Question regarding plumbing

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We live at the peak of a small mountain.
We replaced our well water with city water about 9 years ago.
City water was overall fine for first few years, low pressure at first, due to our altitude, but the city upped the pressure after the first year or so (to everyone in this area) and tho not 'great' pressure after that, it was adequate for a few years.
About 3 years ago I replaced our (30g, I think) hot water heater with a larger GE 50 gallon tank. (this may or may not be related)
There has been a few periods of hammer lock (pipes beating/banging). Tho not certain, it seems these may have happened before the water heater replacement. Hammer lock has not come into play for the last year at least.
We have water on ground level and a basement with a washing machine. The water heater sits almost next to washer, the master bath/shower is directly above the water heater/washer. It's been suggested this may be an issue.
That's all the details offhand -- the problem-
If water is running and someone opens a second source, the pressure just quits. If one of the toilets is refilling and the second one is flushed, they both stop filling... usually hearing what I'd call a vapor lock. This is the worst when dealing with anything in the master bathroom (remembering water heater is directly below). I can usually run the kitchen sink and also open the sink in the hall bathroom. I can be running the hose outside and turn on the kitchen sink or hall bathroom. What I cannot do -- is be running anything in the master bathroom and turn on something else. This almost always results in the 'vapor lock' sound and all pressure (but a VERY slight trickle) being lost. Even turning on the shower in the m.bedroom is a procedure. Having no other water running, the pressure seems VERY strong in the tub, but often locks and quits after a few second. To turn on the shower requires pulling up the shower lever first, and slowly pulling out the Moen (recently replaced) water valve. It's been 'said' that the larger heater being directly below the bathroom may be the cause. I've tried suggestions for vapor lock, opening all valves, etc. I've recently added a one-way valve in case pressure was being pulled back down due to our altitude. A contractor friend has no more suggestions, a longtime buddy that was a plumber for quite a few years has no answers. Anyone?
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can you run multiple cold water devices other than the toilets? If not, then you just have a pressure or flow problem, not an air lock. If one device works ok, then pressure is not a problem, you have a partial blockeage in the feed line. Do you have any neighbors at the same altitude. I don;t see howw an airlock could posssssibly be to blame.
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On 2/1/2012 5:57 PM, hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

accidentally wrapped tape over the end of the pipe. Sure seems to be a blockage that is very persistent.
One other comment relating to pressure. If you are in the USA and the city or water district is also supplying hydrants in the street for fire fighting, then you must have enough pressure in the area to supply a large volume of water to the hydrants. Your water will be supplied by the same water line. Have you ever seen the fire dept. opening the hydrants? They will do this annually to check them.
Paul
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Paul Drahn wrote:

Being in a fairly rural area, hydrants are a rare sight around here.
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The OP said s/he was at the top of a big hill, might not be enough water main to supply a hydrant.
Don't know where you are, but in the Rochester, NY area, I've not heard of any hydrant flushing program. Back in about 1979 or so, when I was in the fire explorers, I asked about that. The fireman I asked said they used to flush hydrants, but some people had brown water for up to two days, so they stopped the flushing program.
I thought that was short sighted. They should have flushed until the brown water cleared, not just turn the hydrant on enough to stir up the rust from the bottom of the pipe. But, they weren't listening to me back then. They still don't listen.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
One other comment relating to pressure. If you are in the USA and the city or water district is also supplying hydrants in the street for fire fighting, then you must have enough pressure in the area to supply a large volume of water to the hydrants. Your water will be supplied by the same water line. Have you ever seen the fire dept. opening the hydrants? They will do this annually to check them.
Paul
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On Feb 2, 8:38am, "Stormin Mormon"

They flush them here in my local NJ water system about once a year.

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On Thu, 2 Feb 2012 06:02:41 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

Baltimore County is pretty prosperous, but I've never seen anyone flushing a hydrant, nor heard reference to it . (Baltimore County is not the same as Baltimore City, which is about the size of a county.)
I think they did so in NYC, so I'm not surpised they do it in NJ.
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wrote:

Flushing hydrants may be more common in rust-belt cities because of, well, rust. It's best to get the rust out to avoid reduced flows in case of fires and emergency hydrant use. Around here (Ohio), the hydrants are flushed every spring by the fire departments. It makes for some rustry crud on the streets and rusty water in the house; but the water clears up within a short time. I usually drain some of the same stuff out of the bottom of the hot water heater every couple of years so the heating efficiency doesn't drop.
Broken water mains can also cause rusty water as the increased flow stirs up the rusty stuff in the pipes.
I think it's good to see my street hydrant tested once a year -- never know when it will be needed.
Tomsic
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Fire hydrant is like any mechanical device. Left idle, eventually, it's gonna rust or corrode, and turn into a lump of useless. Not a very good idea for a device that may be needed for emergency.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Flushing hydrants may be more common in rust-belt cities because of, well, rust. It's best to get the rust out to avoid reduced flows in case of fires and emergency hydrant use. Around here (Ohio), the hydrants are flushed every spring by the fire departments. It makes for some rustry crud on the streets and rusty water in the house; but the water clears up within a short time. I usually drain some of the same stuff out of the bottom of the hot water heater every couple of years so the heating efficiency doesn't drop.
Broken water mains can also cause rusty water as the increased flow stirs up the rusty stuff in the pipes.
I think it's good to see my street hydrant tested once a year -- never know when it will be needed.
Tomsic
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The other reason for flushing hydrants is to get rid of any particles trapped in a pipe Such particles sucked up in the a fire truck pump, can cause some serious damage or pressure variances in the pumping equipment. Much cheaper to go around an open a hydrant for a few minutes It also makes sure that the valves are operational. .
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Good point. The hydrant nearest me has been used, I think, only once in the last 32 years. Who knows if it still works. People have air conditioning, so the kids don't open the hydrants to cool off. (There was one fire. I presume they used the hydrant .)

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<...top-posted blather snipped...>

Wise decision on their part.
--
The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation
with the average voter. (Winston Churchill)
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Paul Drahn posted for all of us...
And I know how to SNIP

There is no *MUST* Just because there is hydrants does NOT mean the flow rate is sufficient. The Fire Co. may have tanker trucks to provide water. Also if you start pumping the hydrant may get sucked dry...

--
Tekkie

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hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

Yes, I can usually turn on a a couple cold outlets depending on which ones. Same with the hot water.

My closest neighbor has no similar problem. He is at a slightly lower elevation and may well have different piping (coming up the hill). The property on the other side of my neighbor is his brother. When they (the brothers) hooked to city water I believe they had a larger meter installed than mine. When I first hooked up my pressure was kinda poor, but theirs was adequate, tho they wouldn't call it great. A few months later the city announced they would 'up' the pressure along my road due to more people living on the peaks complaining of low pressure. They also warned that some lower residents may want to consider a reducer.
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83LowRider wrote:

Hi, Have you a pressure gauge monitoring the main feed pipe? Our house has one with pressure regulator. When water is drawn at any level in the house, the running pressure stays 50-60PSI typical.
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Tony Hwang wrote:

No, I'm not aware of what the pressure may be coming into the house.
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On Thu, 2 Feb 2012 06:30:35 -0500, "83LowRider"

Maybe you can just clamp a guage to the end of a fauce that is full on.
The kitchen spigot has threads even.
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On 2/3/2012 5:36 AM, micky wrote:

The 'fauce' doesn't even have to be 'full on' to get a pressure reading. Just barely open will work also.
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On Fri, 03 Feb 2012 08:51:05 -0600, Steve Barker

Good point. But a second test is to have anotehr faucet on and running to see if that lowers the pressure at the gauge. If it's not low pressrure but an obstruciton, this may help find it.
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wrote:

Maybe he has a pr essur e regulator that's set wrong, or is bad.
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