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Low Water Pressure In Home... Need To Boost

 
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Old 02-15-2011, 02:04 PM   #1
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Low Water Pressure In Home... Need To Boost


I am remodeling a home that currently has 4.5 baths, some with steam showers and jets. My customer is has been complaining how low the water pressure is, even before the remodel, and yes, the risers are sized appropriately.

Ive heard of systems attached to the main used to boost water pressure in homes, can anyone shed some light on this topic? Or similar product that should help with this problem.

I havent really looked into it in depth yet, nor have i consulted a plumber for advice yet, but i figured id start here to gain a bit more knowledge and possibly first hand experience.
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Old 02-15-2011, 03:04 PM   #2
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Re: Low Water Pressure In Home... Need To Boost


It's essentially the same setup used in homes that get their water from a well--a pump and a pressure tank. Google "water pressure booster".

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Old 02-16-2011, 06:29 PM   #3
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Re: Low Water Pressure In Home... Need To Boost


I am a NYC based plumber. . . I've found that I've installed most of my pressure boosters in Brownstones that are piped out in old galvanized. Not because other houses don't have low pressure, but because the owners of the row houses probably are the only people who want to spend the money on something that others might be content to live with.

Tinstaafl summed it up. The basic setup is a hydro-pneumatic booster. The unit has a pressurized air tank, a compressor and a sensor to maintain a certain level of pressure in the tank. As water is drawn through the tank, the bladder pressure continues to exert pressure on the water, and the compressor kicks on as needed to maintain and recover air pressure.

This is not a basic job however. . . you should not be doing this without subbing it to a licensed plumber. The plumber can probably file the job on his OP-128, if not, an LAA (limited permit, cheaper and easier to get than an alteration permit). Remember that the unit will likely require a dedicated 20A circuit with fault protection, so you'll have to call in a licensed electrician to do some work as well.

A good bet is that you have some galvanized lines that are smegma'd pretty bad. Try replacing some sections of trunk - and definitely take out aerators to see if they're simply clogged.

Don't install the tank without a permit.

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Old 02-16-2011, 10:51 PM   #4
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Re: Low Water Pressure In Home... Need To Boost


Thanks for the informative post. I'll pass this onto my customer .
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:54 PM   #5
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Re: Low Water Pressure In Home... Need To Boost


Sometimes with the old pipes the actual pressure is fine but the "sustained flow" is inadaquate. People still call it low water pressure. In the case of good pressure and low sustained flow a pressue tank alone should do the trick with some check valves, backflow preventer and probably a plumber. You should be able to check pressure with a $10 device from the depot that screws on to the hose bib. Make sure everything is off in the house and give it a minute to get a full reading.
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Old 02-26-2011, 08:27 PM   #6
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Re: Low Water Pressure In Home... Need To Boost


Quote:
Originally Posted by K2 View Post
Sometimes with the old pipes the actual pressure is fine but the "sustained flow" is inadaquate. People still call it low water pressure. In the case of good pressure and low sustained flow a pressue tank alone should do the trick with some check valves, backflow preventer and probably a plumber. You should be able to check pressure with a $10 device from the depot that screws on to the hose bib. Make sure everything is off in the house and give it a minute to get a full reading.
I checked out an o.d house with galvanized pipes because of low water pressure. The back hose bib registered 55psi......until I turned the kitchen on and it registered 7 psi. A quick look under the house reVealed asbestos and multiple leaks in the water pipe system. The pressure will always build up when everything is off. It usually drops when multiple taps are opened. In this case only one fixture to kill the pressure. This may not always give you an accurate reading ,it will however give you a baseline. It will also point you the right direction, in my case it told me the tell tale sign that as usual the galvanized pipes were choking on the inside.
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Old 02-28-2011, 12:57 PM   #7
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Re: Low Water Pressure In Home... Need To Boost


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Originally Posted by Smatt View Post
I checked out an o.d house with galvanized pipes because of low water pressure. The back hose bib registered 55psi......until I turned the kitchen on and it registered 7 psi. A quick look under the house reVealed asbestos and multiple leaks in the water pipe system. The pressure will always build up when everything is off. It usually drops when multiple taps are opened. In this case only one fixture to kill the pressure. This may not always give you an accurate reading ,it will however give you a baseline. It will also point you the right direction, in my case it told me the tell tale sign that as usual the galvanized pipes were choking on the inside.
Right, my point being that if you have sufficient pressure you should be able bring water into storage and under equal or slightly lower pressure with only a pressure/storage tank, without adding a pump. I only say this because I've done it a few times and it worked great. With 30 gallons of storage I could run sprinklers during the night but had to allow some time for recovery between zones. Of course if you're trying to fill a swimming pool you would lose pressure. Just a thought. adding a pump would be better and replacing the galvenized or damaged line would be better yet.

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