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Old 05-18-2010, 10:22 AM   #1
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Air in the lines and pressure issue


Good morning everyone. I hope this find you well. I am in the process of selling my home and I have a bit of a concern when it comes time to have it inspected. It seems that every time that I go into the kitchen to turn on the water, after a moment, the water will act like it has air in the line. This is a brand new house, we bought new, but is going on 6 years old. I would think that the air in the lines would be flushed out by now.

The second, and main, concern is that the water pressure in the house just is not up to speed with everything else. We can run the washer, dishwasher together but we probably shouldn't take a shower or use the sinks. The water is very low then. We CANNOT water the front yard and the back yard (via spiggots) at the same time. We can't water the front/back yard and run something inside. The water pressure will be greatly reduced if we do.

Is there a correlation between the "air in the line" and the water pressure? Could it be that there is a crimp in the line somewhere or is it that it's a new house and the plumbing is smaller in diameter?

I've heard of doing a high PSI blow in the pipes to possibly dislodge some blockage. Do you think that is a good idea?

Thanks for you time.

Jesse

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Old 05-18-2010, 03:10 PM   #2
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Air in the lines and pressure issue


We need some more info, are you on a well system or are you supplied with water from the town? Do you know what pressure you have with nothing turned on and what pressure your getting with the kitchen faucet turned on? What is the greatest distance from where the line come into the house to the furthest fixture?

If the house is only 6 years old, there shouldn't been any problems with the piping unless there is debris in the line from the time of installation. Its not air, but maybe a foreign object is lodged in an elbow somewhere. Is there a strainer in your service line?

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Old 05-19-2010, 01:12 PM   #3
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Air in the lines and pressure issue


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Originally Posted by The Engineer View Post
We need some more info, are you on a well system or are you supplied with water from the town? Do you know what pressure you have with nothing turned on and what pressure your getting with the kitchen faucet turned on? What is the greatest distance from where the line come into the house to the furthest fixture?

If the house is only 6 years old, there shouldn't been any problems with the piping unless there is debris in the line from the time of installation. Its not air, but maybe a foreign object is lodged in an elbow somewhere. Is there a strainer in your service line?
Thanks for the response, Engineer. here are the answers to your questions:

1) This is water in a normal subdivision with the water meters (main line) in front of my house.
2) I don't know what the pressure is without anything turned on. When we first moved in a few years ago, the water company came over and showed me the guage readings at the meter and at the spiggot. The meter was very powerful and the spigot was very low.
3) The furthest distance between where the line comes in to the spiggot is maybe 50-65 feet.

I kind of think that there some type of debris in the lines. What is it that I have to do to get this taken care of?

thanks!
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:16 PM   #4
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Air in the lines and pressure issue


Oh--and just so you know--I CANNOT run the front spiggot the same time that the back spiggot is on. It offsets each other. Most houses are able to run 2 sprinklers at the same time, right? Not me.
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Old 05-20-2010, 08:49 AM   #5
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Air in the lines and pressure issue


IF you do have debris in the line, the best way to find it is to map your piping layout on a piece of paper and do some trial and error to see if any fixtures are not effected by the water pressure drop. Start at the furthest fixture and work your way to the meter testing one at a time, testing hot and cold separately. Does your hot water also loose pressure? if so, the clog might be before the take off to the water heater, if your hot water is fine, but your cold water drops, the debris would be after the water heater take off, if its both hot and cold, then it could be between the meter and the water heater and so on. If the front spiggot is right after the meter, test that line by itself, and if you don't see the same problems your getting at other faucets, then the issue is after the tee to the spiggot feed. test every single faucet and fixture by itself at full flow to see if you get the same problem like at the kitchen sink. If every single fixture is having problems, then your clog will be close to the meter. If you go through this exercise, you should be able to narrow down the problem to a small section of piping which would need further inspection or if you can isolate that section and blow compressed air backwards through that section to clear it out.
If you do this and still can't figure it out, the only recommendation I can make would be to shut down the water at the meter, drain the system, disconnect the line on the house side of the meter, shut off the valve to the water heater and any valves that tee off the main line to other fixtures that are working fine, then go to the furthest fixture and disconnect the cold water side, hook up a compressor to blow compressed air backwards through the piping system to see if anything comes out the open pipe at the other end by the meter. Let it run for a couple minutes while someone else is watching the open end on the other side. I'm assuming your piping system is copper for this to work. You don't nessessarily need high pressure air, you just need a compressor that can flow a good amount of CFM.
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