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Old 05-02-2007, 11:08 AM   #1
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Water pressure? What water pressure?


We recently closed on an 1873 home. I'm pretty sure the water meter is from 1874. (Ok, not literally, but it's pretty old.) A lot of the pipes have been switched over to copper, but the main line into the house is galvenized, and it's galvenized out of the meter as well. there is one section in the basement that is copper, back to galvenized, then copper again.

There is some water pressure in the kitchen sink, but every other faucet in the house has almost no pressure... and forget the shower, it is barely a sprinkle. Funny enough, the pipes to the shower are all copper.

I know we should probably replace the meter, and the shut off valve for the house doesn't actually shut off, so that needs to be replaced as well. What are the options to actually get more pressure though?

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Old 05-02-2007, 11:22 AM   #2
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Water pressure? What water pressure?


The galvanized pipe could be all scaled up inside, restricting the flow. Replacing the section of pipe with copper in the basement would be easy enough, and it might give you an idea of how clogged up that galvanized pipe is.

Of course, to do that you might need to have the main valve replaced. (this part of the plumbing usually belongs to the city). If you're really lucky, the town will require you to replace your supply line from the street to the meter with copper before they'll replace the main valve. If that's the case expect to pay about $3000.

How do I know all this? Well we bought a ~1900 house, and weeks after moving in, the main valve broke, and the town required that we replace the service line (lead) before they'd replace the main valve and meter. Major pain.

Hopefully your problem won't be as bad, if it's galvanized pipe and not lead that's supplying your house.

Good luck, Nate

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Old 05-02-2007, 11:27 AM   #3
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Water pressure? What water pressure?


Do you mean that the main valve in my home is technically the property of the town? So I would have to pay to re-run the line from the street to the meter/valve (because that's mine) but they replace the actual valve (because that's theirs)??

I don't want to be lucky.
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Old 05-02-2007, 03:49 PM   #4
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Water pressure? What water pressure?


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Originally Posted by mnp13 View Post
We recently closed on an 1873 home. I'm pretty sure the water meter is from 1874. (Ok, not literally, but it's pretty old.) A lot of the pipes have been switched over to copper, but the main line into the house is galvenized, and it's galvenized out of the meter as well. there is one section in the basement that is copper, back to galvenized, then copper again.

There is some water pressure in the kitchen sink, but every other faucet in the house has almost no pressure... and forget the shower, it is barely a sprinkle. Funny enough, the pipes to the shower are all copper.

I know we should probably replace the meter, and the shut off valve for the house doesn't actually shut off, so that needs to be replaced as well. What are the options to actually get more pressure though?
WAIT! Before you go replacing pipes, unscrew the aerators on each faucet and flush out the scale, rust and crud on the screens. Same with the shower heads (it may just be easier to replace the shower heads).

With galvanized pipes, scale and rust can flake off as the water rushes through. All that sediment ends up in the screens on your faucets (aerators), shower heads and even the washing machine hoses. My guess is that, while the showerhead seems to have poor flow, the tub spout is fine, right? That's because there's no screens (usually) in the tub spouts.
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Old 05-02-2007, 04:01 PM   #5
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Water pressure? What water pressure?


For a quick fix , maybe ? check out all of the areators on your faucets they maybe clogged a little, or go out and turn off & on your meter a few times your meter may have trash in it if it was off for sometime , But I would replace your main all the way where it turns in to copper and any valves .
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Old 05-02-2007, 04:40 PM   #6
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Water pressure? What water pressure?


The way it worked in my town (I don't know if this is standard or not) was that there was a problem with the valve, and the town would fix that and replace the meter for free. BUT they required that I replace the lead service (on my dime) before they'd fix the valve and turn the water back on.

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Do you mean that the main valve in my home is technically the property of the town? So I would have to pay to re-run the line from the street to the meter/valve (because that's mine) but they replace the actual valve (because that's theirs)??

I don't want to be lucky.
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Old 05-02-2007, 06:57 PM   #7
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Water pressure? What water pressure?


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We recently closed on an 1873 home. I'm pretty sure the water meter is from 1874. (Ok, not literally, but it's pretty old.) A lot of the pipes have been switched over to copper, but the main line into the house is galvenized, and it's galvenized out of the meter as well. there is one section in the basement that is copper, back to galvenized, then copper again.

There is some water pressure in the kitchen sink, but every other faucet in the house has almost no pressure... and forget the shower, it is barely a sprinkle. Funny enough, the pipes to the shower are all copper.

I know we should probably replace the meter, and the shut off valve for the house doesn't actually shut off, so that needs to be replaced as well. What are the options to actually get more pressure though?
Have the city come out and shut the (curb stop) the valve outside your house. Install a new main valve in the house(use a ball valve). Then have the water dept. run a test on your meter and clean it Galvenized
pipe have a bad habit of scaling and pluging water meters. Now that you have a new ball valve you can install new line in your spare time.

If you have a lead service line it might be a good idea to change it.
It's not a bad job, the city is responsible from the corp to the curb stop. You from the curb stop to the house. If you are able to dig a 48"trench you can do the job yourself. Don't use plastic service line, use copper. You can't thaw a plastic line. You can copper .
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Old 05-03-2007, 12:06 PM   #8
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Water pressure? What water pressure?


I already tried replacing the shower head, and it didn't do any good. The tub barely has any pressure either. The bathroom sink has old faucets, so there aren't any screens to check. There is zero pressure on the outside spigot either, so we can't even entertain the idea of using a hose for anything.

I'll call the town about a new meter, that's an excellent idea. I'm actually starting to wonder if the inside shut off is partially blocked, so I can't shut it off, but it also can't open.

As for the main supply line, it goes out the side of my house and under my paved driveway... I'm gonna go cry now...
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Old 05-03-2007, 12:28 PM   #9
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Water pressure? What water pressure?


Have the city check the curb stop it might not be open all the way. I've seen it happen.Have them close the curb stop and replace your main line valve. That needs to be done. Clean that meter I think that is your problem. Then replace all Galv. line in your house.
Check that meter before you break concrete.

Good Luck
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Old 05-03-2007, 02:32 PM   #10
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Water pressure? What water pressure?


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there is one section in the basement that is copper, back to galvenized, then copper again.
this would be a good place to start your repair. dis-similar metals cause electrolysis which can close the inside of the pipe, thus limiting your supply.

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