advertisement
Forums

The Forum is sponsored by 
 

AAPL stock: Click Here

You are currently viewing the Tips and Deals forum
Home Improvement Inquiry: Water Pressure
Posted by: kap
Date: February 10, 2006 08:55AM
The water pressure throughout the house is fine except the in the master bathroom's shower and the bathtub upstairs. The 83 gallon water heater is downstairs. What should I look for? TiA

Kap



SoCal for now.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Home Improvement Inquiry: Water Pressure
Posted by: Plumbking
Date: February 10, 2006 09:48AM
Water pressure throughout your whole house should be the same. Ideally 65 - 80psi. Do you think you have a pressure problem or a volume problem? Does the master bath shower valve have a flow restrictor installed (factory) impeading the volume? Are you remodeling the master bath? Do you wait awhile for hot water? Are your water pipes copper or galvanized?

PlumbKing
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Home Improvement Inquiry: Water Pressure
Posted by: kap
Date: February 10, 2006 09:58AM
How do I measure the water pressure? I think it's the pressure problem but doesn't that affect the volume as well? I don't think so because I installed shower head myself less it has a built-in restrictor that is unbesknown to me. We have been thinking of remodeling but financially not capable yet. Yes, we have to wait for quite awhile to get the hot water. I thought it was due to the distance the water had to travel from the water heater downstairs to the upstairs shower. All of our house's plumbing pipes are galvanized.

Kap

Plumbking Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Water pressure throughout your whole house should
> be the same. Ideally 65 - 80psi. Do you think
> you have a pressure problem or a volume problem?
> Does the master bath shower valve have a flow
> restrictor installed (factory) impeading the
> volume? Are you remodeling the master bath? Do
> you wait awhile for hot water? Are your water
> pipes copper or galvanized?
>
> PlumbKing






SoCal for now.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Home Improvement Inquiry: Water Pressure
Posted by: davester
Date: February 10, 2006 10:01AM
I'd rather not argue with an apparent expert with a name like "plumbking", but I beg to differ slightly. The upstairs faucets/showerhead will be about 10 feet higher than the faucets downstairs, so there will a 4.3 psi pressure loss due to elevation. However, this may not be a problem unless your water pressure is already very low. More likely you have a volume problem due to flow restrictors or "arteriosclerosis" of galvanized plumbing as noted by plumbking. Also, I was under the impression that pressures above 50 psi result in premature failure of system components (dishwasher valves, washing machine valves, circulation pumps, etc) and risky to washing machine hoses etc. Our house has a pressure regulator set to keep the pressure to 50 psi or less that was installed by the radiant heating contractors for this reason.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Home Improvement Inquiry: Water Pressure
Posted by: Plumbking
Date: February 10, 2006 10:10AM
A pressure guage will meause the psi in your house. It is available at most hardware stores. It screws on to any hose bibb. Please keep in mind the difference between pressure and volume. You have a volume problem. For example; a garden hose and fire hose can have the same pressure but the volume of water being moved is quite different.

I hate to break the bad new to you but the galvanized pipes in your house (especially the hot side) are restricting your volume to the upstairs. To be done right you should consider repiping your house with copper. Unfortunately this requires opening of walls. Not cheap. On the flip side while the walls are open you can have a hot water circulating system installed. This moves hot water in a loop from your MB to the WH. Very nice. Instant hot water. Good luck.

PlumbKing
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Home Improvement Inquiry: Water Pressure
Posted by: davester
Date: February 10, 2006 10:19AM
kap Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> How do I measure the water pressure?

Cheap water pressure gauge from the hardware store

>I think it's
> the pressure problem but doesn't that affect the
> volume as well?

Yes and no. The static house pressure being low (what you measure with the gauge) could cause the problem, but there is also a dynamic pressure drop that occurs due to friction of water against the pipe walls (related to length and diameter), combined with the volume flow restriction . related to the diameter and length of the pipes. The length/original diameter installed when the house was built were no doubt OK, but if the pipes are constricted in diameter by corrosion, then the dynamic pressure drop can be very high.

> Yes, we have to wait for quite
> awhile to get the hot water. I thought it was due
> to the distance the water had to travel from the
> water heater downstairs to the upstairs shower.
> All of our house's plumbing pipes are galvanized.

Uhoh! Galvanized pipes are highly susceptible to constriction due to corrosion. This is probably your problem. One further thing to check though is whether someone has connected the galvanized to a fitting of a different metal type (e.g. copper) without using a dielectric union or brass fitting in between. This will grossly accelerate corrosion at the union and is a common mistake that amateur plumbers make (especially at the water heater). If this is the case, simply replacing the join and adjacent piping could help significantly.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/10/2006 10:22AM by davester.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Home Improvement Inquiry: Water Pressure
Posted by: Plumbking
Date: February 10, 2006 10:32AM
I'd rather not argue with an apparent expert with a name like "plumbking

Yes I am a plumber.

so there will a 4.3 psi pressure loss

Technically you're right. A 5psi drop is insignificant.

I was under the impression that pressures above 50 psi result in premature failure of system components

Common plumbing practice is to regulate pressure higher than 85psi. Higher pressure will wear out your seats and washers faster. All appliances and valves can handle much, much higher pressures.

Our house has a pressure regulator set to keep the pressure to 50 psi or less that was installed by the radiant heating contractors for this reason.

You sound like you know what you are talking about. Did your contractor install a pressure regulator on your potable water system or on your hydronic system? If on your potable water system feel free in turn it up to 85 psi if you wish. Hydronic heating systems operate at much lower prerssures.

Kap you problem is the gal pipe in your house.

Davester need a job?

PlumbKing
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Home Improvement Inquiry: Water Pressure
Posted by: Buckeye_Sean
Date: February 10, 2006 10:36AM
FWIW kap, just had all the plumbing replaced in an old 2-story farmhouse we purchased. It was galvanized pipe that we replaced with PVC. The difference in overall flow was dramatic as the old galvanized pipes were about 50% blocked due to corrosion - we're on a well here with fairly high iron content.




––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
MacBook Pro 2.0GHz quad-core Intel i7
IMac 27" 3.4GHz quad-core Intel i7
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Home Improvement Inquiry: Water Pressure
Posted by: davester
Date: February 10, 2006 10:53AM
Plumbking Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Davester need a job?

Sorry, I've already got one (self-employed). I work as a hydrogeologist. Something like a plumber, but my field deals with the flow of water through the ground and through the pumps, pipes and filters of groundwater cleanup systems rather than through the house. Same basic principles though.





"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Home Improvement Inquiry: Water Pressure
Posted by: Plumbking
Date: February 10, 2006 10:59AM
Buckeye please tell me you had PEX installed in your house and not PVC. PVC is for water mains (meter to house) and irrigation. PEX a form of plastic pipe handles hot water. PVC cannot.

Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Home Improvement Inquiry: Water Pressure
Posted by: Buckeye_Sean
Date: February 10, 2006 11:09AM
Yeah that is probably it (my bad) - had a buddy who is a Union plumber do the job.




––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
MacBook Pro 2.0GHz quad-core Intel i7
IMac 27" 3.4GHz quad-core Intel i7
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Home Improvement Inquiry: Water Pressure
Posted by: billb
Date: February 10, 2006 11:55AM
If you have old galvanized pipe, they're probably clogged. Think: clogged arteries.

I had to replace my 75 year old well pipe to my house two years ago because I was down to a dribble. I ran 1" plastic pipe through a new 3" PVC tube.

Now my neighbor (who I provide water to) needs a new pipe. I'm gonna have to dig atwo hundred foot trench.

The power to my well pump came from next door (sweet deal ) until two months ago when the wire failed. (corroded galvanized pipe). For now, power is coming from my house.

Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Home Improvement Inquiry: Water Pressure
Posted by: Michael
Date: February 10, 2006 01:23PM
As a long time This Old House watcher...

Can he use some of that new flexible piping that clamps rather than solders/glues to go from floor to floor? If so, it might not be a complete tear-out, but small holes or no wall holes by fishing it from one floor to another.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Home Improvement Inquiry: Water Pressure
Posted by: kap
Date: February 10, 2006 04:28PM

Thanks PlumbKing. I'll save the info. Hopefully, we can do all all this within two years.

Kap

Plumbking Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> A pressure guage will meause the psi in your
> house. It is available at most hardware stores.
> It screws on to any hose bibb. Please keep in
> mind the difference between pressure and volume.
> You have a volume problem. For example; a garden
> hose and fire hose can have the same pressure but
> the volume of water being moved is quite
> different.
>
> I hate to break the bad new to you but the
> galvanized pipes in your house (especially the hot
> side) are restricting your volume to the upstairs.
> To be done right you should consider repiping
> your house with copper. Unfortunately this
> requires opening of walls. Not cheap. On the
> flip side while the walls are open you can have a
> hot water circulating system installed. This
> moves hot water in a loop from your MB to the WH.
> Very nice. Instant hot water. Good luck.
>
> PlumbKing






SoCal for now.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Home Improvement Inquiry: Water Pressure
Posted by: kap
Date: February 10, 2006 09:01PM
My bad ... I have left out one factor: the cold water pressure in the bathtub strong; not the hot water, which is similar to both the hot and cold water pressure from the shower. This is a separate shower. It's located on the opposite wall from the tub.

Kap



SoCal for now.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Home Improvement Inquiry: Water Pressure
Posted by: Plumbking
Date: February 11, 2006 09:58AM
Kap open the valve and take the stems out. Clean off the debris. As the galvanized pipe rots from the inside out rust flows downstream until it gets stuck at the smallest point, your stems. Reassemble than flush. This will help with your volue problem.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Home Improvement Inquiry: Water Pressure
Posted by: kap
Date: February 11, 2006 10:41AM
Will follow your advice. Thanks!

Kap



SoCal for now.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login

Online Users

Guests: 171
Record Number of Users: 186 on February 20, 2020
Record Number of Guests: 5122 on October 03, 2020