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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We purchased a 4k sq foot home a few years after it was built and have been living with very minor water pressure inconveniences for a while; as the shower is running, every other faucet dribbles. When I'm filling the pool, forget about using any other fixture.

Pressure is good - a little over 70psi as per gauge and bucket fill test.

The supply line is 3/4"; when we moved in we had 3 tiny daughters. Now I have a teen and two more rapidly approaching. I'm also considering putting in a sprinkler system.

A neighbor has a 1 1/4" supply and is very happy - am I crazy for considering an upgrade? Is there any other reasonable solutions? If I do upgrade, is 1 1/4" the largest advisable size?

Please, no editorials about water conservation, we are as green as can be, just looking to resolve some comfort issues.
 

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Naildriver
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I would only have a minimum 1" line from the street if possible. Make all your trunks throughout the house 3/4" and only go to 1/2" where the supply turns up to the appliance. With the 3/4" trunks you technically would only be cutting the volume in half since 1/2" final supply lines are only 3/8", keeping your volume up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Why 1" instead of 1.25"? Is there any downside to going bigger?

Is the only way to upgrade by trenching from house to shutoff? I'm in Buffalo NY - it's a big job. I'm considering it, though, since we'll be here for a long time.
 

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Naildriver
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I'm not sure if the meter connection will be any larger than 1", and necking it up won't give you more pressure, nor more volume once the pipe is filled.
 

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"Why 1" instead of 1.25"? Is there any downside to going bigger?"
- Because you don't need 1.25".
If you had 6,000 sf, maybe.

"If I do upgrade, is 1 1/4" the largest advisable size?"
No, I once built a 8,000 sf home and I ran 1.5 main line.

In piping, you only use what you need.
Are you using copper, PEX or other?
 

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Fire sprinklers or lawn sprinklers?
 

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Yeah, the problem isn't that it's a 3/4" line, it's that the rusting and flaking on the inside has made it about a 3/8" line.



As long as you're replacing it, though, the cost difference between 1" and 1-1/4", or even 1-1/2" is nothing in comparison to overall cost. When you're spending thousands to dig the trench, what's 20 or 50 bucks more to use the bigger pipe? That said, no one would likely ever notice the difference between a 1" supply and a 1-1/2" supply in how it functions. Heck, if your line was still actually 3/4", you'd likely not noticed, either. Really, it comes down to is it worth a few extra bucks to be able to say, "yep, it's got the recommended 1-1/4" supply"? I would guess if you ever want to sell the house, it's very likely worth it to bump it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yeah, the problem isn't that it's a 3/4" line, it's that the rusting and flaking on the inside has made it about a 3/8" line.



As long as you're replacing it, though, the cost difference between 1" and 1-1/4", or even 1-1/2" is nothing in comparison to overall cost. When you're spending thousands to dig the trench, what's 20 or 50 bucks more to use the bigger pipe? That said, no one would likely ever notice the difference between a 1" supply and a 1-1/2" supply in how it functions. Heck, if your line was still actually 3/4", you'd likely not noticed, either. Really, it comes down to is it worth a few extra bucks to be able to say, "yep, it's got the recommended 1-1/4" supply"? I would guess if you ever want to sell the house, it's very likely worth it to bump it up.
Agree completely - My concern is the amount of landscaping damage that would come along with digging up that trench.

I know some places have a way of getting a larger sewer line from the basement out to the connection point; has anyone ever heard of a way to run a new water supply, either replacing the old or in parallel to the old, to the main, requiring a dig only at the shutoff near the street? Makes sense in my head, not sure if it's a possibility.
 

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has anyone ever heard of a way to run a new water supply, either replacing the old or in parallel to the old, to the main, requiring a dig only at the shutoff near the street? Makes sense in my head, not sure if it's a possibility.
Horizontal (directional) drilling has become much more common, at least around here, for going under streets and such. Depending on how much stuff will be disturbed, it could be worth the extra cost to go that way. I suggest calling lots of companies, including some of the bigger ones that handle utility work, and see what they say.

A web search for "trenchless water line replacement" turned up some results that might be of interest.

I think it's also possible in some situations to pull directly on the old steel line and replace it directly with a new line by connecting the new pipe to the old steel line and pulling it through while pulling the old one out. I'm sure it would only work for short distances, if there are even any contractors in your area that would attempt it. Might be worth asking, though, as a solution to avoid some areas where trenching would make the worst mess.
 

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He said they bought it a few years after it was built. Unless he's lived there since the 50's I don't think he has a galvanized service. I've seen 3 bathroom houses with 3/4" services with no issues, unless you tried to run all 3 tubs at once.
From his symptoms, it sounds more like a partially closed valve or something.
When 1 shower is run, your faucets should'nt be down to a trickle. Possibly a clogged whole house filter, softener or a bad meter valve? Just a thought. I would hate to see him spend thousands on a new service and it was just a valve or something.
Yes there is a downside to a larger meter. In Michigan they have a surcharge for the meter size. 1" is adequate for most houses.
 

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I just reread the original post. Yes, a full port pool filler will knock down your volume of water, but he says running one shower and the rest of the faucets dribble. That shouldnt happen with a 3/4" service ( unless the shower has 2 heads and 3 body sprays ).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Gents,

We do have one of those crazy showers with body sprays, etc. Currently not a huge inconvenience but I'm thinking ahead when we have 3 teenage daughters, a few $k today may provide some much needed peace in the future.

The home is a 2007 build. We bought it in 2011.
 

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13 years is fairly short for galvanized pipe to become significantly restricted, but it's possible. I would look for restrictions in other places first, before replacing the main. Make sure all shutoffs are fully open, including the main at the meter pit.

If you run hot water in the shower, does the cold water in the other faucets slow way down, or just the hot? If hot water running in one place slows the cold water in another, you can narrow it down to a restriction somewhere before the line branches off to the water heater (unless you have a tankless water heater, then that test may not work). If running hot water in one place doesn't affect the cold water in another, it's not the main, and you need to look for restrictions in the lines within the house, along the lines common to the fixtures affected.
 
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