Water pressure

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Old 09-26-09, 01:55 PM
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Water pressure

My plumber added two outside faucets to my house and the same day, the cold water pressure on the other side of the house dropped. The whole house is affected a little but the bathroom on the far side of the house is most affected.

For instance when I turn the water on in the bathtub, nothing comes out until I turn the faucet mid way between hot and cold and then I get some water but lower pressure. There are two sinks, a shower and the tub in this bathroom. The sinks and the shower are not as drastically affect but you can easy see that less water comes out on the cold side vs hot. All the faucets are the one piece type.

The plumber denies that anything he did could have affected the water on the other side of the house. What do you think caused this and how can I have it fixed? OK, I realize I could get another plumber but I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on this problem.
 
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Old 09-26-09, 03:25 PM
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You have pulled and cleaned all aerators and shower heads? If so read on.

I can't comment directly but I will tell you a true story. Was putting down sheet vinyl for a customer and noticed the bathroom hot water was little more then a trickle. She explained the plumber had said she need a new water heater, that hers was filled with sediment. Noticed later the hot water ran fine in the kitchen. OK that made no sense. More questions because I was curious. Bottom line the plumper had used a Dresser tee to fix a leak. The leg of the tee supplied the bathroom. The pipes entering into the arms were not cut short enough and actually touching so almost no water to the bathroom.

I don't know how the plumber added these faucets so I can't say but I would suspect something like this if other simpler solutions don't solve it.
 
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Old 09-26-09, 05:02 PM
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I should have explained that the faucets were out side gardening faucets. I already had two installed and had him install two more for convenience. He worked a long time and was under the house.
 
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Old 09-26-09, 06:43 PM
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What is all turned on when the pressure drops? And are the pipes old galvanized pipes?

Or something more modern -like pvc/cpvc, copper, or pex(which none of these get restricted inside them, from rust)?

And if one or two of the faucets outside is turned on, are these faucet pipes and faucets 1/2 inch? Or is any part 3/4 inch? And what is attached to the outside spigot(s) and what inside diameter(hose) and how long?

And where does your water supply come from?: City water or your own well?

Your problem should not be that hard to figure out once we have all the facts.
 
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Old 09-26-09, 11:00 PM
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bibbus,

Adding 2 hose bibbs won't affect the water pressure.

HOWEVER -- when shutting off the water to install those bibbs, Crud from inside the pipes will break loose and it will come to rest in the aerators of all of the faucets in the house.

Go to the faucets and shower heads and remove the aerators -- The last piece of chrome or brass that the water comee out of. Clean out that assembly and put it back together EXACTLY how you took it apart. Your problem should be gone.

You just paid your plumber some big bucks to add the bibbs. He was something less than a pro for not paying attention to the details and cleaning out the aerators for you. Furd and about 3 dozen other plumbers in this forum wouldn't have done that to you!!
 
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Old 09-27-09, 04:55 PM
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I have not cleaned out the aerators but the plumber is supposed to come over tomorrow so I will ask him about it. I don't think this is the problem because its the cold water that is not coming out normally, and the hot water seems to be normal. There is a big difference between the cold and hot side. AGAIN, TO EXPLAIN, THE TUB HAS THE GREATEST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HOT AND COLD water volume but other faucets in the house do show at least a tiny difference between hot and cold.

What is all turned on when the pressure drops? And are the pipes old galvanized pipes? WHEN ONLY THE TUB FAUCET IS TURNED ON, A REDUCED AMOUNT OF COLD WATER COMES OUT. WHEN I TURN THE FAUCET HALFWAY BETWEEN HOT AND COLD MORE WATER STARTS COMING OUT. IF I TURN ON OTHER FAUCETS THE COLD WATER DROPS MORE. IF I FLUSH THE TOILET, THE COLD WATER DROPS TO A TRICKLE. I ALSO TESTED THE HOT WATER. IT DROPS A LITTLE WHEN I TURN ON ANOTHER FAUCET BUT ITS BARELY PERCEPTIBLE.

Or something more modern -like pvc/cpvc, copper, or pex(which none of these get restricted inside them, from rust)? YES, THIS IS ALL NEW CONSTRUCTION IN THE BATHROOM MOST AFFECTED, MAYBE 7 YEARS OLD SO I BELIEVE IT IS ALL PVC. THE REST OF THE HOUSE IS OLD COPPER PIPE BUT THE OTHER BATHROOMS AND THE KITCHEN, THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE COLD AND HOT IS MUCH LESS NOTICEABLE.

And if one or two of the faucets outside is turned on, are these faucet pipes and faucets 1/2 inch? Or is any part 3/4 inch? And what is attached to the outside spigot(s) and what inside diameter(hose) and how long? I CAN'T TELL THE SIZE OF THE FAUCET PIPES. THEY ARE UNDER THE CRAWL SPACE AND I CAN SEE THEM BUT NOT WHERE I COULD TELL IF THEY ARE 1/2 OR 3/4. GARDEN HOSES ARE ATTACHED TO THE FAUCETS AND THE EXTERIOR PART IS 1 INCH IN DIAMETER - A NORMAL OUTSIDE FAUCET SIZE. After testing all this, I am now unsure if it is water volume or water pressure. But not as much cold comes out as hot.

And where does your water supply come from?: City water or your own well? CITY WATER.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP. I REALLY APPRECIATE IT.
 
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Old 09-28-09, 02:02 PM
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If you have some restriction at the cold tub supply only, and the rest of the house plumbing is good, then naturally the warm water setting will be greater than the cold alone, since you get the added water of the hot water supply. So that part is nothing unusual.

But when you said that when you open other cold water supplies and the more you open, the tub cold then goes to a trickl - now I have to believe you have an obstruction in the water supply, or plain old poor house water pressure, before the toilet, and maybe well upstream somewhere.

Water volume should not be diminishing that much because you run 2 additional fixtures. Not if this hosue was plumbed by a plumber that used normal size turnk, branch and supply lines, which are normally 3/4 id trunk, 1/2 inch id branch, and then down to 3/8ths od for the short supplies that may range from a few inches to 20 inches only.

With that layout of sizing, you should not have reduction like you describe, amongst 3 fixtures.

How many gallons per minute do you get from the outdoor spigot closest to the water meter?

You can buy already set up water pressure gauges that screw onto garden spigots and hoses for cheap at the home center. It is fun just to own one to be able to see what you have.
 
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Old 09-29-09, 07:44 PM
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Well, the plumber came over and didn't have time to try to figure it out. He is totally puzzled as well. He did mention something strange that I don't think is the problem but he said he uses white bread made into a little ball when he does the soldering. I thought that was bizarre but he said it is common in plumbing. He is an older man, semi-retired although he is always working and is very reasonable in his charges. He is going to come back on Friday to try to figure out what's going on.
 
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Old 09-29-09, 08:30 PM
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White bread??

SURE -- THAT trick has been around almost as long as copper pipe. (The guy who thought of it should have patented the idea -- his great grand kids would still be multi-millionaires!!)

HE can look at it, and HE'S got some savvy. HE'LL get it figured out!!
 
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Old 09-30-09, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by bibbus View Post
He is going to come back on Friday to try to figure out what's going on.
If he is like me, he'd enjoy solving it for free. The challenge of it, you know?
 
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Old 09-30-09, 07:22 PM
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Oh yeah ecman51`, we know how that is!!

Tell the customer it'll be "X" # of $$ to install a couple of hose bibbs, but then something goes awry, and it takes another day or two of head scratching to solve the unforeseen. That's on me!!
 
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Old 09-30-09, 08:21 PM
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OK, now WHO'S side are you on??? What about the customer who hasn't had proper water pressure for a couple of months? I was hoping you experts could solve the problem so I could tell the plumber what he did wrong!!!
 
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Old 09-30-09, 08:52 PM
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bibbus,

I can't speak for anybody else, but I'm on your side.

But I'm also just like your plumber who is scratching his head over your problem. He's asking himself 'how can installing 2 hose bibbs reduce the water pressure in the whole house to next to nothing??'

This is purely a guess on my part (and I'm not there -- I can't LOOK at the problem), but MAYBE when he shut off the water to install these 2 bibbs, stuff (like rust, assuming that you have iron pipes) broke loose from the inside walls of some pipe and has things clogged. I've had that happen before, and it's certainly a possibility. But that USUALLY only affects faucets with aerators. What's the pressure like at your tub spout?

ecman51`'s comment, and my response to it -- I would probably charge my customer SOMETHING for the time it takes to figure out the problem and solve it, but it certainly wouldn't be my full rate for all the hours it takes to figure it out. I'd be working for more like minimum wage on something this strange!!
 
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Old 10-01-09, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by lefty View Post

ecman51`'s comment, and my response to it -- I would probably charge my customer SOMETHING for the time it takes to figure out the problem and solve it, but it certainly wouldn't be my full rate for all the hours it takes to figure it out. I'd be working for more like minimum wage on something this strange!!
If I were to have gotten paid for all the time I have spent not charging for me learning on the job, I'd be a rich man today. The time I have simply just stared at new mechanicals in different commercial environments. Loved every minute of it though.

Regarding rust chunks breaking loose: They can clog up internal orifices in say faucet cartridges, too small of faucet spout inlets deep inside (I actually drilled out a faucet once and to this day it has never again clogged and the pressure is wonderful!), and also be impeded right at the change from 1/2 inch supply to the 3/8ths supply lines at the shut off valves. I have had to clear both these scenarios. Also have had to take the tops off of Fluidmaster 400 toilet fill valves to allow rust chunks to blast into a glass when I turn on the toilet water and hold the glass over the top. And also have had to clear out shower heads countless times.
 
 

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