Low Pressure at ONE Shower.

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Old 09-13-17, 05:13 AM
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Low Pressure at ONE Shower.

I purchased a 1920s home last year that had alot of remodeling already done to it. Bathrooms/Kitchens have all been redone.

My kids rooms and bathroom are on the upper level of the house. Their shower/tub faucet/head water pressure is really really low. Every other item in the home including the upstairs toilet and sinks have good pressure. Just this shower/tub. It doesn't matter if it's it's pouring directly out of the spigot for the tub or the shower head. Both slow. Hot and Cold are both evenly slow. I'm not familiar with these exposed setups.

Now the tub itself looks to not have been swapped during the remodeling before we moved in. And the shower faucet/head is one of those exposed valve setups. (SEE PICTURES)
Shower2
Shower3
Shower1

I climbed into the crawl space and located the copper pipes, which look to be in great condition. There is a "T" right where the stub ups into the bathroom are (under the floor) that feed the sinks and toilet from the same line. There are no shutoff valves at the shower (only ones through the floor for the sinks/toilet). I've tracked the feed lines into the basement and find no shutoff valves there as well. Seeing that every other device that is hooked to these water lines has good pressure, I'm assuming it's got to be the valve/head assembly. So essentially there is a straight shot from cold and hot water to the upstairs shower.

Can anyone help point me in the right direction to track down why there isn't any pressure.
Can this valve assembly be disassembled by taking off the hot/cold levers and possibly refurbished for good pressure?
 
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Old 09-13-17, 07:25 AM
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Sounds to me that the faucet/shower setup is the culprit, maybe there is a blockage or restriction right at the faucet. Try removing the whole assembly in the tub after turning off the water. See if there is anything inside it. Blow it out with air or a neighbor's hose backwards to see if there is anything lodged inside. Have someone turn your water on for a few seconds while you watch the tub to see if anything comes out. You might have to disassemble the thing a bit to look inside it. I thought it may have been a problem caused by galvanized pipe at first-until you said the piping in the house was copper. Most of the older houses used galvanized back in the day. They filled up with calcium and caused low water pressure. Possibly this house had galvanized pipe that was later replaced by copper, but some of the deposits had found their way into this faucet?
 
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Old 09-13-17, 07:38 AM
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Yeah, I've figured It was most likely that faucet setup. I just know on newer facuets the main valve body is hidden in the wall. Sometimes you can adjust each valve individually.

I've never dealt with an exposed system like this before. I will shut it off and try and disassemble the whole thing to see inside.
Any other tips would be appreciated.
 
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Old 09-13-17, 10:03 PM
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Not to imply that you haven't been thorough, but every claw foot tub I've seen has angles stops - usually 1/2" - above the floor behind it. What's behind the tub? Just copper connecting to the faucet?
 
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Old 09-14-17, 04:02 AM
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Well, I shut off the water yesterday. And took out the valves.

Shower Valves

They seemed to function just fine, all the seals looked good. And there was minimal corrosion. I turned on the hot/cold lines to purge the exposed piping and the pressure was just as bad, barely spitting out. I looked into the two pipes that feed to the main intersection where the valves are and the path looked clear.

This leads me to assume that it's somewhere in the piping. Most likely behind the tub/wall.

steve_gro. It's not a "claw foot tub" unless someone tiled up around it. What's an ANGLE STOP?
The feed lines come up from the basement, and enter in line with the exterior bathroom wall, then the does a 90degree turn under the floor level and T's from there to the toilet and to the double sink vanity. As you can see the facet feeds through the actual tub face and not through the wall above it (like most bathrooms do).
 
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Old 09-14-17, 02:08 PM
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It does look an awful lot like a claw foot tub. The front curvature looks like it, and I don't know of any other tub that would have holes in the front for a faucet (3-3/8" centers). Not to say that such a tub doesn't exist -- I've just never come across one. Virtually all claw foot tubs have those faucet holes.

It may well be a tiled-in claw foot. Can you post an image from further back and with the shower curtain pulled up?

Here's what an angle stop (it's a little valve) looks like (this is actually a straight-stop):
 

Last edited by steve_gro; 09-14-17 at 02:56 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-14-17, 03:59 PM
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Old 09-14-17, 09:44 PM
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Good pix. Is there any access from the other side of the wet wall, like perhaps an access panel? That sure looks like a claw tub to me. It's also interesting that the tile is cut around the baseboard. I've sent the link to some other plumbers to see if they concur.

BTW, claw tubs are great tubs. It's hard to find a tub as nice for soaking w/o spending big bucks.
 

Last edited by steve_gro; 09-14-17 at 09:48 PM. Reason: added sentences
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Old 09-15-17, 08:35 PM
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... other plumbers agree with me.

What's on the other side of the wet wall? Can you see up into it from below?
 
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