Low Water Pressure Problem/Water Softener?

We bought our house about five months ago and we noticed that we cannot open two faucets at the same because this will cause the water pressure to drop drastically. The Water heater is about eighteen months old, so I do not think this it the cullprit. We do have a Water Softener (Pure Water with a Economiser 5600 controller head) which seems to be working fine. The previous owners told us that they have not touched the unit in about four years except for adding salt about every three months. I have added 2 40lb bags myself in the five months we are living in the house. I turned the By-pass valve to the by-pass position but the water pressure was still low when we open two faucets in the house. It was even worse when we use the dishwasher, washer or run the irregation sprinklers at the same time. The water pressure is ok when only one faucet is open in the house but it is not what we are used to in the apartment we used to live in. However when we have only the irregation sprinklers running the pressure is enough to run five single stream Rain Birds with no problems at the same time.
Can anybody please share some ideas with me where to start looking for the problem. Thanks.
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Charel wrote:

We will assume that this is a city water supply?
Get an inexpensive pressure gauge which can be coupled to a garden hose thread (sill cock). Find out what the pressure is coming in to the house and whether that drops when a faucet is opened and how much it drops when irrigation is on.
Call the utility and ask if they will help locate the cause. Ask neighbors if they have similar problems.
Jim
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Thank you for the response. Can you please explain to me how and where to connect the pressure gauge to the water line?
Thanks, Charel
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Charel wrote:

<SNIP>
First connect to a hose sill cock. Run water at a sink inside and see what happens. Repeat test with gauge connected to a source inside (like laundry faucet or water heater drain valve).
As someone suggested, you may have a pressure reducing valve on the service (city water??). That could be bad, a valve could be partly closed, there may be old galv iron pipe that is clogged, and on and on. There are a ton of variables and you have to play detective. Experience counts for a lot in these cases.
Jim
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You've proven that the water softener isn't cauing the problem. Bypassing it and seeing no difference in water flow is the way to trobleshoot a softener so... you should get a pressure guage and see what the static and dynamic pressures of your water system is. Static is with no water flowing and dynamic is with it flowing when you see the problem. You can buy a guage and fitting to screw onto your garden hose or utility sink faucets. Assuming 'city' water, if you have a pressure regulator valve, it may have failed or blocked and it should be checked and the pressure adjusted if possible. If you have a well, then the pressure tank should have a pressure guage on it and the air pressure should be checked in the pressure tank and adjusted if needed. That is with no water in the tank and the air pr. is 1-2 psi less than the turn the pump on switch setting. I.E. 30/50 psi water pressure gets 29-28 psi air pr. with no water in the tank.
BTW, you have a good softener; it has a Fleck 5600 mechanical metered control valve. It should last service free for many years. You should have it set up for your family's water use, especially if there are more or less of you than the original owner's family.
Gary Quality Water Associates www.qualitywaterassociates.com
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Is it just the hot water? Does the cold also have the problem. Do you have non-softened outlets (like outside) try.
I suggest that the most likely problem is a restricted pipe. It could be from the street to the point where individual runs come off the main.
The pressure gauge is a good idea as well.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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You do not say the age of the home. I had one that had a galvanized service, meter at the street to the house. I changed it to copper because of the calcium in the line. Pressure went up to an acceptable level. Pressure gauge is about the only way I know of.
Good luck
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Ok, I bought the Pressure gauge hooked it up to an outside spicket and the pressure was 60 PSI. I then hooked it upto the Hot side of the spicket for the washer. The pressure was also 60 PSI but when I opened another Hot water faucet in the house it drop to 55 PSI. When I opened the second Hot water faucet it dropped to 42 PSI. Any conclusions from this from anybody? O, yes we are on County water and the house was built in 1986. Thanks.
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Charel wrote: <SNIP>

That sounds pretty normal to me. If pressure had dropped dramatically, like down to 10 PSI, I would say problem.
But.....you could still have a problem (restriction) further downstream from where you measured.
I bet the flow rate from the washer Hot spigot is more than you could ask for. Right? If so, the problem is after that point. More detective work. Jim
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Yes, the 60 PSI is more than enough. I checked the water pressure at the kitchen faucet, both Hot & Cold were both 55 PSI (also enough). The same for the faucet in the guest bathroom but while flushing the toilet the pressure drops to 38 PSI. The water meter shows no flow of water to indicate a leak when all water flow in the house is turned off. Any suggestions what to investicate next? I appreciate all the help. Thanks.
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Charel wrote:

Even that drop to 38 PSI when toilet is filling doesn't surprise me. But, if it results in unacceptable flow rate at the faucets, look for some restriction. Since you have irrigation, there's a good bet that there is a pressure reducing valve on the service coming in for the domestic uses. It could be sticking, could have a screen inside which is clogged, or something similar.
If you locate a reducing valve, try to measure the pressure upstream (street) of it. Keep going with the detective work. Again, the utility may be willing to assist.
Jim
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Thanks for the info. I will try to locate this Pressure Reducing Valve with the help of a knowledgeable friend that might know where I can start looking for this valve. I have no idea where to start. Thanks again.
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