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Old 08-01-2017, 05:35 PM   #1
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Hey guys, Im trying to understand my plumbing in my new to me home, so I can make some informed desicions on if the condition we are facing are normal are not, as we seem to be loosing a ton of "flow" in our water lines, Ill explain how I noticed.

The home is over 100 years old, stone foundation, single level house with no basement, just an 8X8 crawlspace for utilities. Only one bathroom, kitchen, laundry, outdoor faucet being supplied water. Today I did some "test measuring" to see how much flow I was getting at each source, and there is a huge difference across the system. Heres a picture of the water utilities in the basement (jet pump just off to right)




Right at the bladder tank I have a 1/2" hose connected as you can see, when I open this valve the water comes out so fast its astonishing, you have to hold the hose like a fire hose, I measured about 14gpm at this spot (and only cold water coming out)

After this valve and only a few feet up the system you can see the hot water tank line enters the main line with a T fitting, and another foot up the line is a copper hardline T that turns right directly out that wall to an outdoor spigot. The white 1/2" pex line continuing up goes under the floor and feeds the laundry/bathroom/kitchen.

The problem we notice is a lack of flow at all the other faucets/shower head. Right outside at that garden spigot with no hose attached I read about 6gpm, the laundry room and kitchen seem to be limited to the 2.5gpm aerators installed, as thats what they measure. But I removed the shower head and held the bucket right under the open extention pipe, and still only get a max of 2-2.5gpm (the wife complains there isnt enough water to wash her hair quickly)

Water pressure cut on/off is set to 35/55, bladder was checked recently and is good aswell as the pressure is set to 32psi after the system was emptied.

Personally I just dont have an understanding of plumbing enough to know where the problem is, I assume some flow/ gpm / pressure losee is to be expected the further you get away from the pump/bladder, but I feel it is to rapid. I dont understand why the outdoor spigot also wouldnt have atleast 10gpm flow when it is only a few feet away from the hose Im getting 14gpm from

I have never seen the plumbing under the floor, I really have no way at all to access it, but there is PEX coming through the floor into the bathroom/kitchen/laundry. So I think its safe to assume pexlines were somehow added throughout, and from what I can tell the old copper lines deleted. (do floors have to be pulled or how did the pro run the lines??)

Also is there something maybe behind the shower built into the "mixer" (sorry dont know the terms) that would restrict flow to the upper shower head pipe?

Hope something stands out to someone, I am new to plumbing but like to know how the system functions just for the sake of understanding, and possibly improving. I'll answer any questions to the best of my ability.

Cheers and thank you
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*picture* Great loss of flow from A to B, Old home on well-20170801_174552_1501627116701.jpg  

Last edited by KevinEF7; 08-01-2017 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 08-01-2017, 06:20 PM   #2
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Re: *picture* Great loss of flow from A to B, Old home on well


Right off the bat, using 1/2" pipe directly from the tank reduces the volume as you go away from it. That may explain the reduced pressure/volume at the kitchen, bath, etc.

Usually you will exit the tank with 3/4" pipe which will supply the water heater and go on to supply as a "trunk" line the remainder of the house. You will only turn up with 1/2" directly under the appliance being piped. 3/4" hot water from the water heater in the same fashion as a trunk. This keeps your volume up right up until is needed at the appliance.

On a lighter note, it looks as if whoever plumbed it with pex, also is a majority stockholder, now, in Sharkbite
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Old 08-01-2017, 06:59 PM   #3
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Re: *picture* Great loss of flow from A to B, Old home on well


There is about 5 feet of 3/4 pex right after the bladder tank. It necks down to 1/2" right at the water heater connection if you can see the picture.

Also I suppose I should note, when we moved one of the conditions was that the hot water heater be replaced, it is a rental so the rental company came and installed that new one, he wrote on an invoice that he "simplified" plumbing. But I only had a quick look down there during the inspection and dont recall if anything major was changed. And yep, he charged em for alot of sharkbite fittings/valves.
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Old 08-01-2017, 07:47 PM   #4
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Re: *picture* Great loss of flow from A to B, Old home on well


Showers have a flow restriction of 2.5 GPM. That restriction can be in the valve itself and is not removable. You should also have 3/4 to the hot water tank cold inlet and 3/4 out to the fixtures. Down size to 1/2 only when your at the last two fixtures on both hot and cold. !/2 inch pex that crimps with metal rings lose the 1/2 inch size at each fitting.

Also secure your pex with plastic tube straps at 32" or less intervals. Having that stuff flop about is a bad idea.
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Old 08-01-2017, 07:53 PM   #5
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Good point about the metal ring connections. I just looked at one of those fittings inner diameter I had on the bench and its definetely necking down.

How do you suppose they did the re plumbing of the pex? There is no way to get under the house, its a straight run to the kitchen only 20ft away, but the laundry and bathroom are off to the left, dont quite understand how plumbing could be done
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