I have a two story home built in the 70's. Water pressure is excellent everywhere in my house except one shower. I've tried

  1. replacing the shower head
  2. removing the shower head, and letting the goose neck soak in oil/vinegar/cleaning solutions

But neither of these has increased the water flow/pressure to the shower. When I turn on the water with no shower head on, the water flow/pressure coming straight from the gooseneck is just as weak, so it seems to be "in the pipes".

The piping is in my attic under plywood, and under a "double studded" joists set-up so damn near impossible to trace/follow. What do I need to do to increase the water flow/pressure to this one sink/shower?

The issue is with both the hot and cold water, for both the sink and shower in the bathroom. Seems like I have one of two options

  1. Run a new line from the crawlspace hot water heater to the upstairs master
  2. Get into the attic and see if I can locate the piping and find the issue
  • 1
    Is it low pressure on the hot or cold or both? If both, then good chance the problem is with the shower(hopefully accessible) valves and not somewhere way behind inside of the walls/ceiling
    – crip659
    Apr 5, 2022 at 17:10
  • That's a good point - if both cold and hot are bad, it might be "in the valve" not in the pipes. In my case, I got to the point of trying the pipe with the shower valve removed, which led to "highly irritated pipe disassembly to locate problem." Put it in an answer!
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 5, 2022 at 17:14
  • it's both the hot and cold water, as well as a sink in that bathroom....sounds like I have two options, 1) track down the piping in the attic or 2) run new lines from the hot water heater to this bathroom. Apr 5, 2022 at 17:27
  • Unless you have something like a partially closed valve (which I'd assume you'd have looked for already), yeah, it's pipe time, by the sound of it.
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 5, 2022 at 18:15
  • @Ecnerwal - i looked and looked and looked in the attic and do not see any pipes...is it possible that the plumbing for this shower runs in the floor between the 1st and 2nd floor? Apr 6, 2022 at 18:37

1 Answer 1


If the problem is "in the pipes" you have to deal with accessing the pipes (or accessing space to run new pipes, which can take a different route) to solve it.

I know this from personal experience. I got ticked off and started disassembling the piping leading to a shower with utterly pathetic hot water flow (fine pressure when not flowing, but barely any flow) and found an elbow that was almost-but-not quite completely plugged with solder. I'd say about a 1/16" hole in a half-inch pipe fitting. The shower worked much better after that was replaced. Nothing but replacing it (one way or another) would have solved the problem.

I happened to have camera and the fitting in question from my junk (perhaps "plumbing trophies") box and recall that I want to show it. Trigger warning "terrible plumbing."

Copper pipe elbow plugged with solder - image by me

The little gap at the bottom of this picture was the only passage for water in this fitting.

  • I found the stupid thing in my plumbing junk the other day - I'll have to remember to take a picture of it and add that to all the various answers it's been mentioned in.
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 5, 2022 at 17:08

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