Corroded Galvanized Pipes and Low Water Pressure
Do you still have galvanized pipes in your home? Do you experience low water pressure? If you answered yes to the first question, then the reason you are having low water pressure is possible corrosion and clogging caused by rusts and other minerals. Obviously, this will cost you money, and in some instances lots of money. So here are some ways that will help you solve your low water pressure problem caused by corroded galvanized pipes.
Doing the job by yourself means that you need to make sure that you need to use an incremental approach. This will help you save a few hundred dollars in return. So we begin to jump from the most obvious and then to the next possible cause of the low water pressure problem.
Main Valve and Meter
Why do you need to start with this? If the problem of low water pressure is in your entire house and not isolated to a specific section, then quite possibly, the problem starts at the entry point. So to improve the water pressure you begin with the most likely spot, the main valve and meter.
Make sure that you leave the outdoor faucet closest to the water meter open to drain anything sitting in the plumbing system. How do you know if the meter is causing the low water pressure? If you have meter fittings that are smaller than the pipes going in and out of it, there is a reduction in the flow. Ask your water utility provider to replace it with a bigger model.
You will need to replace the first 15 feet of the old galvanized pipe coming from the meter with either a PEX or copper pipe that is an inch in size. The increased volume from the new pipe will help compensate for the restrictions happening down the line into your home.
To further boost the water pressure, put in full-port inch-sized ball valves on both sides of the meter. The bigger water meter will double the water flow and increase your water pressure.
The next step is to replace all the old stop valves for your plumbing fixtures like toilets and sinks. Crud builds up in these galvanized elbows causing a restriction in water flow. Before replacing these valves make sure that the water supply from the main is cut off. Remove any buildup in the galvanized fittings before the new stop valves are installed.
Completely open the valve to flush out any loose crud that have been left behind from the cleaning. Once the water becomes clear you can turn off the water. Apply the supply tube to the plumbing fixture and check for leaks. Do this for all your plumbing fixtures.
In case none of the initial steps work in increasing your water pressure, you need to deal with horizontal pipe sections. This is already a huge project that would possibly be best left to professional plumbers. You can ask them to replace the old galvanized steel pipes with either a copper or PEX one.
In case you decide to do this on your own, make sure that you do not detach any 90-degree tees or elbows attached to your vertical pipes. This prevents the pipes from breaking off because the threaded parts are always the thinnest when the pipe is old and rusty. You will need a nipple extraction tool to prevent it from breaking.
If you couldn’t deal with horizontal pipe sections, then most definitely you need to turn this job over to a professional plumber especially if you continue to experience low water pressure. Let’s assume that you push through on your own, then you need to know that this is particularly tough because you need to deal with access holes that go through walls and floors.
The best way to deal with vertical pipes is to completely let go of the old pipes and just lay out new PEX lines. Why PEX? Because this type of piping material is easier to fish out and can be bent around corners, making the entire process easier for you to complete. You will need to make new oversized holes for the expansion and contraction of the PEX pipes as well as bundling of the hot and cold lines.
Scott English Plumbing can help you with all your home plumbing problems. Drop them a line today.