Sediment between faucet and showerhead?


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Old 03-17-06, 08:08 PM
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Sediment between faucet and showerhead?

I'm a plumbing tyro and am having a low-flow shower problem that I can't figure out. Hope you guys can help.

The shower pressure has always been low in my 2nd floor BR since I've moved into the house despite good water pressure at the tub and sink in the same bathroom. Recently, it's gotten worse so I've started to look into fixing it:

1) Took off the showerhead, and there's just a trickle of water coming out of the stem so it seems the problem is not at the showerhead.
2) Removed the faucet (Moen cartridge type). Turned on the water main and got lots of water gushing out of the wall so low water pressure from the feed pipes also isnt' a problem. Replaced with a new cartridge. Still low water pressure.

My guess is that there's sediment in the pipe that leads from the faucet up to the showerhead. Since it's a Moen cartridge faucet there's a small output area (not sure what it's called) that wraps around the bottom of the plumbing joint (again, not sure if this is the right term)before leading up to the wider vertical segment of pipe that goes to the showerhead. Could there be sediment stuck in this area? If so, any ideas for how to clean it out? Or do I have to tear open the shower wall and replace the whole plumbing joint.

One weird caveat: A couple of weeks ago I first checked on this problem by going down to the basement and turning off and on the main water feed that goes upstairs. When I then took off the showerhead, there was a regular, high pressure stream of water so I thought the problem was solved and was due to some sediment in the faucet that got flushed out after 3 years. For two days, we had the highest water pressure that we've ever experienced in the shower, but then mysteriously, it went away again and we're left with the same trickle of water from the showerhead.

Would greatly appreciate any help or insight.

Thanks in advance!

Frank
 
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Old 03-18-06, 09:17 AM
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I bet you have a big pea gravel sized chunk of rust or something rolling around in there. I would turn off the water and disassemble the moen cartridge and try to force air or water backwards through the system. I might try hooking an air compressor or garden hose to the showerhead and see if you can blow the chunk back out the way it came in.
 
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Old 03-18-06, 02:29 PM
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Thanks for the suggestion. I bought a garden hose to shower adaptor today, and I'll try backflushing with the garden hose tomorrow. Will let you know how it works.
 
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Old 03-19-06, 06:17 PM
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It worked! Nothing as dramatic as a big rust ball came flying out (just a few small pieces of sediment) but the pressure's a lot better. Thanks!
 
 

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