Not only is showering essential, but it is also satisfying in a therapeutic kind of way. Taking a shower will leave you clean and relaxed.
However, it can be frustrating when the water is flowing slowly, so you want to ensure that the pressure is just right.
If you are experiencing a low-pressure problem and are wondering if shortening the shower hose will solve the problem, then this article is for you.
Essentially, the length of a shower hose affects the water pressure in that the longer it is, the lower the pressure. It is a Physics phenomenon of the fiction theory whereby the longer the water travels, the more friction between the water and the walls of the hose.
Consequently, this slows down water flow, decreasing the pressure.
Understanding Water Pressure and Water Flow
Before we can dive into how the hose length of a shower affects water pressure, it is vital to understand water pressure. Simply put, pressure is a force applied to an object.
Therefore, water pressure is the force that moves water through a medium, such as a shower hose.
The unit for measuring pressure is pressure per square inch (psi). The average pressure in home supplies, including the shower, should be between 40 and 80 psi. Anything below 40psi is too low, and pressure above 80psi is too high.
Pressure determines the speed of water flow. The higher the pressure, the faster the water flow; similarly, low water pressure results in a slow water flow.
Water flow is simply defined as the volume of water flowing at a given time and is measured by gallons per unit (GPM). Most showerheads have a water flow between 1.5 GPM and 2.5 GPM.
How Does Shower Hose Length Affect Water Pressure?
In physics, pressure is obtained by dividing the force by area. What this means is that pressure is a product of the force applied and the area of the object in question.
Pressure is highest when there is a lot of force and the minimal area occupied by an object.
In a shower hose, water pressure is higher in shorter hoses than in longer ones. You may deduce that it is because smaller areas result in a higher force, hence higher water flow, and you may be right.
However, that is not exactly how shower hose length affects water pressure.
As water travels through the hose, there is friction with the walls of the pipe. The longer the pipe, the more friction between the water and the walls. Friction increasingly reduces the force of moving the water.
So, a long pipe allows more friction and, subsequently, a drop in pressure. In other words, the longer the shower hose, the less the water pressure.
For most shower heads, the hose is usually 60 inches long. If you are having trouble with low pressure in your shower, then consider the length of the shower hose. You may want to shorten it if it’s too long.
Even so, it is important to note that shower hose length is not the only factor that affects water pressure. Thus, you should eliminate the other factors before making a move.
Other Factors That Affect Water Pressure In A Shower
Besides hose length, other factors that affect the pressure of water in a shower include the following:
The build-up of limescale
At times, debris could build up inside a showerhead over time, somewhat blocking the passage of water through water holes.
The debris blocking the holes grows into limescale, significantly reducing the rate of water flow, hence reducing water pressure. To protect your showerhead from a build-up of limestone, install filters.
The diameter of the shower hose
The size of the shower hose also plays a big part in determining the pressure of the water.
The bigger the diameter, the higher the water pressure. This is because more force is required to move water in a bigger space than in a small one.
Material for the shower hose
The material used to make the shower hose will determine the friction coefficient of the water.
Naturally, the higher the friction coefficient, the slower the flow of water, and subsequently, the lower the water pressure.
Increasing Water Pressure in Your Shower
As we have already, a shower is one of the most relaxing things, and it helps when the pressure is perfect – not too high, not too low.
Often, due to different reasons, such as a long or narrow shower hose and a build-up of limescale inside the shower head, the water pressure may be low. Depending on the issue at hand, the following are ways to remedy that situation:
Get a shorter hose length if it is too long
As we have already established, the length of the shower hose affects water pressure. If the pressure is too low because the shower hose is too long, consider substituting it for a shorter one.
If this is not something you can do yourself, hire the service of a professional plumber to avoid damages.
Clean the showerhead
If there is an accumulation of debris and limestone in the showerhead, it will slow down the flow of water.
You want to get rid of that, so you will need to clean the head and ensure the filter is working fine. Since the process involves opening up the shower head, it is wise to involve a professional.
Replace the showerhead
If the showerhead is too far gone, then it would be best to just get a new one. It will save you the hustle of constant repair and the frustration of low water pressure. Water flow will be conveniently steady.
Install a water pump
You could fit a water pump into the existing system to improve water pressure.
Get a power shower
As a last resort, you could opt to substitute your shower for an electric shower. It will automatically increase water flow by up to three times the flow of a normal shower.
The main pro of a power shower is that it can provide good pressure even with low-pressure systems.
Here’s a video to watch before you work on increasing the water pressure of your shower hose:
Showering feels really good when the temperature and water pressure are just fine. If the water pressure is weak in your shower, shortening the shower hose length could solve that problem.
The length of the hose is inversely proportional to water pressure, meaning that the longer the hose, the less the water pressure.
A long hose means more friction between the flow of water and the walls of the pipe, slowing down water flow. Use the services of a professional plumber if you are not experienced enough to do the repair yourself.