Toledo Talk

Water pressure issues

Long story short, we've noticed over the past couple of years that our water pressure has diminished. I'd say significantly over time. You don't really notice it with the shower etc but hand washing dishes in a weak flow of water is kind of frustrating.

I know I do not have any sort of leak in or around my house and I'm wondering if the city is capable of helping increase the pressure? Our home is in the Old West End so obviously pipes are old etc.

Any suggestions on increasing the flow beyond moving? :)

created by upso on Jun 03, 2016 at 01:48:01 pm     Home     Comments: 14

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I've seen this solve it in several homes.

Go to your meter. Turn off the water on the city side. Disconnect your side of the meter and clean thoroughly. I've seen the meters completely full of debris and grime.

If that does not work you would need to call the city and have them shut it off at the street and then clean out the city side as well.

I have also seen the shut off valves by the meter deteriorate or break and they aren't open all the way which limits water pressure. Make sure that each valve is fully open and functional.

Even though it's old piping you usually won't notice the pressure slowing down on supply lines like you do with slow drains due to constant water flow in the pipes. So that is where I would start.

If that doesn't work, check the valves at the hot water tank as well. Anywhere you have valves or pipes coming together is where you typically find the issue. Good luck.

posted by Xbuckeyex on Jun 03, 2016 at 01:57:49 pm     #  

Have you made sure that the main valve is open all the way?

Also, if you don't notice it in the shower but you do in the kitchen, check the aerator screen in the kitchen faucet to see if you have calcium deposits blocking the flow. Most will unscrew, maybe get it started with some channel locks. I have a faucet at one of the houses that captures some every once in a while due to the design and it can nearly cut off the flow. While other fixtures seem to be fine. Clean that screen assembly and I am good to go for a while.

No idea on the city question.

posted by justread on Jun 03, 2016 at 01:59:30 pm     #   2 people liked this

+1 on Justread's suggestion. I would also check the supply lines on the faucets. Hopefully, you'll have shutoff valves on each. Shut off the valves and check both ends of the hose. I get deposits built up there, especially on the hot side.

If you've never replaced the hoses, it's probably a good idea to do so. You could also disconnect the hose from the faucet side, direct the hose to a bucket and open the valve to see if you have pressure there. If you do, it may be a faucet issue.

posted by JoeyGee on Jun 03, 2016 at 02:06:17 pm     #  

Any idea if there is any galvanized pipe in the supply line? Galvanized will definitely plug up over time - especially with Toledo's water.
+2 on justread's suggestion.
Speaking from experience, if you have older chrome looking shutoff valves under your sink, be very careful turning them off and on. Those things were/may still be widely used and are junk. If you end up having to replace the shutoff valves, have your plumber install higher quality quarter turn valves. Much more reliable.

posted by Foodie on Jun 03, 2016 at 03:10:16 pm     #   1 person liked this

I live in the 43612 zip code and just as recently as a few days ago, I've noticed my water pressure seems lower than what I'm used to. I can't believe that all at once debris has suddenly slowed the pressure, but I guess anything is possible.

posted by hockeyfan on Jun 03, 2016 at 03:37:36 pm     #  

Thks for the tips guys. Have had the prob and did the usual - blame the gd city. Will CAREFULLY try the suggestions after sending my spouse out on a shopping trip. When doing any plumbing (older home) the language gets real loud and salty.

posted by Mariner on Jun 04, 2016 at 06:46:53 am     #   1 person liked this

Have you checked the aerators on each faucet? i need to clean mine 1 or 2 times a year.

posted by jhop on Jun 04, 2016 at 02:43:22 pm     #  

Is it just your hot water or hot and cold? Hot water would be the water heater. Do you have a pressure limiter on the main line? Have you asked the neighbors if they are experiencing the same problems. We had a problem two years ago and it was in a county supply main 100 yards from our property. Didn't get a response from the county until the whole neighborhood started bitching and still took 6 months. Is it a uniform drop throughout the house and your outside spigots or just some areas?

posted by Wydowmaker on Jun 04, 2016 at 09:38:29 pm     #  

Lots of water main breaks last week, so I'll agree with checking out the aerators. Debris and sediment may have got into the water lines.

posted by Erin on Jun 04, 2016 at 09:41:30 pm     #  

Replacing most of the galvanized lines a couple years ago has helped a great deal at my nearly 100 year old home.

posted by 6th_Floor on Jun 05, 2016 at 10:13:16 pm     #  

Thanks dude! (and thanks everyone!) I will report back.

posted by upso on Jun 05, 2016 at 10:21:30 pm     #  

If you have older plumbing before you go opening and closing any valves make sure the valve or valves by your meter is working and you can shut off your water if you have to. If a valve stem is corroded and breaks off it could start leaking.

posted by reggie on Jun 07, 2016 at 06:00:55 am     #  

You guys better start being more careful with this power of the social media. The thread started with a complaint about low water pressure and just a few short days later major water main breaks in several locations. Cause and effect or more job security at play? Either way please don't start complaining about high taxes or we will all be sleeping in tents.

posted by Mariner on Jun 09, 2016 at 10:15:28 am     #   2 people liked this

reggie posted at 06:00:55 AM on Jun 07, 2016:

If you have older plumbing before you go opening and closing any valves make sure the valve or valves by your meter is working and you can shut off your water if you have to. If a valve stem is corroded and breaks off it could start leaking.

Or you could, say, close the valve by your meter and not be able to open it again, either due to a broken valve stem (imagine the ubiquitous do-it-yourself homeowner with the valve handle in one hand, a beer in the other, and no water to the house with a family of five that suddenly all need the bathroom for one reason or another), or worse, jammed up valve internals. Now what?

It's also possible for the whole thing to give way and start spraying unmetered water everywhere. Who do you call on a Sunday afternoon once you've bollixed up your own, personal water main?

posted by madjack on Jun 09, 2016 at 11:04:34 am     #