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  • Pressure Drop after installing a water heater

    I live in an older house, we have a well. Initially the house had an oil fueled hot water furnace used to heat tap water as well as heating the house. About a year ago, the furnace stopped working. We decided that we wanted to install an electric A/C & heat in the house, so we opted to replace the furnace with a water heater tank. We bought the water heater at the local home improvement store and hire their contractors to install. It seemed fairly simple. After the water heater was installed, the water pressure dropped immediately to almost nothing. Prior to the installation, the water pressure twas great. When we asked questions, it was suggested that perhaps the well was going dry or the well pump had a problem (confirmed not true), or the bladder tank was not pressurized (confirmed it's at manufacturer suggested ~35 psig). There is a pressure difference between the cold and hot water. The cold water pressure is almost non-existent. The hot water is a little better, but not good. I believed the installation of the hot water heater has created a pressure drop in the system. HELP - this is driving me crazy!! Do I need to hire a designer, or plumber or both? Or can someone give me an idea where to look.

  • #2
    Re: Pressure Drop after installing a water heater

    Are you saying that you have lived with this low water pressure issue from the time of the water heater install a year ago?

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    • #3
      Re: Pressure Drop after installing a water heater

      Post a picture of the installation.

      There is so many things that can be wrong here.....
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      • #4
        Re: Pressure Drop after installing a water heater

        Yes, Sorry to say, I've lived with this condition for a year. the last year seemed to fly by with way too much on my plate. As things have calmed down, there's time to deal with the small issues.

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        • #5
          Re: Pressure Drop after installing a water heater

          Originally posted by lecourdj View Post
          I live in an older house, we have a well. Initially the house had an oil fueled hot water furnace used to heat tap water as well as heating the house. About a year ago, the furnace stopped working. We decided that we wanted to install an electric A/C & heat in the house, so we opted to replace the furnace with a water heater tank. We bought the water heater at the local home improvement store and hire their contractors to install. It seemed fairly simple. After the water heater was installed, the water pressure dropped immediately to almost nothing. Prior to the installation, the water pressure twas great. When we asked questions, it was suggested that perhaps the well was going dry or the well pump had a problem (confirmed not true), or the bladder tank was not pressurized (confirmed it's at manufacturer suggested ~35 psig). There is a pressure difference between the cold and hot water. The cold water pressure is almost non-existent. The hot water is a little better, but not good. I believed the installation of the hot water heater has created a pressure drop in the system. HELP - this is driving me crazy!! Do I need to hire a designer, or plumber or both? Or can someone give me an idea where to look.
          First off, the installation of the water heater should have nothing to do with your cold water pressure. But none of us are looking at it either. There are all kinds of check valves etc. that could be in there somewhere causing something.

          The fact that you have low pressure at the cold water leads to the well pump, bladder tank, check valve and gate or ball valve. Or even the dreaded.....GALVANIZED PIPING.

          Do you have a valve at the well bladder tank?
          Is it fully on?
          Is it a gate valve? Could be a dropped gate.
          if so, turn water on in the house somewhere then go listen at the valve for restriction.

          Do you have galvanized piping? Turning a water system off for a while then back on usually releases some sediment even if it's copper. Galvanized can make you have to take the world apart to get all of the sediment out.

          Some water heater with heat trap nipples can cause some restriction but you must first correct the pressure loss on the cold side.

          J.C.

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          • #6
            Re: Pressure Drop after installing a water heater

            I think I'm hear "hire a professional". That's what I'll do. But you made me think about the corrosion. I was assuming no corrosion because when we cut out all the heating circuit piping the copper pipe looked very nice, no corrosion at all. But that was larger diameter pipe. We had the pump and bladder tank were replaced in 1995 but none of the piping was changed and when they just cut the new heater into the exiting system. I checked the bladder tank valve, it's wide open. I just took the hose off the washer valve (first connection downstream of the bladder tank) and there was some loose corrosion caught in the filter on the hose. Water seems like it coming from bladder pretty good. But I couldn't see up into the valve too see if the pipe was corroded. There is also spigot valve right at the outlet of the bladder tank and it's flowing nicely from there. I turned two valves and when I came back upstairs, it seems like the pressure is better in the sink. Would that suggest corrosion??

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            • #7
              Re: Pressure Drop after installing a water heater

              Do you ever notice that when you turn on a fixture after no one has used anything for a little while that you have a momentary surge of flow?

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              • #8
                Re: Pressure Drop after installing a water heater

                It does not necessarily mean corrosion. Or corrosion to the point of needing total replacement.

                A recommended, local, licensed plumber should be able to troubleshoot and correct this in 1 service call.

                Good Luck.

                J.C.

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                • #9
                  Re: Pressure Drop after installing a water heater

                  Disclaimer: I am NOT a plumber.

                  I'm guessing the answer to the surge is yes and he has a faulty shut off valve.

                  When you turned off the shut off valve to install the HWH, did it shut all the way off, or did you have to shut power off to the pump to stop the water?
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                  • #10
                    Re: Pressure Drop after installing a water heater

                    Check your aerators at each sink. Many times when you drain your system sediment will break loose from the pipes and clog the aerators.
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                    Last edited by TOPDAWG; 02-24-2011, 06:19 PM.
                    Mike

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