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Old 03-22-2012, 01:48 PM   #1
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Best PSI for full house plus tenants


The water pressure for our home is 49 PSI. If one thing is running then we get a reduction of pressure in another (i.e., washer vs. shower) which leads me to believe 49 PSI is not enough. This is the case with us (my wife and I) currently only occupying the main floor of the house. There is an apartment going in the second floor and soon a bathroom will accompany the washer and utility sink in the bathroom. So soon we will be taking in some family members (which will fully utilize the washer and dishwasher and fully occupy both bathrooms) and a tenant or two upstairs (they have their own kitchen, bathroom and washer).

With a full house on the main floor and basement and renter on the second floor what PSI should we be at to accommodate everyone comfortably (i.e., no one has water pressure issues when showering at any given time)?

Thanks in advance


P.S. - Thats 3 bathrooms, 2 kitchens, 2 washers and 1 dishwasher

P.P.S. - The water lines are newly upgraded 3/4" and 1/2" pex water lines throughout the house (total gut, from main feed to faucets).

P.P.P.S - Yes, I know, I should consider getting a bigger water heater (currently 50 gallons)
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Old 03-22-2012, 01:57 PM   #2
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Best PSI for full house plus tenants


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Originally Posted by anuvanoob View Post
The water pressure for our home is 49 PSI. If one thing is running then we get a reduction of pressure in another (i.e., washer vs. shower) which leads me to believe 49 PSI is not enough. This is the case with us (my wife and I) currently only occupying the main floor of the house. There is an apartment going in the second floor and soon a bathroom will accompany the washer and utility sink in the bathroom. So soon we will be taking in some family members (which will fully utilize the washer and dishwasher and fully occupy both bathrooms) and a tenant or two upstairs (they have their own kitchen, bathroom and washer).

With a full house on the main floor and basement and renter on the second floor what PSI should we be at to accommodate everyone comfortably (i.e., no one has water pressure issues when showering at any given time)?

Thanks in advance


P.S. - Thats 3 bathrooms, 2 kitchens, 2 washers and 1 dishwasher

P.P.S. - The water lines are newly upgraded 3/4" and 1/2" pex water lines throughout the house (total gut, from main feed to faucets).

P.P.P.S - Yes, I know, I should consider getting a bigger water heater (currently 50 gallons)

If you have upgraded water lines in the house that have been properly sized, and are still have issues running more than 1 fixture than the issue will probably be with the incoming water supply. Are you on city water or well water? Remember that 49 psi is likely a static pressure and is adequate for residential use. If municipal, call the city and see what size your service is. Ask when the last time it was replaced. Ask what kind of material it is. This will give you more clues to the problem.
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Old 03-22-2012, 01:58 PM   #3
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Best PSI for full house plus tenants


Approximately 50 psi is pretty normal pressure for a house. My house is on a well, which cycles from 40-60 psi. If you are on city water, you get whatever pressure they give you, unless you have a pressure reducing valve, in which case you can adjust it somewhat.

You may not have a pressure problem so much as the lines may be too small for so many fixtures. You may need to increase some of the 1/2 inch lines to 3/4 inch. If you increase the pressure using a booster pump, resetting the well controller, or increasing the pressure if you have a pressure reducing valve, you will still get a reduction in flow when several devices are on, however the reduced flow rate may be acceptable (flow of course will be greater than at present). I would not go much past 60 psi, at 80 psi there is real potential to cause damage to fixtures and water lines.
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Old 03-22-2012, 02:05 PM   #4
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Best PSI for full house plus tenants


Quote:
Originally Posted by anuvanoob View Post
The water pressure for our home is 49 PSI. If one thing is running then we get a reduction of pressure in another (i.e., washer vs. shower) which leads me to believe 49 PSI is not enough. This is the case with us (my wife and I) currently only occupying the main floor of the house. There is an apartment going in the second floor and soon a bathroom will accompany the washer and utility sink in the bathroom. So soon we will be taking in some family members (which will fully utilize the washer and dishwasher and fully occupy both bathrooms) and a tenant or two upstairs (they have their own kitchen, bathroom and washer).

With a full house on the main floor and basement and renter on the second floor what PSI should we be at to accommodate everyone comfortably (i.e., no one has water pressure issues when showering at any given time)?

Thanks in advance


P.S. - Thats 3 bathrooms, 2 kitchens, 2 washers and 1 dishwasher

P.P.S. - The water lines are newly upgraded 3/4" and 1/2" pex water lines throughout the house (total gut, from main feed to faucets).

P.P.P.S - Yes, I know, I should consider getting a bigger water heater (currently 50 gallons)
The max pressure for the Wirsbo/Uponor PEX system is 100 psi. I suspect that other PEX systems would have about the same max pressure. So the practical working max pressure for PEX systems should probably be about half of that.

The max pressure with reasonable life of faucet seals is 60 psi. I would set 60 psi as the goal.

HRG
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Old 03-22-2012, 03:02 PM   #5
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Best PSI for full house plus tenants


A lot of speculation without knowing pipe lengths, the amount of fixtures served per branch, etc. but I'd say your undersized from the get go. I don't think you're sized big enough for 3 bathrooms, 2 kitchens, 2 washers and 1 dishwasher
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Old 03-22-2012, 03:11 PM   #6
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A lot of speculation without knowing pipe lengths, the amount of fixtures served per branch, etc. but I'd say your undersized from the get go. I don't think you're sized big enough for 3 bathrooms, 2 kitchens, 2 washers and 1 dishwasher
Respectfully, the OP said the water lines are newly upgraded to 3/4" and 1/2" PEX so I don't think he/she is willing to redo the water lines. He/she is asking for the best psi to use. That being the case, wouldn't 60 psi be the max static water pressure that he/she should use?

Thanks,
HRG
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Old 03-22-2012, 03:31 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Homerepairguy View Post
Respectfully, the OP said the water lines are newly upgraded to 3/4" and 1/2" PEX so I don't think he/she is willing to redo the water lines. He/she is asking for the best psi to use. That being the case, wouldn't 60 psi be the max static water pressure that he/she should use?

Thanks,
HRG
60 lbs. is a nice number but are you sure that will solve the demand issues? Why not 70 psi? or maybe 55? Pressure is just one needed part of the equation to size water piping.
Perhaps I read the OP wrong. I assumed he is adding more fixtures to an already undersized system
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Old 03-22-2012, 03:53 PM   #8
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60 lbs. is a nice number but are you sure that will solve the demand issues? Why not 70 psi? or maybe 55? Pressure is just one needed part of the equation to size water piping.
Perhaps I read the OP wrong. I assumed he is adding more fixtures to an already undersized system
You are correct that pressure is just one part of the equation. But in the OP's situation, I think that's all he/she can control. Even going from 50 to 60 psi probably won't make a "big" difference in water flow anyway. Slightly noticeable but not big. It will primarily be knowing that the max reasonable pressure is being used.

I think 70 psi might be on the high side in stressing fixture seals. Maybe 60 psi might be the highest static pressure with reasonable fixture seal life.

Just $.02. Thanks,
HRG
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:56 PM   #9
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My city maintains it's water pressure at 100 psi so I don't think there should be any issues with faucet seals or pex limitations with pressures up to at least this level and beyond. I would say if you can increase the pressure, go for it.
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:20 PM   #10
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Not sure I follow your post readar. The City can maintain the pressure at 100 psi, but I am going to guess that every house has a pressure reducing valve to drop the pressure at the house from 100 psi to something more reasonable, like 60 or maybe 70 psi. 100 psi would be extremely high pressure inside the house, do NOT assume that because it works in cast iron water mains outside your house it is going to work in copper or PEX tubing inside your house.
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:27 PM   #11
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I live in an older section of the city, no pressure reducing valve, can't say about the newer houses. I don't have a gauge, I'm just going off my city's website. I'm just suspecting the failure point of pex to be well over 100psi. Anybody have any stats/ratings?
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:00 AM   #12
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If he has 49psi static then pressure is not the problem. If the OP wants help then he needs to give us more information, otherwise we are just guessing.
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:29 AM   #13
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Uponor PEX (made by Wirsbo) carries the following temperature and pressure rating:

200F at 80 psi (93.3C at 5.51 bar)
180F at 100 psi (82.2C at 6.89 bar)
120F at 130 psi (49C at 9 bar) (", , and 1 Uponor AquaPEX tubing only)
73.4F at 160 psi (23C at 11 bar)

Since most houses use hot water at less than 120 degrees, potable water PEX carries a rating of 120 psi or greater. That does NOT mean the fixtures in the house can handle 120 psi, they are likely to experience reduced life at that pressure due to seal failure.

Another consideration is that the city water pressure at any given house varies with elevation and location. If the pipes are relatively small, or the neighborhood is relatively high, city pressure might be as low as 60 psi. In neighborhoods where the city pressure is 100 psi or greater, you can be pretty certain the houses are going to have pressure reducing valves.
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Old 03-23-2012, 12:52 PM   #14
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If he has 49psi static then pressure is not the problem. If the OP wants help then he needs to give us more information, otherwise we are just guessing.
What additional info is needed?
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:08 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by readar View Post
I live in an older section of the city, no pressure reducing valve, can't say about the newer houses. I don't have a gauge, I'm just going off my city's website. I'm just suspecting the failure point of pex to be well over 100psi. Anybody have any stats/ratings?
Uponor PEX "tubing" has higher pressure ratings than 100 psi but the fittings don't. Here's an excerpt from the Uponor PEX installation guide:

"PRESSURE TESTING
- Pressure-test the system with air or water to the system working
pressure (40 to 60 psi) at the current ambient temperature. Pressure
testing should not exceed 100 psi. Slight fluctuations of pressure are
normal due to ambient temperature changes."

So 100 psi should be the "maximum" pressure that an Uponor PEX installation should be subjected to per the manufacturer. Working pressure should be 40 to 60 psi. I suspect that other PEX systems have similar pressure ratings.

HRG
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