What Causes High Suction Pressure? Everything You Need To Know

What Causes High Suction Pressure? Everything You Need To Know

Anthony Barnes

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High suction pressure is a common problem in the plumbing industry, and it can be caused by many different things.

Left unchecked, it can cause a real nuisance in your home.

Knowing the most common causes helps to put you in the best position to combat them, helping to reduce the potential damage done to your home. 

In this article, we have put together everything you need to know about high suction pressure, including the most common causes, and the best solutions.

What Is High Suction Pressure?

High suction pressure occurs when there is too much water being pumped through the pipes of your house or building.

This happens because the pump is unable to keep up with the demand for water.

When this happens, the pressure inside the pipes increases dramatically.

The result is that the water will leak out of the pipe, causing all kinds of problems.

Why Is High Suction Pressure A Problem?

High suction pressure can cause a number of problems, including:

Water Damage

If you notice any leaks around your property, then you should immediately contact a plumber.

Water damage from high suction pressure can be very expensive to repair, so it’s important to get it fixed as soon as possible.

Signs of water damage may include sudden flooding throughout the house or noticeable damage to drywall. 

You may also become aware of mud on the walls and ceilings of your home, or spot puddles of water under or around furniture or at the edges of floors.

Damage to carpets and flooring is another indication of water damage.

Burst Pipes

Pipes are made up of two main parts – an inner core and an outer wall.

If the pressure inside the pipe becomes too great, the outer wall can burst open, allowing water to escape into the surrounding area. 

Burst pipes are usually caused by excessive wear and tear, which means they are often preventable.

If you suspect that one of your pipes has burst, then you should call a plumber straight away.

Leaking Pipes

What Causes High Suction Pressure? Everything You Need To Know

Leaks are always a major concern, but if you notice that your pipes are leaking more than usual, then it could mean that something is wrong.

It’s important to note that leaks are almost never caused by normal wear and tear. 

They are instead caused by cracks in the pipe, which occur due to corrosion or other issues.

If you notice any signs of leakage, then you should contact a professional plumber right away.

Poor Drainage

When you turn on your tap, you expect to see a steady flow of water coming out.

However, if you notice that your sink or bathtub drains (see also ‘Why Does Your Toilet Bubble When The Bathtub Drains?’) slowly, then you might want to consider having a look at the drainage system. 

Poor drainage can be caused by blocked pipes, faulty valves, or even clogged filters.

If you think that your drain is acting strangely, then you should call an expert plumber as soon as possible.

What Are The Common Causes Of High Suction Pressure?

There are several ways to avoid high suction pressure, and knowing what these are can help you to identify the source of the issue.

Here are some of the most common causes of high suction pressure, along with how to prevent them:

Clogged Drains

One of the most common reasons why your pipes will experience high suction pressure is because your drains are blocked.

Your drains need to have free-flowing channels to ensure that waste products don’t build up within the pipes.

If you notice that your drains aren’t draining properly, then you should call your local plumber as soon as you can.

Faulty Valves

Another common reason for high suction pressure is when your taps or faucets are left on while the toilet is being flushed.

This can lead to a buildup of air pressure within the pipes, which can cause the pipes to leak.

It’s best to make sure that all of your plumbing fixtures are turned off before flushing the toilet.

Blocked Sewers

If you live near a river or lake, then there is a chance that your sewer line could be blocked.

This can happen when tree roots grow through the pipes, causing blockages.

If this happens, then you should call in a professional plumber as soon as it occurs.

Too Much Water Use

It’s not uncommon for people to use their toilets multiple times per day, and this can actually cause problems down the road.

When you flush the toilet, you force waste products back into the pipes. 

Over time, this can cause the pipes to become clogged, leading to high suction pressure.

In order to prevent this from happening, you should only flush the toilet once every few hours.

Overflowing Sinks And Bathtubs

What Causes High Suction Pressure? Everything You Need To Know

A sink or bathtub overflowing can also contribute to high suction pressure issues.

Whenever you see any overflow coming from a sink or tub, you should immediately shut off the water supply.

This will allow you to drain the excess water away from the pipes.

Afterward, turn the tap back on so that you can refill the sinks or tubs.

Inadequate Filters

If you own a home with older appliances, then you might want to consider replacing the filters that they come with.

Older filters tend to get clogged easily, which can result in an increase in suction pressure.

It’s important to replace the filters at least once per year and to ensure that they are always free from clogs and debris.

How Can I Fix High Suction Pressure?

There are many ways to combat high suction pressure.

The first thing you need to do is check whether or not you are experiencing high suction pressure.

Once you’ve confirmed that you are, then you need to find out why it is happening.

The most common reason for high suction pressure is that there is simply too much water being drawn through the pipes. 

In order to combat this problem, you need to reduce the amount of water flowing through them.

One way to achieve this is to install a new filter in your washing machine (see also ‘ 12 Washing Machine Brands You Should Avoid & Why ‘). Another option is to change the settings on your dishwasher.

Another common reason for high suction pressure is that there is a blockage somewhere along the line.

This can happen when debris gets caught in the pipes, which causes them to slow down or stop altogether.

When this happens, you will need to remove the blockage. A plumber can help with this process, although it will require some digging.

The last common cause of high suction pressure is if your pipes have been damaged by a burst pipe or another type of damage.

If this is the case, then you will need to repair the pipes. 

Fortunately, this isn’t very difficult to do.

There are plenty of companies that offer plumbing services, and these professionals can fix the issue quickly and efficiently.

The best way to avoid high suction pressure is to make sure that your drains aren’t backed up.

Make sure that you don’t leave food or other items in the sink while you wash your hands.

Other Options: High And Low-Pressure Discharge Systems

In addition to the solutions above, there are other options to help tackle high suction pressure: high and low discharge systems help to discharge pressure, and can keep your system running more smoothly.

Low-Pressure Discharge System

A low-pressure discharge system uses gravity to move water around.

Low-pressure systems are typically installed in residential homes and small businesses.

They usually consist of a single tank that holds enough water to fill the entire house.

Low-Pressure Drain Systems – How Do They Work?

Low-pressure drain systems use gravity to move water around in your home.

These systems are used primarily to clean the exterior of your home. They are also used to flush toilets and urinals. 

Low-pressure drain systems are very easy to install. All you need to do is attach the drainpipe to the lowest spot in your home.

Then, fill the tank with water. When you’re finished flushing, simply turn off the faucet and let the water drain down to the tank.

In order to gain a better understanding of low-pressure discharge systems, it is useful to have an overview of the main elements of these systems, and these include:

Pressure Relief Valve

A pressure relief valve is a device that relieves excess pressure within a pipeline.

It works by allowing the water to flow freely until the pressure reaches a certain level, after which point the valve opens and allows the water to drain back into the main supply line.

Water Heater

A water heater heats water using electricity.

Most people think of electric heaters as providing warm water, but they also heat water to temperatures that are suitable for bathing and cooking. 

Electric water heaters work by passing an electrical current through water.

As the current passes through the water, it generates heat. 

Water heaters come in different sizes and shapes, depending on how much space you want to devote to heating.

Some models include thermostats that allow you to control the temperature at which the water is heated.

Drain Pipe

What Causes High Suction Pressure? Everything You Need To Know

Drain pipes carry waste away from sinks, toilets, bathtubs, and showers. They are made of metal and plastic.

Plastic pipes are flexible, so they bend easily without breaking.

Metal pipes are rigid and strong, so they won’t break even if they get bent.

Pipe Size

The size of a pipe determines how many gallons of water it can hold.

Pipes are measured in inches, feet, yards, meters, or millimeters. For example, a 2″ pipe can hold about 1 gallon of water.


Drains are holes in the floor or walls of a bathroom or kitchen.

They collect water that has leaked out of fixtures like sinks, toilets, bathtub spouts, and shower heads.

A typical home may have anywhere between three and six drains.

Installing A Low-Pressure Discharge System 

When installing a low-pressure discharge system, one of the first things you need to do is install a pressure relief valve.

This will prevent high suction pressure from damaging your plumbing system.

The next thing you need to do is connect the water piping to the pressure relief valve. 

Once this is done, you can start filling up the tank with water.

If there’s no water left in the tank when the installation is complete, then you know that the pump isn’t working properly.

In most cases, this happens because the pump was not connected correctly.

High-Pressure Discharge System

(HPD) systems are becoming more popular as they provide better performance than conventional gravity-fed systems. HPD systems are designed to operate under higher pressures, which means that they can be used in areas where traditional gravity-fed systems cannot. 

These systems use pumps to circulate hot water throughout the building.

They are often found in commercial buildings such as hotels and restaurants.

High-pressure discharge systems have a number of advantages, as well as disadvantages. 

One advantage is that they are very efficient. Another advantage is that they don’t require any additional plumbing. 

However, they can cost significantly more than other types of systems, and this is why they tend to be primarily reserved for commercial ventures and premises, as these sites have the ability to afford a more expensive system, in exchange for the rewards and advantages which can be obtained.

Final Thoughts

High suction pressure can be an issue in your home, and getting it fixed is likely to be a key priority.

It might seem like a simple problem, but it can cause serious damage if it goes unchecked. 

Understanding the main causes behind high suction pressure can go some way towards helping you to alleviate the problem, and also puts you at an advantage when it comes to carrying out fixes and repairs. 

In most cases, it is a good idea to leave the repairs to an experienced plumber, as they will have the skills, tools, and technical ability to repair the issue without risking further damage.

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By Anthony Barnes

Anthony Barnes is the founder of Water Heater Hub and a second-generation plumber by profession. Before developing Water Heater Hub, Anthony Barnes was a full-time plumber, and he has undertaken a wide variety of projects over the decades. As a second-generation plumber, it was easy for Anthony to get used to the technicalities of all from a tender age