Probably an often asked question, but my house is on public water and the
pressure is very poor. There is a noticeable drop when more than one faucet
is on, however it's still useable. This is a nuisance and I was wondering
what I can do to fix this. Specifically I need to fix the supply to the
shower, which is driving me insane. Somebody recommended I upgrade these
pipes to a larger diameter wherever they are visible. Will this work even
though there will still be "bottlenecks"?
Any ideas are greatly appreciated.
No, it probably won't help at all.
It takes a lot of detective work to solve problems
like this one:
What is pressure right at the Main?
Does that pressure drop much when you (or neighbor) uses water?
Do neighbors all have similar problems?
What is the service line material? If old galv iron, that may be
a big part of the problem.
What does the utility say? Often they can assist in pinpointing
the problem and possible solutions.
If there is simply not enough pressure/flow at the Main,
a booster pump and storage tank may be needed$$$
And you may need the permission of the utility.
<< There is a noticeable drop when more than one faucet is on, however it's
still useable. This is a nuisance and I was wondering what I can do to fix
The very first thing you need to deal with is your supply pipe. I'd suspect
that you have an ancient 3/4" galvanized input that has gotten limed up to the
point of uselessness. If this is the case, budget for a new hookup with at leat
a 1" diameter. Copper is still the choice for many building codes, but newr
plastic materials have a lot of merit, and are far less subject to corosion and
flow-choking deposits. Good luck.
My father used CPVC in the hosue he built in 1970, no leaks or corosion
Also used PVC in the ground for potable water between buildings and
irrigation water on teh farm, never leaked or had any problems in 30 years
I still see many home shows that show copper being the choice for potable
water supply. However depending on the type of water from the source can
cause problems. My grandfathers house which was on a well and had copper
plumbing had a high build up of copper sulfate, very poisonous and over time
made him real sick. We tore out all the copper and replaced with CPVC and
his health improved a lot.
Since I have always used only CPVC/PVC plumbing and have not had many real
As easy as is to install and not that expsensive, why is it not as popular
for potable water supply ?
Also if you have plastic pipes, I've seen sloppy plumbers get clumps of glue
in the pipes and they hang ups at the water turn offs before the faucets.
You really need to have a smart plumber look at it.
check with your neighbours and see if they also have or have had poor
pressure, and how did they fix it. I suspect that the main line coming
into the house may need to be replaced with a larger pipe. this is
something you will call your local City hall and they will provide the
service to get the line replaced coming into the house. You will have to
pay for the portion on your property and the City should pay from your
property line to the main connection. At least that's the way it works
where I live. The larger pipe will have a larger volume of water travelling
through it. The pressure is not any greater but the volume of water
increase really can make a big difference in the volume of water coming
through the pipes, but it is not a guaranteed fix to boost pressure. This
is a very common procedure on old homes probably more than 40 years old.
good luck. been there done that.
As others have said, you need more information and some detective
work. Before anything else, find out what your actual pressure at the
meter and then at the house entry point is. A cheap pressure gauge
will check the house pressue. If the pressure is o.k. (I would want
at leat 40 psi, preferably 50 or 60) at the entry point, the next
thing is 'what is the flow when under use?'
The point is to eliminate possibly (probably if it is an old house
with iron pipes) corroded/plugges piping.
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