Water Pressure Issues
LESLIE: Diane in Maryland is just not getting the proper pressure in her shower. What can we do for you today?
DIANE: Hi. I’m having trouble with the water pressure in my whole house, actually.
LESLIE: The whole house?
DIANE: I have low water pressure upstairs and really high water pressure downstairs. Is there anything I can do about it?
TOM: Low water pressure upstairs and high water pressure downstairs usually means that your main water line into the house is not delivering enough water and the fixtures that are the farthest away from the main water line have the least flow.
TOM: So that’s not unusual. How old is your house?
DIANE: It’s about 40 years old.
TOM: And what kind of pipes do you have coming into the house? Do you know?
DIANE: They’re copper.
TOM: They’re copper. So, the copper is not going to restrict like a steel pipe would but it might be a problem with the valve.
TOM: So the pattern that you’re describing is probably plumbing-related in terms of a valve that’s restricting water to the second floor. And what I would do is I would sort of dissect or have a plumber dissect the supply lines up to the second floor and figure out where the drop in pressure is.
TOM: Now, the pressure on the second floor that’s low, is that low through all the fixtures in this bathroom? Is it one bathroom, first of all?
DIANE: It’s the bathroom in the kitchen upstairs.
TOM: OK, so it’s just one bathroom.
DIANE: (overlapping voices) So yes, all the fixtures.
TOM: And you say all the fixtures, so we’re talking about both – what – a tub and shower and a sink?
TOM: Any problems with the toilet?
TOM: Hmm. Alright, well I would say to check the cold water supply line up to that space because I suspect that it’s restricted somewhere and that’s why you’re having this pressure problem. I doubt very seriously there’s any problem with the clogging of a pipe because as long as everything is copper there’s really nothing for you to clog.
DIANE: OK. Well, thank you for your information. I want to check into that.
TOM: Alright, Diane. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.