sudden low water pressure

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  #1  
Old 04-25-04, 09:33 AM
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sudden low water pressure

The toilet, sink, and tub all suddenly lost most water pressure yesterday in the cold water line only. It trickles out of all three. The rest of the house is fine. I know I have galvanized pipe in just the bathroom line. I am assuming something flaked off inside the galvanized cold water line to the bathroom and is causing the problem. What are my options besides replacing the lines, as I have no desire to redo the bathroom right now.
 
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Old 04-25-04, 10:09 AM
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Sounds like time to redo those lines, you may have no options.
 
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Old 04-25-04, 10:37 AM
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Lightbulb Additional Thoughts & Suggestions

Hello: apiersma

Chances are that line does need replacing. But you may want to try flushing the lines first. To do so, remove the faucet screens and turn on the water.

May force some of whatever is in the lines to flush out. Do the same to each facility. Note what comes out. May indicate the existing pipe is badly corroded and or rusted. In which case the new line will or may need to be installed sooner than desired.

Another thought, there may be a restriction at each of the cold water shut off valves to each. Tub and or showers excluded but not the sinks and toilets. The faucets tot he shower/tub may also need cleaning out.
 
  #4  
Old 04-25-04, 07:33 PM
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Thanks for the thoughts.

In my best efforts to avoid replacing the line just yet, what do you think about black flushing the lines. The theory is that I might be able to push back what ever is clogging the lines and won't come forward. To pull it off , I need to add a valve to isolate the line and run a hose with adapter the toilet inlet. Worth the effort?
 
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Old 04-25-04, 08:29 PM
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Anything is worth the effort, but in my years as a plumber, I haven't seen too many galvanized pipes that were horizontal and 1/2" were clogged so bad that you could not see from one end to the other.


Piping such as this clogs the most in the last few fittings, you might want to consider removing the first few turns, and see if this helps?
 
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Old 04-26-04, 06:59 AM
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I am ready to give in. Three plumbers telling you otherwise should be a clue (even to me). In an effort to avoid sweating pipes that are going to be really hard to reach in walls and to avoid some wall repair, could I run new 3/4 inch flexible copper pipe. I suppose it would be about 30ft total for both hot and cold. Then I'd have to sweat only 4 connections that are easy to reach and would only need 3 holes in the wall and ceiling.
 
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Old 04-26-04, 07:17 AM
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You might want to look into PEX flex plastic line.
Mike
 
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Old 04-26-04, 08:31 AM
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I don't think PEX is allowed in Wash DC.

I assume sweating soft copper tubing is the same as sweating hard copper pipe. Do you need to flare it? And to push it throught a top plate, how do you prevent it from kinking? I assume I won't get one of those bender tubes up in the ceiling cavity. Anything else different about soft copper?
 
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Old 04-26-04, 11:52 AM
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Copper is copper. You can use soft copper, but it is not good when you cannot properly support the pipe.


But it sounds like your situation, this is the best bet, and keeps the tear out minimal.


Did you try to remove the first 3 fittings in the galvanized to see if this was the culprit?


You might want to do this first.
 
  #10  
Old 04-26-04, 12:09 PM
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Since the galvanized pipe is 80 years old in my house, everytime I've tried to unscrew a fitting, I'd either rip it off or break the joints further down the line. My strategy has been to cut it out and replace it with copper. The concern is that there is a bit I can't get to until I redo the whole bathroom and that's not happening this year.

I know that the water pressure drop does not begin (for now) in any of the lines to each fixture because they all have low pressure. Therefore I am going to go through the downstairs ceiling to cut out the galv pipe just before it branches off to the various fixtures. I'll attach a compresison fitting there, then a dialectric fitting, then to the soft copper tubing. That will have to be bent through the top plate, down the wall and into the basement. I think the only challenge is bending the soft copper tubing throught the top plate. Suggestions?
 
  #11  
Old 04-26-04, 12:33 PM
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Drill a extremely large hole in the top plate, and view with a flashlight how many fire-stop blocking has to be knocked out in the wall.


It could go easy, or extremely difficult.
 
  #12  
Old 04-26-04, 04:08 PM
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Well, the fight is over.

The galvanized pipe runs past the joist area and straight up into the cement/grout underneath the tile in the bathroom. There is no access to any of the horizontal galvanized pipe without ripping out the tile, cement/grout and pipe. Thus, To remedy this, I need to redo the entire bathroom.

I'll try to backflush, but it looks like I will build the 2nd bath for the house this year instead of next. And the deck will have to wait.

Thanks for all your help.

apiersma
 
  #13  
Old 04-27-04, 06:56 AM
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better yet, a friend of mine juat suggested a decent temporary solution. I am going to run a garden hose from the outside to the toilet inlet, hopefully bypassign the plugged galv pipe. All I need to do is find a way to split the hose to feed both the inlet valve (to feed water to the shower and sink) and the toilet itself. The wife is not crazy about the idea, but I'd like a decent shower.
 
  #14  
Old 04-28-04, 07:08 AM
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Seems that back flushing the pipes worked quite well. Its temporary, but I can take a shower.
 
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