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Low Pressure or Low Volume?

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  • Low Pressure or Low Volume?

    I'm trying to determine if I have an issue with low water pressure or low volume in my home. My sink only trickles water with the faucet fully open while the toilet is filling, and trying to use my garden hose is next to impossible if the clothes washer is running.

    I've installed a water pressure gauge and it reads around 50 lbs during the day and 70 lbs in the early AM hours. I have domestic water which is supplied via a 1/2 inch pipe to the meter.

    I don't have the equipment to measure flow, but I do know that the pressure gauge goes from 50 to 20 when I fully open the cold water valve to my basement sink.

    I've read about water pressure boosters (pump plus tank), but they all said that I need a minimum 3/4" feed to prevent the pump from burning out.

    Is it possible to determine if this is a pressure or volume problem with the information I've provided? Any help will be appreciated!

  • #2
    Re: Low Pressure or Low Volume?

    A 1/2" pipe is small and if its galv pipe its even worse
    Is your meter turned on all the way ?

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    • #3
      Re: Low Pressure or Low Volume?

      Your pressure is fine.

      You can disconnect a supply hose under your slow fixture run it into a 5 gallon bucket for 1 minute to get an approximate idea of your pipes flow per minute

      1/2" from the meter should be a felony

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      • #4
        Re: Low Pressure or Low Volume?

        Your static pressure is apparently between 50 and 70 pounds, so it appears you have pressure,
        you pipe is small, and my guess is you also have some additional restriction some place,

        and it will only pass so many gallons of water per min, even with 50 pounds of pressure behind it, but when that flow used there is little pressure left as there is not enough water to fill the demand of the toilet or faucet and hose at one time,

        To measure flow your hose bib is probably the best place to get an Idea, take a 5 gallon bucket and see how long it takes to fill it, and see how many gallons a min you get, (this may not be exact as the hose bib will have a small restriction in the valving, but you will get a working idea,

        One way to not loose all pressure/flow when the toilet is flushed is to put a valve on the toilet and turn the water flow down to it so it fills slower, (I realize this does not fix the problem but may make the problem easer to live with),

        I have/had a similar problem on the farm when the cattle would come up and drink and the float valve would open up full and try to fill the stock tank, we would not have any pressure in the house, I restricted the flow of the float, so it fills slower and now we do not notice the stock tanks filling, (this was because the tanks were near open flow and would flow more than the well could pump),

        check to see that all valves are open in the system,
        Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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        • #5
          Re: Low Pressure or Low Volume?

          Don't waste your money on one of those internet booster pumps. You can't get blood from a Turnip. The 1/2" line is already flowing all it can and putting negative pressure on it with a pump won't help anything.
          Frequently asked questions about pumps and tanks.

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          • #6
            Re: Low Pressure or Low Volume?

            bump. nice site. breid............

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            • #7
              Re: Low Pressure or Low Volume?

              It is a volume problem. The UPC says that the minimum size for a main is 3/4".

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              • #8
                Re: Low Pressure or Low Volume?

                The first thing to do is call the city or county where you live and have them check out the volume at the meter.I recently visited a client that has had a problem for 8 years.Their old pllumber insisted that they replace thier water main to the home. I had to keep on the county to test the meter properly. They read a pressure gauge the rpoblem was not pressure but volume.The county returned and ended up replacing the meter and curb st0p that was restricting the volume and that is free.

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                • #9
                  Re: Low Pressure or Low Volume?

                  a good grundfos booster pump coupled with a holding tank would solve your problem. but it would be cheaper and make Far more sense to have a new water main dug in.
                  No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Low Pressure or Low Volume?

                    Originally posted by MoJourneyman View Post
                    a good grundfos booster pump coupled with a holding tank would solve your problem. but it would be cheaper and make Far more sense to have a new water main dug in.

                    actually. in retrospect, if the whole house is galvanized nothing may help short of complete replacement.
                    No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

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