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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    5

    Unhappy Water Pressure Drops off Bad

    I just purchased my first home and I am fighting the water pressure. When I flush my toilet and go to wash my hands its as if the water disappears I mean the pressure drops off, not just half but to a trickle almost. It also drops off if I turn on my washing machine on and go to do dishes or anything that has to take water else where. I just up dated my well pressure tank from a 20 gallon tank to a 52 gal tank thinking that would fix the problem, I was wrong. Now I don't know what to do. Could I have a clog in the pipes? Could my water softener be cutting the pressure down? I am so confused and embarrassed when I have guess over and they need to wash there hands after using the restroom.
    Last edited by Itryguy; 11-09-2008 at 01:20 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Coventry, RI
    Posts
    340

    Default Re: Water Pressure Drops off Bad

    There are of course several things that could be the problem. You should check to see what the pressure coming out of your well tank is first. You should be in good shape if you have 50 to 60 psi you should be in good shape there. If not you should be able to adjust it. Next you hopefully have a drain valve or spigot after the water softener.If so you can attach a pressure gauge to it to see if you have good pressure there. Another thing to consider is what type of water pipes do you have? If they are galvanized they could very well be the culprit as they tend to build up scale on the inside and will have a very narrow opening. If they are copper I would doubt that there would be a clog anywhere. If they are copper how big are they? Normally you would want your main line to be at least 3/4" to provide enough volume to all the fixtures. Since the problem isn't happening at a single location I would say the well tank or the water softener are the culprits or if it is galvanized pipe that could be the problem. Hope this helps you out.

    Mike

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Water Pressure Drops off Bad

    I have more then 45 psi at the outlet of the pressure tank. Also the plumbing is 3/4 inch copper and drops to 1/2 inch to sink, tub, toilet, ect... I'll have to find some kind of fitting to put in the line after my water softener to check the pressure. Been thinking about putting a pressure gage at the end of the plumbing run to see water the pressure. Thanks for the info I appreciate all the info anyone can give.

    Craig

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,131

    Default Re: Water Pressure Drops off Bad

    Okay...might be..probably is...a dumb question, but have you checked out the aerators on the kitchen and bathroom sinks? They may be paritally clogged with particles/gunk and if so...the reduction in flow from having some other fixture drawing water simultaneously *could* leave you with the condition you describe.

    Is this a two story home? If so...any big difference between severity of problem on first and second floor? Ours is two story. 3/4" main and 1/2" branches to fixtures. 30-50 pressure switch (tweaked to 35-50). Yes, there is *some* difference in flow to the 2nd story shower when the 2nd story toilet is flushed... but it is very minimal. The bigger difference comes in the 2nd story shower if the basement washing machine is filling at the same time. This primarily because the basement flow is not fighting gravity at all, but the 2nd story shower is. Consequently, flow rate favors the WM and it takes a little more than its fair share. Still, one can shower without problem. Just a bit less pressure and flow with the WM filling simultaneously.

    Yes, a clogged softener media could result in or contribute to a poor/reduced flow condition. Does the WS have some manner of bypass valve/valving? If so, you could just bypass it and see if that makes a difference.


    Another dumb question ...all shut-off valves to faucets and such are fully wide open?

    Is there a valve between the pressure tank output and the main branch line of the house? If so, is it fully open?

    Unfortunately, increasing the size of a pressure tank won't really or favorably effect the rate of flow or pressure to the fixtures. Basically, it just provides more gallons of water between pump cycles and will actually leave you with less pressure/flow for longer periods of time until the pressure switch finally kicks the pump back on. This is the downside of having a larger pressure tank.

    No insult to your intelligence intended I assure you....When you say 1/2" branches to the fixtures...you're aren't measuring the outside diameter of the pipe, are you? If so, this would likely indicate 3/8" ID supply pipes and that would better explain the problems you describe. Just a wild errant thought.

    Will chew on this some more, too. Somewhere there is an answer.
    Last edited by goldhiller; 11-09-2008 at 09:02 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    5

    Talking Re: Water Pressure Drops off Bad

    Let me start off by thanking all of you for all information you provide not just to me but any one with a problem.
    I feel a little foolish and dumb. I forgot to mention that I have an In-Line filter between the pressure tank and the water softener. I changed this filter just 1 1/2 months ago, when I moved into my house, didn't think this could be the problem. I was wrong it was the problem. I have drained my water lines at least 3 maybe 4 times since I have been in the house. I did this because of a really bad sulfur smell in the water and every now and then I would get a black soot out of the line. Come to find out that there was a bacteria in the softener so I have been dealing with that too.
    So mad and confused of the problem I decided to take the filter completely out and check the pressure. To my surprise I can flush the toilet, turn the sink on, AND have the bath tub water on too and BAIRLY have a drop in pressure. OH yea and the filter I took out was completely black and had a brown streak down one side, maybe Iron not sure. But I am happy to know what to do if it happens again. I also wanted and needed to let everyone else know something not to over look no madder when you last changed a $9 filter.
    Thanks Everyone
    Craig
    Last edited by Itryguy; 11-11-2008 at 01:16 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,131

    Default Re: Water Pressure Drops off Bad

    Craig,

    Thanks for checking back in and glad to hear you found a resolution to the low flow problem.

    Since we now have more info (including that this is a new house and well to you) and know that that your WH filters are lasting a very short period of time...I would highly suggest that you take a sample of the raw well water (from a sillcock or similar which does not pass thru the WH filter) and have it thoroughly tested by a water-lab....so you can find out just what you're dealing with. Your WH filters should really last a lot longer than you describe unless you have a "situation" with your wellwater. See if you can locate a local well-driller as many of these folks also have lab services and/or arrangements with labs that do the testing for them. They will supply you with an approved sterilized plastic bottle and instructions as how to take the sample. (Have the lab test for heavy metals, arsenic and the whole nine yards.)

    Armed with this info they can suggest/recommend methods, approaches and equipment to deal with whatever is in there. (Your descriptions of "black stuff" on the filters, etc leads me to think you *may* be dealing with some manganese in your water supply. There may be iron also.)

    We cholorinate our well (dry pellet dropper) because of iron content. Then the water arrives at the pressure tank and from there it passes thru a big self-flushing sand-filter (not a green-sand filter) about the size of a water-softener to remove the trapped iron particles and finally thru the softener. The water we end up using is as clear and nice as you could desire....and tastes great. These large self-flushing filters are not cheap to buy, but then there are no smaller filters to change or nickel and dime you to death over the passage of time. If you can install it yourself...there are big savings to be had.

    The well cholorinators don't come cheap either...and you must feed them bottles of chlorine pellets as required, but it's worth it and then some. Unfortunately, having a private well means that you must be your own water department. You must do for yourself what the city would do if you were on city water instead.

    Takes some self-educating as regards what needs to be done and how exactly to do it appropriately/effectively for your particular well and water, but more knowledge is a good thing, me thinks. Kinda like buying a new tool, but this one is in your head. There are some good sites on-line that will help you to get started with this education. If you'd like a few links, say so and I'll link you to those that I'm familiar with.
    Last edited by goldhiller; 11-11-2008 at 10:08 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    5

    Smile Re: Water Pressure Drops off Bad

    Thanks for the support and experience of your knowledge. I would like o know the web sites. I donít want this system getting out of control.

    Thanks
    Craig

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,557

    Default Re: Water Pressure Drops off Bad

    It definitely sounds like you have one of those cheap filters and should have your water tested so you can install the right equipment. It also sounds like you are getting a lot of solids in the water. It may be that your well has silted up or that the pump pickup is set to near the bottom of the well.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

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