Low Water Pressure
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Claire in Rhode Island who’s dealing with some water pressure issues. Hi, Claire. How can we help you today?
CLAIRE: Hi. We live in a house that was built in 1953 and whenever you use the water like in the kitchen and then someone flushes the toilet or turns on the shower or you have the washing machine going, the pressure decreases.
CLAIRE: So, you can’t really have more than one thing going on at once.
TOM: Hmm, OK.
CLAIRE: So I was just wondering if it’s caused by the pressure coming from the street or if there was something in the plumbing that we could fix or change or whatever.
TOM: Well, we’ve got to look at this one element at a time. First of all, you said the house was built in 1953?
TOM: So you probably have a copper pipe coming in from the street. Is that correct?
TOM: So you don’t have to worry about internal corrosion. You would check the main water valve to make sure that it’s not partially closed. I would also have the pressure checked. You can have the water company check the pressure coming into your house at the meter. And you really need to have 50 to 70 pounds of pressure; if you don’t, you could actually have a plumber add a booster pump right at the main which will step up the pressure.
CLAIRE: Oh, really?
TOM: Yep. And that may solve all your problems. But if it’s the water company is not delivering enough pressure, then that’s a solution – they may even do it, too. But that’s the solution. You can add a booster pump right there at the main.
CLAIRE: OK, and how much do those usually run?
TOM: Probably looking at a couple hundred dollars. It’s not a terribly complex project. You’re going to have to have an outlet wired for it or electrical connection made and you would, essentially, cut it into the main water pipe. It’s typically done if you have a big house and you have a lot of bathrooms and you really don’t want to depend on the street pressure to push the water all the way upstairs. But you know, really it works for any size house. There’s really no downside to it.
CLAIRE: Well, it’s a one-story house but we did put a bathroom in the basement and we have the washer and dryer in the basement.
TOM: Then this might be a good option for you.
CLAIRE: OK, great. I’ll pass this on to my husband and put it on his list. (Leslie chuckles)
TOM: Yeah, you do that. (Claire chuckles) You do that. Alright, thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.