Low water pressure


Greetings All, I have a new bathroom on the 2nd floor, and the shower has a low pressure problem. The sink and toilet are ok, but obviously they use much less water than the shower. I have city water using a 1 1/2" main line and the vertical risers are 1". Although the shower has many fixtures, (6 body sprays, 1 rainhead, 1 fixed head and 1 handheld), it seems as if the pressure needs to be higher. I realize it's impractical (and overkill) to use all of those heads at the same time, but when using just the 6 body sprays alone, the flow isn't what it should be. The mixing valve is rated high enough to run them all at the same time. The first floor shower has a 3 body spray set up, along with 2 fixed heads and the flow there is fine. I have disassembled the heads to make sure they aren't clogged and everything checks out ok.
All of that being said, I'm thinking about installing a water pressure booster pump. I would think just a pump alone wouldn't be enough, isn't some sort of reservoir needed also? It seems as if the pump would pull the water faster than the city main could supply it. Has anyone gone through the same situation? Thanks as always, Mark
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mark wrote:

Things to check first: * Get a water pressure meter. Your static pressure (no water running anywhere) should be 30 to 80 PSI. If it's lower than that, then there's your problem. You might talk to the utility company. * Do you have a pressure reduction valve? It might need adjustment. If you do, it will probably be near your water meter. Look carefully. Sometimes they just look like a screw sticking up from the pipe. Rarely, they have a pressure gauge.
--
Steve Bell
New Life Home Improvement
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OP said ok pressure at the bathroom sink, but he has six heads minimum running in the shower. We have 120psi (I know I need to get it down to around 60psi) and don't think I'll be happy with the flow rate or pressure with just three heads on at the same time. Wonder how big the hot water tank should be to keep up with the flow rate for a six head shower. Something his plumber should have worked out.
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Frank wrote:

It does sound like a lot of flow. The only solution may be a booster pump, and a separate HWH on the 2nd floor for the bathroom. Alternately one could try boosting the pressure to the whole house, ASSuming that it doesn't go too much over 60-70 PSI. I think the OP should measure his system pressure before making any decisions.
nate
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" Frank" <x> wrote in message

Not sure I understand how the heater tank size would affect pressure or flow. But anyway, I have a 50 gal tank.
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Meter reads 60 PSI.
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mark wrote:

Well, that's certainly enough pressure. To be thorough, you can check it at the shower, too.
Next, check the flow if Gallons Per Minute (GPM). Time how long it takes to fill a bucket at different faucets.
If your shower is significantly slower than other outlets upstairs, then I would suspect some kind of blockage in the shower pipes. Maybe some solder beads broke loose and are blocking part of the valve.
Disassemble the valves in the shower, let water flow out on the floor for awhile, inspect and clean the valve parts, and reassemble everything. Heck, just taking things apart and putting them back together sometimes solve the problem.
You might also have a pinched O-ring. Sometimes they don't seat properly during valve assembly, causing either too much or too little flow. One in my tub gave me an *extremely* slow leak, and it took two plumbers to fix it. I would have fixed it myself, but the builder did it under the warranty. Besides, I got to bullshit with the second guy and get a new referral. I wasn't there for the visit by the first guy, but I wouldn't refer him anyway, since he said, "These valves just do that".
--
Steve Bell
New Life Home Improvement
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mark wrote:

Shame! The national goal is to use LESS water and here you are with body sprays, hand-held, mist generators, and babbling brook imitators!
What will people say? Think of the poor children in Africa with no water at all!
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mark wrote:

Get used to it and enjoy the savings.
--
Claude Hopper ? 3 :) 7/8

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home. The water supplier will not provide larger than a " meter to anything other than commercial with a hefty monthly charge. To reduce pressure drop I installed 1-1/4" from the meter to the home. Inside, I installed a check valve, then a pressure pump and storage tank. The set-up is quite similar to that for a well. I have a switch in the master bathroom closet which controls the pump. The pump is not required 24/7 but only when shower, washing machine, dishwasher operates at about the same time. It is also energized when we have guests upstairs so there is no pressure drop with multiple shower and toilet use. The pump, tank, and check valve were purchased at Lowe's and installed by myself. I recently replaced the tank as the original, installed 14 years ago, sprung a leak. The check valve is important as you don't want to pressurize the supplier's water system.
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May I ask the size of the tank you recently installed?
You setup sounds practical. Others have commented on the practical aspect of six shower heads being used by the original OP's question on water volume flow.
Maybe a plumber out there can answer my question: what size of pipe would be needed to supply 6 shower heads with the water volume flow rate at nominal water pressure? 1 inch or 1-1/2 inch water pipe from the booster pump to the bathroom?
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The original tank was 120 gallon and the replacement is a Flotec 82 gallon. With 6 shower heads you probably would need a larger tank in order to maintain pressure. Flotec tanks are available in sizes of 82, 120, 220,and 320 gallon. There are other manufacturers with various sizes available.
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Good set up but you should also have a 'surge tank' in the system. The check valve turns it into a closed system with nothing to handle over pressure. The TPR valve on the HW heater could open.
Harry K
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On Tue, 2 Sep 2008 04:52:21 -0500, "Twice Retired"

Can a shallow well 1/2 HP jet pump with a small pressure tank and check valve be used for an application like this?
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wrote Re Re: Low water pressure:

It should work just fine except pump will cycle more often due to small tank.
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