Low Water Pressure at outlets in home and Hot Water issues

I have a 2.5 year 3300 square foot home and I seem to have low water pressure at all outlets. I've had the water pressure checked at the regulator coming into the house and the PSI is 80PSI. When I check it on an exterior outlet (Garden hose) and at the Hot water heater it shows 80PSI.
Is the problem because I have 1/2 pipes and outlet fittings at the outlets (Showers and faucets) that is causing my problem?
Can I turn up the regulator a bit higher (I know that 40-70PSI) is normal for most homes, but could the distance be part of my problem?
Also, my water heater is in the garage (Seems like the thing to do in the South) and it takes 3-5 minutes for Hot water to hit my shower. I bought an AutoCirc Hot Water Recirculating System (UTC-303) and placed it under the faucet farthest from the heater. It seems to help a bit, but I'm not sure due to the size of the house if this is made for the amount of pipe (it says 250 max lenght) or should I upgrade to better model??
My thinking is that if I increase my water pressure that this will increase velocity and thus help produce hot water faster without the assistance of a pump.
Also, I have an irrigation system with a blackflow device. Is there a way I can shut this off to see if it's contributing to my low water pressure on the back side of the regulator on my outlets?
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I have a 2.5 year 3300 square foot home and I seem to have low water pressure at all outlets. I've had the water pressure checked at the regulator coming into the house and the PSI is 80PSI. When I check it on an exterior outlet (Garden hose) and at the Hot water heater it shows 80PSI.
Is the problem because I have 1/2 pipes and outlet fittings at the outlets (Showers and faucets) that is causing my problem?
Can I turn up the regulator a bit higher (I know that 40-70PSI) is normal for most homes, but could the distance be part of my problem?
Also, my water heater is in the garage (Seems like the thing to do in the South) and it takes 3-5 minutes for Hot water to hit my shower. I bought an AutoCirc Hot Water Recirculating System (UTC-303) and placed it under the faucet farthest from the heater. It seems to help a bit, but I'm not sure due to the size of the house if this is made for the amount of pipe (it says 250 max lenght) or should I upgrade to better model??
My thinking is that if I increase my water pressure that this will increase velocity and thus help produce hot water faster without the assistance of a pump.
Also, I have an irrigation system with a blackflow device. Is there a way I can shut this off to see if it's contributing to my low water pressure on the back side of the regulator on my outlets?
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On 21 Nov 2005 20:05:51 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@carolina.rr.com wrote:

The static pressure messured after a regulator doesn't mean too much. With the water flowing, you should measure 40-60 psi at the point of use.
When you say 1/2 pipes, do you mean you have 1/2" pipes at the showers and the faucets. That could be, and most likely is the cause of your problem.
Hot water heaters need to be near the points of use otherwise you will get the 3-5 minutes wait for the hot water in cold climates. If you can get to pipes, pipe insulation may help. I am continuously amazed at where the builders put the Hot Water Heater. If the code says it needs to be in the garage, than the main bathroom should not be 150 ft away.
beachcomber

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I mean to say at the point of use is 80PSI and yes I believe that the pipes at my showers are 1/2" or at least 1/2" connections (Isn't this a Federal Law around water usage?)
Could I increase the pressure say 10PSI to see if that helps? What if any would the Backflow device potentially have on pressure?
Thanks again for the help.
Curt
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What's the pressure at a faucet? Pull the supply line off at a faucet and measure it there. It it's not consistent with the outdoor outlet then figure out why. Don't ignore the possibility there might be a supply valve somewhere in the setup that someone hasn't opened fully. Pipe diameter and pressure won't matter at all if it's being cut off somewhere. Make sure all the valves are fully opened. If you're in a house that's got a similar model in the neighborhood then go ask someone living in the same model where all their valves are located, and if their pressure is similar to yours.

Shouldn't be unless it's only 1/2" coming out of the hot water heater itself.

First find out what the pressure is at the faucets. Don't go turning things up until you know what's really going on.

3-5 isn't an unreasonably long period of time. Even with insulated pipes it takes at least some time for the heated water to move along the pipes and warm them up. The water will cool as it travels until the pipes heat up. Having a circulator just keeps the pipes warmer. At some point keeping those pipes warmer starts costing you. Balance the costs, waiting a few minutes or spending a boatload of cash for a gadget and the increased hot water heating costs.

Not if there's something else causing the trouble. And faster water would still have to deal with heat loss from the length of pipe.

Sure, turn off the supply that feeds the irrigation system. It's doubtful that'd matter though.
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Watch out if your piping is "flexible Plastic" used as a strictly generic term. Raising the pressure in the regulator could spell disaster. My old house was circa 1999 and it had flexi-plastic 1/2 pipe, rated for 40 PSI. Neighbor raised his pressure to 60 psi. With in a week there was a flood.
Have you checked for flow restrictors?
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Where might I find a flow restrictor? Wouldn't this be the regulator (Ie. PRV)?
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Your talking about the flow restrictor at each outlet, correct? I'll hook the pressure guage directly at the line to guage the pressure, but I changed out my shower head and it didn't seem to help until I got a low pressure aerator type Shower Head that added air to the water line.
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On 21 Nov 2005 20:05:48 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@carolina.rr.com wrote:

Likely that your house complies with the 2.2 gpm flow restrictors in the faucets. Get a large measuring cup and check the time to fill a quart. If it takes more than about 7 seconds to fill a quart then your faucet is overly restricting. Check the aerators they may be plugged with bits of hard water scale, and bits of copper piping from improperly reamed pipes.

Not necessarily. I prefer 3/4" pipes as they are quieter. However, 2.2 gpm is not all that much in 1/2" copper tubing.

Do not do this. You should not have any fixtures or piping that requires a greater pressure than normal.

The hot water reaching the fixture is a result of the low flow fixtures. Because the flow rate is reduced, it takes longer for the water to reach the fixture and it loses more heat on the way. Insulation is a real friend here.
Increasing the pipe size would make the problem worse. There would be more water to displace at a constant velocity set up by the flow rate of the fixtures.

The flow restrictors in code-compliant plumbing fixtures will limit the flow regardless of the pressure applied up to the limits of the water supply piping.

Your backflow device for the irrigation system has nothing to do with the problems you are experiencing inside the house. It is a safety device that prevents contaminated water from siphoning back into your house in the event of loss of pressure in the piping. I cannot by its nature influence the pressure inside the house.
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