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Old 12-26-2009, 05:01 PM   #1
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Low Flow Problem at Shower Head


I need some advice trying to figure out an irritating problem I'm having with my shower head.

I installed a basic massaging shower head that is supposed to have a flow of 2.5 gpm. There isn't enough water to even make the massage function work.

I decided to run an experiment - I measured the flow out of the tub faucet (5.4 gpm) and the shower head (1.2 gpm).

My question is: how do I increase the flow to the shower head? Is this a pressure problem? If so, how is there 5.4 gpm flow at the faucet and only 1.2 gpm at the shower head which is only a few feet away??

Is there something that could be wrong, or is this just the way it is?
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Old 12-26-2009, 06:51 PM   #2
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Low Flow Problem at Shower Head


Often there is a flow restricting washer where the shower head threads onto the pipe.

Remove the head and see if the washer is plugged up with crud.

Sometimes you can enlarge the opening to increase the flow--MIKE--
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Old 12-26-2009, 06:57 PM   #3
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Low Flow Problem at Shower Head


Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
Often there is a flow restricting washer where the shower head threads onto the pipe.

Remove the head and see if the washer is plugged up with crud.

Sometimes you can enlarge the opening to increase the flow--MIKE--
Or remove it altogether! Since (it appears from your post) it's a new shower head! Unless you have local water restriction in effect. (No matter what) Don't Drink and Drive, ever!!!
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Old 12-27-2009, 10:25 AM   #4
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Low Flow Problem at Shower Head


I had a plumber out for another reason and asked him to take a look at the shower head... He told me to try drilling out some holes (I assume in the flow restrictor washer) to a larger diameter. I drilled them out slightly bigger and the only thing I achieved was ruining the $40 shower head. Now it leaks badly at the connection.

I think I will remove the shower head and try my flow experiment again...

I feel like this may be a pressure problem cause I'm sure that if there was more pressure, there would be more flow (only at a higher velocity) which would in turn activate the massage function...

I have a pressure reducing valve right past my main shut-off, but I'm afraid to increase the pressure because some of the copper supply lines have pinhole leaks in them which I haven't gotten around to repairing yet. Im afraid that if I turn up the pressure, the super small leaks will turn into bigger ones...

Does anyone know of a standard "normal" value for water pressure in a house? I guess I could get a pressure gauge and see if I'm in the ballpark...

Home ownership is over-rated!!!
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Old 12-27-2009, 12:59 PM   #5
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Low Flow Problem at Shower Head


Quote:
Originally Posted by steveo178 View Post
I had a plumber out for another reason and asked him to take a look at the shower head... He told me to try drilling out some holes (I assume in the flow restrictor washer) to a larger diameter. I drilled them out slightly bigger and the only thing I achieved was ruining the $40 shower head. Now it leaks badly at the connection.

I think I will remove the shower head and try my flow experiment again...

I feel like this may be a pressure problem cause I'm sure that if there was more pressure, there would be more flow (only at a higher velocity) which would in turn activate the massage function...

I have a pressure reducing valve right past my main shut-off, but I'm afraid to increase the pressure because some of the copper supply lines have pinhole leaks in them which I haven't gotten around to repairing yet. Im afraid that if I turn up the pressure, the super small leaks will turn into bigger ones...

Does anyone know of a standard "normal" value for water pressure in a house? I guess I could get a pressure gauge and see if I'm in the ballpark...

Home ownership is over-rated!!!
I'll swap with you any day. Yes. Homeownership and clumsiness (or laziness) don't go together. And the only way to learn is going to the school of hard knocks. Or subsidizing the college education and overseas vacations of all the Plumbers, Carpenters, Electricians and other trades men (not being politically correct) and their families. (My apologies to the HVAC mechanics.) But you must know when it's time to call in a professional. (No matter what) Don't Drink and Drive, Ever!!!
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