dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
2285
share rss forum feed


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

[Plumbing] Correcting low city water pressure

When we move to my grandma's house, what are some ways to correct low water pressure coming in from the street. The water pressure in that house has always been low as long as I've been visiting. I think it's been low to the point some of the appliances don't function properly.

I could throw in a Jet Pump at a cost of 209.99 (I'm looking at them right now at Sears) or is there a special pump/setup required. I'm just planning ahead and I'd like to do more research but that is something I'd definitely like to correct. Taking showers with weak water pressure is NOT fun.
--
Stop the Comcast-Time Warner merger, I'd rather Time Warner buy out Comcast.


Camelot One
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-21
Greenwood, IN
kudos:2
You would first need to measure the pressure. Home Depot / Lowes sell the cheap ones that just screw onto a hose bib. They aren't perfect, but they get a pretty close reading. Then take that reading to the city to see if it is below their minimum allowed. If so, the city will address things from their end.

You might also check that the internal piping is the correct size, and isn't plugged up somewhere.


davidg
Good Bye My Friend
Premium,MVM
join:2002-06-15
none
reply to IowaCowboy
is it low pressure or low flow, there IS a difference.


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
reply to Camelot One
It's a private utility (Biddeford & Saco Water Company) they are probably required to supply minimum pressure per tariff on file with Maine DPU.
--
Stop the Comcast-Time Warner merger, I'd rather Time Warner buy out Comcast.


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast
reply to davidg
Weak showers that take twice as long as at my house in Springfield is a clue.

The house has PEX piping. If it were me I'd use all copper.

I don't know if pipe material can affect pressure/flow rate.
--
Stop the Comcast-Time Warner merger, I'd rather Time Warner buy out Comcast.


Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY
said by IowaCowboy:

I don't know if pipe material can affect pressure/flow rate.

Pipe Material can certainly affect the flow rate significantly and low flow deftly translates into lower effective pressure at the users end. PEX and copper pipe are probably the best assuming they are sized correctly. Steel and the galvanized pipe is certainly the worst because the inside closes down over time because of corrosion.
--
Written using Dragon NaturallySpeaking


SparkChaser
Premium
join:2000-06-06
Downingtown, PA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to IowaCowboy
This is a related question. I've never attempted to increase city WP. Here's a video of doing it »www.ronhazelton.com/projects/how···our_home

What I don't get is that if the flow ( ability to deliver water) is low how is a pump going to increase the amount of water at a faucet?



--
"There are in fact two things, science and opinion; the former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance." - Hippocrates

"The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it." - Neil deGrasse Tyson

kherr
Premium
join:2000-09-04
Collinsville, IL
Reviews:
·Charter
reply to IowaCowboy
I replaced my ancient galvanized (clogged) main that had crappy pressure with copper (replaced all the galv. in the house too) and now get 77 PSI. The galv. was reduced to a pinhole. The old piping was 60 some years old. All of my piping is accessible from the basement and I was doing a whole house tear out anyway. Now if it were affordable to get a 3/4" meter ....

A pump can only get as much water as the main can supply. And if you already have pex in the house, the weak link is the main coming into the house and the meter.


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast
Could increasing the meter size from 5/8 to 3/4 increase flow. I'm not sure of the incoming supply size (if I'm guessing correctly it's a 1") but could the meter be creating a bottleneck.
--
Stop the Comcast-Time Warner merger, I'd rather Time Warner buy out Comcast.

kherr
Premium
join:2000-09-04
Collinsville, IL
How old is the house ??? You may just have low pressure at the road. If you have pex and a 1" main (I'm guessing PVC if the house isn't ancient) it sounds like bad pressure at the road.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
reply to IowaCowboy
said by IowaCowboy:

Weak showers that take twice as long as at my house in Springfield is a clue.

The house has PEX piping. If it were me I'd use all copper.

I don't know if pipe material can affect pressure/flow rate.

Pipe "Size" can effect flow capability. Has nothing to do with pressure. You can have 1000 psi and no flow or flow with little pressure depending on pipe size and supply.

If the house is piped with 1/2" then you are about up the creek.

What appliances don't function correctly? Washing machines and dishwashers will work just fine.

You would need a booster pump not a jet pump


Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY
reply to SparkChaser
said by SparkChaser:

This is a related question. I've never attempted to increase city WP. Here's a video of doing it »www.ronhazelton.com/projects/how···our_home

What I don't get is that if the flow ( ability to deliver water) is low how is a pump going to increase the amount of water at a faucet?



A booster pump like this only helps if your problem is actually low static pressure not dynamic pressure which is flow related. If you check the water pressure in your home without anything flowing and its low like it was in the case of the video a booster pump is probably going to help your situation. However if your static water pressure is normal (60 – 80 psi) but it gets lower when flowing you have a supply problem or possibly restrictions in your piping system, neither which can be corrected by a booster pump.

I've actually seen of compression fittings he used in the video. They are very neat but not only is it expensive to buy the tool but the fittings themselves are much more expensive than normal fittings for copper pipe. For home use you are much better off using sharkbite fittings if you don't know how to solder!
--
Written using Dragon NaturallySpeaking


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
Incorrect! Booster pumps are used all the time to raise pressure above the supply pressure. Booster pumps will raise the pressure all the way from the pump to the outlet. What does a firetruck pump do? Raises pressure and flow through the hose and nozzle.

If you have 60 psi supply to your home and want 100 psi at your faucets a booster pump will do just that.

ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·Northland Cable ..
·Time Warner Cable
·ooma
·VOIPO
·Verizon Broadban..
reply to IowaCowboy
Why don't you start out with free option number 1? Call the water utility and have them come check the pressure at the meter?

Here, the street pressure is something like 120psi. And everyone has a regulator on their property dropping it to whatever. I had mine at 80psi for awhile. But man, did I go through the water. Backed it down to 60psi and the bill dropped.

I have a straight pipe for my showerhead. So no low flow option there for me. I like the exfoliation blaster 4000.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
We ran our potable water at the plant at 80 psi and the process water at 120 psi. Both supplied by booster pumps.

I'm on a well so mine is now 50 and 35 psi


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to IowaCowboy
Get one of those water pressure readers before trying anything.

I have 1/2" pipe as my main.
Pressure isn't an issue. The flow is an issue.
That means that I will lose pressure quickly if I open too many faucets at the same time.

So a pump would not help you if flow is the issue.

As for whether pipe material can affect the pressure issue.... well, think about it, PEX is a flexible material, meaning that it can be bent in long smooth curves instead of doing sharp 90 degree turns like with copper. Long curves = better flow.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
reply to IowaCowboy
said by IowaCowboy:

When we move to my grandma's house, what are some ways to correct low water pressure coming in from the street. The water pressure in that house has always been low as long as I've been visiting. I think it's been low to the point some of the appliances don't function properly.

Testing Water Pressure

While these can be hard to find, Pex Supply does sell hose bib water pressure gages:

These are simple to use. Make sure no water is running elsewhere in the home. Thread the pressure gage onto any hose bib, and turn on the bib. Write down the resulting pressure reading. It is your "static water pressure".

Municipalities may supply water pressure from 20 to 100 PSI, but typical readings are 50 to 75 PSI. If your water pressure is above 40 PSI, your "low water pressure" problem is not a water pressure problem, but a problem with the flow of water through your plumbing system. If the pressure is below 20 PSI, contact your local water supplier. If you have a pressure reducing valve, or PRV, you can adjust the PRV by turning the hex head nut at the top of the bell counter-clockwise, and observing if the pressure is increased.

LittleBill

join:2013-05-24
kudos:1
reply to IowaCowboy
home depot sells the gauge right next to the sump pumps,

buy the gauge and stop guessing, this whole post is now a waste of time till we see what the water pressure is

a 3/4 inch line will flow more then enough water for anything normal at 70 psi, i know i seen them explode

people don't realize most fixtures have flow reducers in them, has nothing to do with the supply lines,

turn on the shower, then turn on the sink, if the pressure in the shower doesn't drop, or the flow doesn't reduce, then the fixture is causing the slow pressure, not anything in the lines,

99% of houses here are on wells, which are roughly 50 psi, and the entire run done in 1/2 in series going across the house, you get 1 to 2 fixtures max, which is usually enough for anyone i know


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
+1 That's the way 99 percent of houses are here. On wells 50 psi and 1/2" pipe in series. In fact a lot are still galvanized. Thank goodness mine is copper although the original toilet was galvanized.


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast
reply to IowaCowboy
If it helps the pressure drops dramatically when you turn on another fixture (such as taking a shower and someone turns on the kitchen sink).

If it's a flow issue, what can be done to correct it.
--
Stop the Comcast-Time Warner merger, I'd rather Time Warner buy out Comcast.


GadgetsRme
RIP lilhurricane
Premium
join:2002-01-30
Canon City, CO
reply to Jack_in_VA
said by Jack_in_VA:

If you have a pressure reducing valve, or PRV, you can adjust the PRV by turning the hex head nut at the top of the bell counter-clockwise, and observing if the pressure is increased.

This is the very first thing to check. When I had Pex put in our house the plumbing company didn't turn up the PRV so we were getting only about 30psi. 5-10 minutes of adjusting with the use of a pressure gauge pressure is 60psi and all is good.
--
Gadgets


bewhole
I Am Here
Premium
join:2000-08-08
East Waterboro, ME
kudos:1
reply to IowaCowboy
Have you called the city on it to see if it is on there end?? Depending on what side of the island you are on (Biddeford or saco) if you will get any response from them.
--
I dream of a better world, where chickens can cross roads without having their motives questioned...

LittleBill

join:2013-05-24
kudos:1
reply to GadgetsRme
the first thing to check is the water pressure,

for 10 bucks we can get a real answer instead of all the guessing

LittleBill

join:2013-05-24
kudos:1
reply to GadgetsRme
said by GadgetsRme:

said by Jack_in_VA:

If you have a pressure reducing valve, or PRV, you can adjust the PRV by turning the hex head nut at the top of the bell counter-clockwise, and observing if the pressure is increased.

This is the very first thing to check. When I had Pex put in our house the plumbing company didn't turn up the PRV so we were getting only about 30psi. 5-10 minutes of adjusting with the use of a pressure gauge pressure is 60psi and all is good.

this comment makes no sense to me, the pressure did not change simply because you converted to pex, it was 30 before and after it was installed.

that said i do alot of pex and have seen a reduction in flow due to the construction of some of the valving.

scooper

join:2000-07-11
Youngsville, NC
kudos:2
reply to IowaCowboy
Ideally , with PEX - you use 3/4 inch for your main runs, and 1/2 inch to the fixtures. My house is done this way and I have ZERO flow problems on my well.

nyrrule27

join:2007-12-06
Howell, NJ
reply to IowaCowboy
When I moved from NYC to nj I thought the pressure was low so I called the water company. They came out and took the meter out and tested the pressure right as it came in the house. Was 41lbs. If it were 39 they would have done something. When I had my sprinklers out in I had a booster pump put in. Now I can take a shower and do laundry and wash dishes at the same time.


GadgetsRme
RIP lilhurricane
Premium
join:2002-01-30
Canon City, CO
reply to LittleBill
Actually my psi was in the high 70's before I got rid of the galvanized, the flow rate sucked. After the install, which included a PRV because high 70's is too much pressure for long life on appliances, they forgot to turn it up to 60psi which is about right for most home applications. If you really understood water, pressure, and flow you would understand the relationship, which you obviously don't.
--
Gadgets

LittleBill

join:2013-05-24
kudos:1
i completely understand flow and pressure, you never indicated you replaced the PRV, your posted indicated to me work was done AFTER the PRV and that pex was the reason it was lowered, not because the plumber didn't turn the new one up

LittleBill

join:2013-05-24
kudos:1
reply to scooper
I have never seen this done, although thats a pretty good idea, most new home builds in this area are done with home run manifolds, feed with 1 inch main tie's to the manifold


GadgetsRme
RIP lilhurricane
Premium
join:2002-01-30
Canon City, CO
reply to LittleBill
No, you start where the problem shows and work back to the source. Here most Pex installations include a PRV. Thus you check to see if one is installed. If it is installed you check to see if it is properly adjusted. If there is a PRV properly adjusted or no PRV then you go talk to your water source.

My knowledge of this is because of the job I have.
Certified Water Professional
Operator in Charge
Town of ______________
Water Enterprise
--
Gadgets