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Mdwdirect 12-29-2012 08:04 PM

Drop in water pressure
 
A contractor hooked up his air compressor to my hose bib in order to pressurize the new water lines he just installed. The compressor topped out at 70psi and shut itself off. A few minutes later the jerry-rigged compressor-to-hose-bib adapter (made of a piece of hose and a few clamps) burst and released all the pressure.

Immediately after that incident I noticed the available water pressure at the kitchen sink dropped by at least 50%. Unfortunately I cannot test the pressure at the remaining downstairs fixtures because everything else is temporarily disconnected for the remodel. The upstairs fixtures (tub, toilet, sink) all appear to be unchanged.

What happened to cause the pressure drop? It's a steady flow, just half the volume/pressure as before.

The original contractor has been fired (this is only one of many things). Before I have another contractor take over I'd like to know what caused the drop in pressure and how to fix it.

Thanks!

jagans 12-29-2012 08:25 PM

Did you try to unscrew the strainer at the end of the fixture and clean the silt out of it? Try this first, then come back.

It would be nice to know what kind of fixture you have in the kitchen?

Mdwdirect 12-29-2012 08:32 PM

I've cleaned the aerator and the screen. The fixture has no identifying marks that I can see. Its a tall inverted J and instead of a seperate vegetable sprayer you just twist the very tip of the faucet and it unlocks and a spray hose can be pulled out 18" or so.

Mdwdirect 12-29-2012 09:19 PM

Found the sink fixture name plate. It is a Price Pfister.

buddy builder 12-29-2012 09:27 PM

this is all new to me. i've never heard of pressurizing a water line like this. are you on a pump? i have seen tanks on wells that pressurize themselves to keep pressure up. you only need a pressure gauge to screw on the hose bibb to determine what pressure you have. a compressor will only increase your pressure while it is there. once removed the pressure will fall to whatever the water pressure is normally. if you are on city water with their own pressure applied through the meter then this is nonsense. if you have a pump the well and tank determine your pressure. this a new one on me.

Mdwdirect 12-29-2012 09:43 PM

The compressor was used to test the new plumbing lines the contractor just finished installing BEFORE the city water was turned back on.
I guess he figured an air leak causes no damage while even a small water leak is a mess.

buddy builder 12-29-2012 11:25 PM

if you don't have one handy get you another lav supply to fit your angle stops. take the existing one off at the stop. put your new test one on and put it over in a bucket. turn the water on. you should be able to tell if you have a lot of pressure coming out of the angle stop and tell if the problem is from there towards the sink or back toward the supply side. do the other side the same way. this will tell you which way to go. i don't know if this is all new water line or not so just guessing if you have older galvanized pipe he may have blown some of that rusty crud back up in the lines and caused blockage somewhere. most licensed plumbers i know pride themselves on no leaks and test with water not air. maybe this is done every day where you're from but from south alabama and forty years of plumbing i never heard of it. we pressurize gas lines for 24 hours but not water lines.

Mdwdirect 12-30-2012 12:29 AM

Like I said, the original contractor has been fired. The plumbing is just one of many issues.

His floor subs installed 2 different colors of travertine in my hallway. His response? "Well that's a natural stone and it has variation."
No dummy, that is two diierent colors!

Mdwdirect 01-24-2013 09:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by buddy builder (Post 1082235)
if you don't have one handy get you another lav supply to fit your angle stops. take the existing one off at the stop. put your new test one on and put it over in a bucket. turn the water on. you should be able to tell if you have a lot of pressure coming out of the angle stop and tell if the problem is from there towards the sink or back toward the supply side. do the other side the same way. this will tell you which way to go. i don't know if this is all new water line or not so just guessing if you have older galvanized pipe he may have blown some of that rusty crud back up in the lines and caused blockage somewhere. most licensed plumbers i know pride themselves on no leaks and test with water not air. maybe this is done every day where you're from but from south alabama and forty years of plumbing i never heard of it. we pressurize gas lines for 24 hours but not water lines.

I finally got time to jump back into this problem. First I swapped out the supply lines and it changed nothing on either the hot or cold side. Then I replaced the angle stops. There was no debris inside them and no trash in the copper lines.

With the new angle stops installed the pressure appears to be no better than before. Something somewhere is restricting the pressure or blocking the line.

I agree, water testing makes far more sense than air testing. A very slow seeper or dripper won't be evident with an air test.


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