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My house was built in 1909. The water pressure is fine until you run more than one faucet. Then it's horrible- goes to a trickle? What can we do to keep the pressure consistant throughout the house?

Re: Trickle


Could you provide more info as to what type of water system and piping you have in your house.

Do you have well water with a pump,or a municipal hookup (city water) in the street.

Are the main water supply pipes in the cellar coming into the house galvanized steel, or 1" copper, or PVC plastic.

Is this a single story house, or a multiple family.

Many homes dating to 1909 have the original galvanized steel water supply pipes; unfortunately, this type of piping is subject to inner corrosion that eventually reduces the inside diameter to almost nothing.

Ideally, a 1" copper main supply should come into the house, followed by 3/4" copper or plastic for the main branches, then 1/2" copper or plastic to the individual fixtures.

These types of piping last much longer without extensive inner corrosion & thus maintain adequate water pressure to the entire house.

Please post back.

Re: Trickle

We are on town water and coming into the house is 3/4"copper-to the fixtures is 1/2"copper. Single family, German colonial, basement, 2 floors, attic. No water to attic. Built 1909. Updated??

Re: Trickle

Call your town water supplier.:D

Re: Trickle


Joan makes a good point, at least as a start to trying to solve the problem.

The town water supply dept's responsibility usually stops at the street (the property line), usually where the street shutoff is located (a possible cause of problems); they also provide the water meter (also a possible problem, though unlikely).

If you happen to be on "dead end street" water supply feed lines, they tend to accumulate sand, but this would affect your neighbors as well; the town has a complete map of all the water lines in the city & thus could check this possibility.

The city could check all these issues, perhaps even the meter, free of charge.

If the town can verify the pressure at the street without charge, usually 55-65 psi, that would be an even bigger plus.

That would bring us to your main 3/4" copper line coming in from the property line into the house, along with the main shutoff valve in the cellar; there may possibly be a pressure reducing valve there as well.

It's highly unusual for a 3/4" copper water main to behave this way.

The only two possibilities I can think of is a) the main shutoff valve in your basement (which is very often a gate valve), has become defective; it is common for this type of valve's inner gate mechanism to deteriorate & partially drop into the supply opening, reducing water pressure & volume to the rest of the house.

If this has happened, a city worker would have to show up with a special tool & shut the water off at your property line before work could be started on the gate valve in your basement.

You would have to hire a plumber to have this checked out; he will also do a pressure check of the water inside the house.

The only other possibility I can think of is that the 3/4" copper supply line from the street to your basement is excessively long.

For example a line that is 250' in length would lose considerable pressure & volume by the time it got to the basement.

If the water pressure has been ok until only recently, you can probably discount this possibility.

Please post back to let us know how you made out.

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