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faucet, water

Well Pump Delivers Terrible Water Pressure

We share a well with two other houses, and the well head is at the home furthest from us. They both have great water pressure, but we have really bad pressure. We can't use the faucet when showering, run the dishwasher and sink at the same time, we can't water our garden, etc. Our plumber adjusted the pressure switch at our neighbors house in hopes of increasing our pressure, which worked at their houses but not ours. The plumber thinks somewhere along our pipe, it has been crushed by bedrock or the house adjusting. What are our options to increase our water pressure without breaking the bank?

Our Answer

First it seems you need to confirm the pressure coming from the well pump itself. If that is in a remote location, that should not be hard to do.  If the pressure is good at that point, check it again at the first place it comes into your house.  If its dropped, then the plumber is right and you have a problem with the main line.  The only fix for that would probably be replacement. However, if the pressure is god where it enters your house but bad after that, then you'll need to track down the restriction, which could for example, be a bad valve (or if your house is old) a corroded steel pipe, etc.

The other option might be to add a pressure tank and send booster pump in your home.  The pump would run as needed (not every time you turn on the faucet) to pressurize the tank, but your water would be pressurized and pulled from the tank itself.

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Water Damage on Flooring

Water Damage in Flooring

We recently discovered our refrigerator water line had been leaking for some time. We have gotten the leak fixed and are now dealing with the damage. We discovered the leak after water began coming up from between the planks of bamboo flooring in the living room, which is on the other side of the wall that the fridge sits on. We have been in touch with our homeowners' insurance company and are working with restoration specialists they recommended. The large fans/dehumidifiers are drying things out, but we have learned there is water under the tile in our kitchen, too, and it may extend into the other tiled areas of the house.My biggest concern is that we believe the previous owners laid the kitchen tile and the wood flooring on top of an original layer of tile. We have seen grout underneath the wood flooring when we replaced some trim a while back, and the seam between the tile and cabinets in the kitchen makes it clear that the cabinets do not sit on top of the top layer of tile. I am concerned that a lot of water may be trapped in the original layer of flooring and will not be dried up with the fans/dehumidifiers.Our restoration specialist says the water can stay in the tile and it shouldn't cause damage other than grout discoloration over time. I'm not so sure. This seems like a big risk to me. Should we fight to have the top layer of flooring and the original tile both removed to ensure the water is all gone? I don't want to have problems later on or have mold start to grow.

Our Answer

You have a valid concern but my experience would dictate that there's little to worry about if the leak was fixed.  That water will dry out – and probably much quicker than you'd imagine.  The bigger concern is structural.  If the water leak went on for a long time, you may have rotted floor components and those should be fixed, even if it involves removing tile.

Try gently stepping on the floor in the are of the leak and note if it feels spongy or softer than adjoining areas.  If it is, further evaluation may be needed.  If a flooring replacement is needed, there have been many advances in waterproof flooring you can consider.

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rain, storm, flood, wet basement

Wet Basement “Expert” says Grading Won’t Stop Floods

Our basement is pretty humid and has moisture coming up through the concrete floors. The basement has a history of mold and flooding. From listening to The Money Pit, I know proper grading and gutter maintenance outside the home should prevent this. We had a basement expert come by and he said grading was not enough - a total overhaul was necessary and he wanted to install drain systems, a new sump pump, etc to address the moisture (our ultimate goal is to finish the basement). Is he right or is he just trying to sell his services?

Our Answer

It's no surprise that a so called wet basement "expert" would proclaim that improvements to roof and surface drainage won't fix you damp, leaky basement.  They have very strong economic reasons to do so.  Basement waterproofing companies pretty much sell a single type of repair, and it's really not a water "proofing" solution at all.  If anything its a water pumping system that allows the water ot get to and through the foundation, where its collected in a sump and then pumped out to start the cycle all over again.

The reason most basements flood is because of issues with poor surface and roof drainage.  To stop this from happening, you must:

  1.  Clean gutters & downspouts;
  2.  Make sure there are enough downspouts for the roof size. Each spout should drain no more than 600-800 sq feet of roof surface
  3.  Extend spouts to discharge at least 6 feet from house;
  4.  Improve the angle of soil at the foundation perimeter to slope away from the house.

In RARE circumstances, flooding is caused by a rising water table and in that case, a pump system is needed.  However, we're talking VERY RARE circumstances.

Here's how to tell.  If your basement dampness and flooding worsens consistent with rainfall, or snow melt - its always caused by drainage that's easily fixed.

Finally, one of the most popular posts on our site is about basement waterproofing.  Read it, and THEN read all the comments.  You'll see three groups of comenters.  Wet basement "experts" desperate to save their money-making scams, home inspectors and other independent experts calling out the waterproofing profiteers and confirming the advice we've provided, and homeowners who have tried it and saved tens of thousands of dollars.

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