Water Pressure Is Low

Problem: The flow of water from faucets and other fixtures is not adequate or is much lower than normal.

Background: If the home’s water supply comes from a municipal sys tem, the pressure in the water mains should be sufficient. Inspect the piping system to be sure large enough pipes were initially installed. In older homes corrosion may build up on the inside, preventing adequate flow. If the pipes in your home are 30 years old or more, built- up corrosion may limit water flow to half of what it should be.

What to do: To test for corrosion build-up inside pipes, open the faucet on your laundry tub and then turn on the faucet farthest away from the water main. If the stream on the second faucet is not at least the width of a pencil, consider re placing the pipes. (Hot water pipes will usually have more corrosion in side than cold water pipes.) A second reason to replace pipe is if you are starting to have problems with leaks within the system (see
Water Pipe Leaks). Rust, white, or greenish crusting on pipe or joints may indicate potential leaks.

Special advice: The main distribution pipes generally should have a ¾-inch inside diameter, but branch lines may have a ½-inch inside diameter. Galvanized pipes with a 1½- inch outside diameter will have a ¾-inch inside diameter; those with a 7 outside diameter will have a ½-inch inside diameter. Copper pipes with a 7 outside diameter will have a ¾-inch inside diameter; those with a 5 outside diameter will have a ½-inch inside diameter.

Helpful hint: If your home has its own water system and pressure is a problem, check the gauge on the pressure tank. It should read between 40 and 50 pounds. If it reads less than that, the pump may not be operating properly, the pressure may be set too low, or the well sys tem may need attention.

 

 

 

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