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spotco2 11-10-2012 07:50 PM

Low Water Pressure
 
I just purchased a house built in the 50's that still has galvanized plumbing with cast drains. There is a very deep crawl space so all pipes are easy to get to.

The house has been vacant since 2008. I had the city water turned on Thursday and was amazed not to find anything leaking except a couple of stems! Obviously I have found an issue or I would not be here.

When we first turned the water on I made sure the strainers were out of all the faucets. As expected we did have some rusty water come out for a few seconds but it cleared up quickly. The issue is very low water pressure when multiple faucets are open.

There is no pressure regulator on the supply. I installed a gauge on the outside spigot (tied in immediately after the main water shut off on the supply) and it has 50 psi fairly constant. If we turn on a faucet inside, the outside pressure drops to about 20 psi. Leave that on and turn on the tub and the pressure drops almost to 0 and water only dribbles out of the tub.

As long as only 1 faucet is open at a time, it seems to have good pressure but immediately drops if something else is open.

My other house had a similar issue and it was a pressure regulator problem. I can not find a regulator on this new house anywhere.

I am assuming the galvanized pipes are filling up on the inside. Am I on the right track or could it be something else? Does this sound like the main supply coming from the meter to the house is the issue or could it be somewhere else?

joecaption 11-10-2012 07:58 PM

Is there a pressure tank?
And your right restricted lines can cause this problum.
At some point steel lines are going to plug up and will leak 100% of the time at some point.

burnt03 11-10-2012 08:47 PM

Being galvanized, the lines are probably restricted.

Even if it's only one spot restricted right after the main shutoff, you'd basically be trying to supply the entire house with 1/2 a pipe (maybe only 1/4" or smaller depending on what size your water line is).

Won't know for sure unless you cut a chunk out and take a look! Look at elbows and areas where dissimilar metals are together (galvy pipe, brass main valve, etc)

spotco2 11-10-2012 08:53 PM

I was hoping y'all would give me a miracle answer that I could fix for less than $10 and under an hour :laughing:

No, there is no pressure tank on the house.

I have a bad feeling I know what's going to have to happen. I just had not budgeted on replumbing the house.

ben's plumbing 11-10-2012 09:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spotco2 (Post 1049273)
I was hoping y'all would give me a miracle answer that I could fix for less than $10 and under an hour :laughing:

No, there is no pressure tank on the house.

I have a bad feeling I know what's going to have to happen. I just had not budgeted on replumbing the house.

your feeling is right...old galvanized piping is restricting the volume needed to supply more than one fixture...repiping is needed...ben


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