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  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Now we’re going to talk to Jeff in Minnesota about a plumbing situation at his home.

    JEFF: Yeah, I’ve got an older house. My water out of the sink runs really slow but the water in the tub …

    TOM: (overlapping voices) Now is it just the one sink?

    JEFF: Yes.

    TOM: Is it just the one sink or is it all of the fixtures in the house?

    JEFF: No, just one sink.

    TOM: OK, what kind of water lines do you have? How old is your house?

    JEFF: 1920.

    TOM: Ah. So you probably have steel water lines. Is that correct?

    JEFF: Yes, sir.

    TOM: And have you replaced any of those steel pipes?

    JEFF: No.

    TOM: Hmm. You know, 80-year-old pipes tend to rust internally and they sort of shut down, like a clogged artery. And typically, it’s the horizontal ones that go first and the vertical ones that go second. So I hate to kind of go right to the most expensive possible problem here but that may very well be it if you’ve got 80-year-old pipes in the house that are steel. If you had copper, we wouldn’t be talking about this.

    One of the things I’d like you to try at this particular – is it just a sink or is it a sink and a tub? What is it?

    JEFF: Sink.

    TOM: Just a sink? OK. Have you tried taking the aerator off of the faucet?

    JEFF: Yes.

    TOM: And that doesn’t change anything?

    JEFF: No.

    TOM: OK. And have you made sure that the water lines are fully open at the supply line into the sink itself?

    JEFF: Right, and it’s only the hot water; not the cold water.

    TOM: It’s only the …

    JEFF: The cold water runs fine.

    TOM: Mm-hmm.

    JEFF: Hot water is slow.

    TOM: Alright. So you made sure that the line was fully open?

    JEFF: Right, yes.

    TOM: And the nearest bathroom to this particular – the nearest other place that hot water is used to the one where it’s very, very slow coming out of the pipes; does that seem to be fine and how far away is that?

    JEFF: Five feet.

    TOM: Ah. OK. Good chance you have a bad valve here. If you’ve got another faucet five feet away that’s working fine, good chance you have a bad valve that’s just not opening up. Sometimes when you have older plumbing, you think that the valve is opened all the way up and really it’s kind of stuck halfway open or something like that. I’d take a look at that next; perhaps replace the valve and see if that does it.

    JEFF: OK. OK, thank you.

    TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that home improvement project, Jeff. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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