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Old 10-22-2008, 06:33 AM   #1
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Low flow


This isn't another "clean the aerator" question.

I'm on city water. Over the past year, the flow has slowed. At first I thought it was the city reducing the flow because of the drought. We're on a 10% reduction of use mandate. Now, it has gotten to the point where we can only use one fixture at a time. Take a shower in the Master; it's fine. Flush the first floor toilet; no water comes out of the shower until the tank fills. We used to be able to use 2 showers at once.

Where do I start? I checked the meter, there is no flow through it when all the fixtures are in the off position so there isn't a leak.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 10-22-2008, 06:45 AM   #2
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you might call the city and have them inspect their lines going into your home. they've pulled lines that had less than a quarter inch opening because of mineral buildup. it happens slowly over time like you describe. they may also have reduced the pressure on you, call and ask the water guys if they have.

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Old 10-22-2008, 11:49 AM   #3
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Low flow


1. Check with the neighbors, if they have a similiar problem, call the water department.
If not:
2. check the water flow from the nearest outlet to the meter if volume and pressure is good,that will eliminate any problems with the meter,main feed line, or main valve.
If not:
3. Has the main valve been turned off before this problem began? there may be a problem internally
4. Check the size and type pipe before the meter, lead or Galvanize are blocked with rust and calcium deposits over years of use..
5. Check for any valves and what type pipe is used for the line after the junction of the working outlet to the problem faucets.

How old is the water supply system in the house?
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Old 10-22-2008, 01:00 PM   #4
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Low flow


The house was built in 1999. The entire subdivision is only 3 years older than that.

The main has not been turned off. The closest outlet is the front garden hose bib. I'll attach a pressure valve to it.

My neighbors do not have the problem to the same extent. Their flow seems to be a little less than before but things don't shut off because another fixture is in use.
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Old 10-22-2008, 01:51 PM   #5
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Low flow


I'm not sure of what you mean by pressure valve, if itís a pressure gauge you will have to read the PSI with the toilet or other fixtures running. Otherwise you will get a static reading and that will indicate the pressure with no water running. You would get the same reading whether the water was feeding your system through a 1/4 " or 1" pipe. If you turn the water on the gauge would show a difference between the water pressures using the different size pipes.
Is your house at the end of a street or on the higher end of a hill compared to the neighbors?
Before driving yourself crazy as mdangermouse sugested, have the water department check to see if the flow at the meter is ok.

Last edited by plumcass; 10-22-2008 at 02:11 PM. Reason: add on
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Old 10-23-2008, 09:03 AM   #6
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Low flow


Water company just left. They say everything's fine on their side. 120 psi at the meter. 34 gal/min flow. They suggest checking to see if the screen in the PRV is clogged. I guess I'll have to take it apart this weekend.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 10-23-2008, 09:24 AM   #7
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Low flow


Never gave it a thought. In Mass. allowable pressure in the building is 80lbs max. If over 80lbs a pressure reducing valve is used to reduce the pressure. Carefull to hold PRV with 1 wrench and loosen the screen with another. Maybe sqirt it with WD-40 a few days before you do it. When reassembling it , put a little lubricant on the threads. Vasolene will do.
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Old 10-23-2008, 09:48 AM   #8
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Low flow


well of COURSE everything is fine on their side.... what they DIDN'T tell you is they redid all the outside lines last year.... where do you think all the gunk CAME from? lol

careful with that PRV as plumcass said. hope this fixes it.... =o)

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Old 10-24-2008, 06:16 AM   #9
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Low flow


While it wasn't a "clean the aerator" question, it was a "clean the pressure reducing valve" answer.

Thanks for pointing me in the "call the water dept" direction. What a difference. I had forgotten how good the flow used to be.
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Old 10-24-2008, 06:32 AM   #10
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sounds like you got it! great!

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