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Old 03-14-2011, 08:33 PM   #1
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Water psi dropping...


I know that there are a million other threads that are titled just like this one but rather than ask my question at the end of some of those I figured I'd start a new thread to ask about what I feel may be a somewhat unique problem.

6 months ago I bought a house, raised foundation, built in 1953 , 2BR 1BA on a well and septic tank setup. The house is plumbed in galvanized steel. When I moved into the house the water psi was fantastic in all rooms. In the past 2 months the water pressure in the kitchen faucet has dropped by about half. The thing that strikes me as strange is that the pressure has decreased twice in large increments, there's nothing gradual at all about it. I've completely disassembled the faucet and there was no visible blockage or crud built up anywhere. I soaked the aerator in vinegar and reassembled the faucet and there was no improvement. The faucet is a Delta where the head can be switched from regular flow to high pressure spray, looks identical to this:


Meanwhile between the two large drops in pressure in the kitchen I've now had a similar drop in the shower pressure. I've checked the well itself, pump is kicking in at about 42ish psi and out at 59ish psi so I am confident that it isn't a pump problem.


What I have noticed, though, is that the water inlet going into the house is at most a 1/2" steel line that comes up, takes a 90* turn with a T (faucet located on other side of T for outside water) and then goes into the house. The outside faucet still has great pressure, just on the other side of it though is where the kitchen sink is located in the house. I have a feeling that A) this is too small a line for the house and B) assuming that it's the original pipe for the house that the steel may be rusting closed? I do not have extensive rust in the water coming into the house at all but I know that the zinc coating wears off eventually.

Question is, should I rebuild the faucet with new parts even though there were no visible problems? Is there a chance the clog could be at the water valves just below the sink? Are there any other items that I may be overlooking? I just want to avoid calling a plumber out wherever possible but the low pressure in the sink is killing me and seeing the same sort of problem starting to happen in the shower is getting frustrating. Do I have a repipe coming in the near future?

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Old 03-14-2011, 08:42 PM   #2
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Water psi dropping...


Just to add a little more information here....


I think the kitchen sink is the first thing the water goes to inside the house, then the laundry room (washer, sink, hot water heater) and then finally the bathroom.

All outdoor plumbing still has great psi. Laundry room sink and washer both seem to be doing great on pressure as well. Toilet refills quickly. Bathroom sink has a crappy faucet so it's hard to gauge if there's been any change there. Shower psi dropped maybe 10-15% in a day or two it seemed like and has held steady ever since.

So it's almost got to be either the sink water supply valves or the faucet itself, correct?

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Old 03-14-2011, 10:16 PM   #3
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Water psi dropping...


I would remove the supplies/cutoffs to the affected faucets. Sometimes debris gets as far as the cut-offs and lodges. Remove the cutoffs from the supply lines, flush having someone turn on the water to the house while you hold a pan/bucket and see if anything comes out. Afterward, you can also reverse with air pressure. I would open up that hose bib near to the kitch faucet and blow air in reverse of the water flow. Repeat.

Sometimes the wtr htr sends a deteriorating dip tube pieces into the aerators, but you said you cleaned the faucets. Did you really remove the hoses, get all the screens and restrictors out to check? Even though some guys replace the dip tubes, there are still pieces in the bottom of the tank.
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:41 PM   #4
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Water psi dropping...


I broke everything down as far as it could go and cleaned screens out even though there was no evidence of filth. I'll get the lines off and try the air trick tomorrow.
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Old 03-15-2011, 07:31 PM   #5
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Water psi dropping...


Just as a follow up for anyone who happens to be having a similar problem and stumbles upon this thread:

I pulled the water lines and had great pressure at them still before the faucet, disassembled the faucet completely again and tried blowing compressed air through individual parts. Air passed through smoothly until I got to a small 1/4" x 4" long white plastic piece just inside the sprayer head that air would hardly pass through at all. Attempted to find a replacement part for it at the local hardware store to no avail. Ended up replacing the faucet with a new one and the problem is solved! Crisis averted!
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