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How to increase the water pressure from an electric water heater in a shower

Galvanized pipes

If you have an electric tank water heater, the hot water coming out of the tank should be the same pressure as the cold water going into the tank. If the cold water in the shower has enough pressure, but the hot water does not, you should check your water pipes – especially if you live in an old house. The remedy, which unfortunately is not easy, is to replace the corroded pipes with new ones – preferably copper ones.

Adjusting the water pressure

If you have determined that the corrosion in the pipes is not responsible for the low pressure, you should make sure that the valves on the heater are fully open. If so, try increasing the water pressure in the house. To do this, you need to find the pressure regulator in the supply line, which is usually located not far from the water heater.

Checking the shower

The problem with water pressure may be related to the shower fixture or shower head – this is especially likely if the pressure at the sink is good. Someone may have partially closed the shower valve, or the old shower head may be encrusted with minerals. You can dissolve the minerals by unscrewing the shower head and soaking it in white vinegar overnight. For single lever faucets, the cartridge inside the valve may also be clogged with minerals, which you can dissolve in the same way after removing the cartridge. It is also possible that the cartridge is misaligned. If this is the case, you should remove the cartridge and reinsert it correctly to increase the pressure.


Tankless water heaters restrict flow until the water reaches the preset temperature. If your tankless heater’s flow is too low, you can increase it by lowering the temperature setting. If that doesn’t work, your heater may be too small. Regardless of what type of heater you have, you won’t get much pressure if the lines are too busy or too tight.

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