with your first hai shower…ahhh!
Talk about a quick fix!
Spa bathroom ideas to elevate your self-care sessions
Since you’ve been wondering how you can increase your water pressure, you’re probably ready to improve your at-home shower experience overall. We get it. Trips to the gym, the spa or hotels shouldn’t be the only times your shower feels out of this world!
Here are a few at-home, spa bathroom ideas that can give you the results you’ve been craving without breaking the bank…
Get a non-slip shower mat made from smooth stones. It’ll feel great beneath your feet, contribute to your shower aesthetic and help you maintain an eco-friendly bathroom. Bonus: there’s no need to wait for those few-and-far opportunities to walk outside with bare feet. You’ll have a mini grounding session every time you leave the shower instead! Here are a few more nature-inspired elements you might like to bring into your space: non-toxic, organic incense, an essential oil diffuser and eco-safe bath towels made from bamboo.
Self-care amplified through sound
Play spa-inspired playlists or a more energetic tracklist through a high quality, waterproof speaker for the shower. There are lots of great options to choose from.
Ridiculously-good soaks and scents
Buy shower steamers with the essential oils of your choice to turn some showers into soothing aromatherapy sessions. Use bubbles or soaking salts for the occasional bath.
Plant friends are good company
Explore the plants that would do well in your shower, then add a few to your space. If you don’t have a green thumb, that’s totally okay – lots of varieties need little attention to thrive.
Bask in a good glow
Take advantage of natural sunlight for a more serene spa-time environment or turn off the lights and let candles set the vibes at night.
Continuing the cozy vibes
Buy a high quality spa robe meant to last for a long time. You can get soft and cuddly robes made from eco-friendly materials like organic cotton, sustainable linen, plant-based Modal and recycled materials (you’d be surprised!).
hai can also help you elevate your spa game:
Feel-good water flow
Even if you have poor shower pressure, your water will the strength to activate your hai shower head’s Bluetooth, via its hydro-powered turbine. We figured water-generated power would be a fun and effortless way to save energy. And whether you buy the 1.8-GPM or 2.5-GPM model, you can be sure your showers will feel great. We designed our low-flow shower head to mimic the experience of our standard flow design.
Best-in-class spray tech
You may not be able to control water pressure, but you can control other elements of your in-shower vibes. Tap into the moment to curate your favorite at-home spa experience – use the hai spa-control slider to choose your own experience. Located on an ergonomic handle, it allows you to customize your spray. Switch it up– choose from a fine mist to steady streams of shower pressure for the ultimate in personalization. Plus: our next-level nozzle is attached to a flexible, 4.9 ft. hose and offers more coverage than the average shower head so you can feel better while getting clean.
Enjoy hai while it’s mounted like a fixed nozzle, or use its extra-long, flexible hose for targeted coverage, easier hair care routines and no-mess cleaning sessions.
Whether you live in an apartment or a house, and no matter what your shower’s water pressure is like, hai makes it easy for you to do better for the planet, all while feeling great. So upgrade your daily routine for an elevated self-care ritual!
*If you live in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Washington, New York or Vermont, the 1.8-GPM design meets your limits.**2.5 GPM is the highest shower head flow of any state in the U.S.