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Old 02-06-2015, 09:36 AM   #1
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Plumbing remodel, currently have a 1/2" main supply, HELP!


First time poster, go easy :-)

Recently purchased my first home (vintage 1949), and it has a 1/2" copper main water supply coming into the house. It passes through the meter where it then switches to 3/4" for about 16 feet, then branches off into two 1/2" lines, one acts as the cold water trunk, one to the hot water tank. I suspect this to meet local code, in Ontario it seems you have to run 3/4" pipe until the hot water tank, then you are allowed to reduce it. I suspect the previous home owner upgrade his plumbing at one time and this is what they did to pass inspection????

Current Setup
1/2" > water meter > 3/4" > 1/2" "Y" branch (one acts as the trunk for the whole house, one goes to hot water tank

I am looking to remodel the basement and was wondering how I should change this. Currently, if I use more than one fixture in the house the pressure will significantly drop on whichever line I am using.

I would like to avoid having to replace the main supply coming into the house, and I have looked into switching over to a manifold system. Although I have found very little evidence that this will in fact solve my problem.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 02-06-2015, 09:50 AM   #2
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Half inch main? That's the problem. You will need to fix that first. I suspect your inside plumbing is fine once you fix the supply.
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Old 02-06-2015, 10:08 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimn01 View Post
Half inch main? That's the problem. You will need to fix that first. I suspect your inside plumbing is fine once you fix the supply.
I was hoping you would not say that... So in essence it's useless to even think about 3/4" trunk or manifold until I fix that.
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Old 02-06-2015, 12:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swhip View Post
I was hoping you would not say that... So in essence it's useless to even think about 3/4" trunk or manifold until I fix that.
1/2" supply?!?
Going to a larger diameter pipe, is not going to do much good!
(1/2" supply???!!?!)

Don't know where you're at - new supply, around here -
$3000 to $5000.

Are you on a well?

Last edited by rossfingal; 02-06-2015 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 02-06-2015, 01:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rossfingal View Post
1/2" supply?!?
Going to a larger diameter pipe, is not going to do much good!
(1/2" supply???!!?!)

Don't know where you're at - new supply, around here -
$3000 to $5000.

Are you on a well?
No I am not on a well.


Still wondering if a manafold (e.g. Viega Manabloc) will help minimize the the temperature fluctuations I am currently seeing. Has anyone had any experience with them, good or bad?
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Old 02-06-2015, 02:20 PM   #6
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To properly size water service and the inside piping you need to know the water fixture unit demand and your water pressure.
Each plumbing fixture has a WFU value assigned to it- available online.
Once you know these you can also use online charts to arrive at the proper pipe sizes.
Not knowing these will only lead to guessing and hoping the pipe is large enough..

Generally speaking, 1/2" service is no longer allowed. 3/4 or 1" is more standard
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Old 02-06-2015, 03:37 PM   #7
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One thought (that may be wrong)--You might also be able to do something with a water pressure booster and/or pressure tank, if you wanted to avoid digging up the main line at the moment.
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Old 02-07-2015, 10:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swhip View Post

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Common problem in older houses. My house is 100 years old and the supply is 1/2 inch as well.

Using pressure balanced shower valves helps to avoid people getting burnt while showering at the same time some one flushes a toilet. Other than that you pretty much have to live with it unless you feel like digging up the line.

Your house although not up to present code with a 1/2 inch main, is grandfathered in so there is no legal need to replace the line. Though if you do remodel, all new installs must be code worthy after the 1/2 inch main

Last edited by Bob Sanders; 02-07-2015 at 10:37 PM.
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Old 02-07-2015, 10:42 PM   #9
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I also have a 1/2" supply. My house was built in 1914 and the copper isn't the original, but for some reason (probably in the 70's) they ran 1/2" copper when they replaced the old.

We live with it...not all that bad. Takes forever to fill a kiddie pool in the summer, though.
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