Low pressure from hot water only

Old 05-03-16, 04:49 AM
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Low pressure from hot water only

Hey all,

The tenants for one of my rental units (townhouse) recently started complaining of low water pressure, only when using hot water. They notice the issue in the shower, and in the kitchen faucet. I witnessed the issue in the kitchen faucet and the pressure drop is certainly noticeable.

Any advice on where to start? Replace kitchen faucet, if that doesn't work start digging further?

I'm guessing that this is going to be related to hot water heater...but am lost after that. If this isn't a simple fix I guess a plumber will need to be involved. The house is 20+ years old and water heater is about 15 years old. It has copper pipes which connect to the rest of the house plumbing.

Thanks in advance.
Old 05-03-16, 05:17 AM
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If it is happening at multiple fixtures than it is probably not a problem with one individual fixture so replacing the kitchen faucet likely will not help. You need to look for something upstream that can affect the hot water for the whole house. I have found bits of debris clogging shutoff valves after water heaters but it will take some investigative work to find the source of the problem.
Old 05-03-16, 06:46 AM
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Start with the simple step of checking to make sure the valves on the inlet and outlet of the HW tank are fully open. Kids of all ages love to play with them. Not a bad idea to close them all the way and then open all the way. Find the fixture that is plumbed closest to the WH outlet and test flow/pressure there. That will tell you if the obstruction (if there is one) is upstream or downstream.

With a 15 y/o WH, it probably has a lot of sediment if it hasn't been flushed regularly. If it builds up enough it can obstruct the end of the dip tube and cause slow flow, so you can try flushing the tank. Just be aware that if the tank hasn't been flushed regularly, the drain valve may be difficult to open, the opening may be obstructed, and it may be difficult to close fully. So be prepared with a screw on hose cap in case you can't get the valve to close fully. And recognize that 15 years is a long life for typical WH, so replacement time may be near.

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