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Old 08-10-2013, 12:36 AM   #1
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Low water pressure whole house


I'm a novice plumber. Bought my house 4 yrs ago and the copper was taken in the basement. Bought a book and a pex tool. Moved the kitchen sink and hooked up to the old copper. Yay, done. No problems.

In the last few months the cold water specifically has less pressure, but both are low. The toilet totally disables cold shower water, etc.

Anyhow, my shutoff at the street was old and crooked, and my main shut off in the basement leaked. I first replaced the shut off in the basement. No more leak, no better pressure. So, just today, I got the water department to replace the shutoff at the street...pressure is worse. I'm at my wit's end. Lower pressure after 3 years!

House main is totally open, BTW.

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Old 08-10-2013, 08:12 AM   #2
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Low water pressure whole house


With all that replumbing did you remove the aerators on the faucets and flush out the lines. If not there full of trash.
Did you use at least 3/4" for the main runs where you replaced the pipes?
Flushed out the sediment in the bottom of the water heater? (that's not causing the low pressure but there has to be some trash in there from all the plumbing work)

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Old 08-10-2013, 08:19 AM   #3
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Have you checked the water pressure right after the main shut off? Add a spigot right there and put a pressure gauge on the new spigot---

No sense ripping the house apart if you simply do not have proper pressure coming in-----

Also do a volume check----I do not have time to run you through that test--but someone else will--
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:25 AM   #4
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A gauge on an outside faucet will give you static pressure.
Open an outside faucet and run the water into a bucket and time how long it takes to fill will give you GPM (gallons per min.)
More often then not it's a flow problem not a pressure problem.
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:48 AM   #5
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FWIW, I had the sane problem once. Dug and found a bad pressure control valve in the line right before where the line came into the home.

Didn't know it was there.
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:11 PM   #6
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Alright. Thanks a lot. I'm going to try the pressure test right after the main shut off tomorrow. What psi is normal? Is a pressure gauge something I would buy or rent? Thanks again.
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:19 PM   #7
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I've lived in homes that had from 20-50 psi. You can get a gauge that screws to your sillcock at any box or hardware store for about $10
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:21 PM   #8
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Another thing to check, is if you still have old valves, old Water heater, Pressure valve inside the home, where the line comes in, those are other areas to check. Start by taking a pressure reading outside at the curb, then inside at the line where it enters the home.

Then take a reading at various fixtures. This will mean adding in a T, that you can screw on the pressure gauge at those points.

BTW, what is the size of the incoming line to the house, then when it comes into the house, the size of the lines going to each fixture, including water heater.
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:37 PM   #9
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line from the street shut off into the house is restricted tree root over the line coming in... if you can disconnect on your inside of the shut off and check the pressure there.... no gauge is required vacuum hose tape it over the pipe and blow it off into the yard 50-60lbs should whip it around...if you have no hose movement then the line into the house is pinched down.find out from the utility who owns the line from the street shut off into your house shut off?

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Old 08-10-2013, 01:48 PM   #10
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Biggles, maybe it's just me. Could you explain, ".. no gauge is required vacuum hose tape it over the pipe and blow it off into the yard 50-60lbs should whip it around...if you have no hose movement then the line into the house is pinched down." ????
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Old 08-10-2013, 03:59 PM   #11
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" coming in. It does go to " then back to ", which I've heard you're not supposed to do, but like I said, the problem is new. 80% of the plumbing is new pex. The rest is copper. All the shut offs are new. The shut off at the curb is 3' down. I don't think I can pressure test it there.
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Old 08-10-2013, 04:11 PM   #12
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Does your house have a pressure reducing valve? It would normally be located by the main shutoff for the house.
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Old 08-10-2013, 04:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spdrcer View Post
" coming in. It does go to " then back to ", which I've heard you're not supposed to do, but like I said, the problem is new. 80% of the plumbing is new pex. The rest is copper. All the shut offs are new. The shut off at the curb is 3' down. I don't think I can pressure test it there.
Your problem is, that it should be 1" or 3/4" coming in, not 1/2". There is half your problem. 1/2" should only be to the fixtures, 3/4" for the main lines to the water heater, and coming out of it, then a 3/4 to 1/2 for the last couple of feet to each fixture.
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Old 08-10-2013, 05:24 PM   #14
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True, a 1/2" service line would be woefully small. Do you really have that sized pipe leaving the meter and going to the house? Or is the meter served by something larger? Make sure it's the same sized pipe from the meter and in the house. If not, time to dig and find out why.

But that wouldn't explain how the problem started without that being changed. I cast my votes on a bad pressure reducing valve or obstruction in the line before the inside shut-off valve.
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Old 08-10-2013, 05:28 PM   #15
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Yeah. The main coming in the basement concrete is definitely ". It's just that obviously something has happened recently with no new plumbing.

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