Improve my water pressure (please)

My home (built in 1949) has lousy water pressure. Not at every faucet. The one in the bathtub releases a torrent. The sink in the same bathroom is good cold water-wise but lousy when it comes to the hot water.

In the kitchen (on the far opposite side of the house) cold is poor and hot is awful.

Can anything be done to fix this?

FWIW, one rule of thumb states when cold is good and hot is poor, you need to replace the existing washer with a non-expanding one.

Generally, it sounds like you have washer problems.

Need a little more info on the type of faucets you have.

All sorts of possible problems, from furred up pipes to bad design. The only real cure is to get a plumber to sort it out, which may mean a lot of replaced piping.

Are there shut-off valves under the sink for these locations?

I know that may sound like a dumb question, but I’ve been in a new place for a year and was displeased with the hot water pressure in one of the bathroom sinks. I recently found out that the shut-off valve was only about 1/4 open. :smack:

First thing to try is burpo’s suggestion: replace washers (& aerators) in faucets. Easy, cheap, and might fix the problem.

Second possibility is low pressure coming in from the city supply. Probably not a problem, since you say that some of the locations have good pressure.

So the next likely cause is that the supply pipes to other locations are partly clogged. That means replacing pipes inside your walls. That’s much harder & more expensive. Tell us what kind of pipes you have inside the house for more suggestions.

It’s not cheap, and it’s not particularly easy, but it’s most likely: you have years of sediment built up in your (probably galvanized steel) pipes. It is typically worse in the hot water lines, and worse in the horizontal lines.

Try cheaper and quicker possibilities already offered first, of course, but my money is on the lines.

Especially if you have hard water. Nearly seventy years of calcium buildup could really wreck water flow.

i got new shower heads in two bathrooms, and was shocked at the increase in water pressure, especially in the older one. It might be the lines, but start with cheap stuff. Most of that has been mentioned, but shower heads, too.

Copper pipes throughout.

Since my original post I’ve followed a couple suggestions:

  1. Tested the valves (they all appear to be wide open)
  2. Changed both (bath & kitchen ) faucet aerators (slight improvement)

It’s largely the lousy hot water flow that is annoying. The bath sink is tolerable but sometimes you really want strong flow in the kitchen sink.

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All suggestions good. Copper lines in a 1949 house means that the plumbing has been replaced. Who knows who did it or if it was to code. It could have been done before inspections where required. Perhaps an extra dozen elbows and extra pipe was put in the new copper hot line to route it. That would effect gallons per minute/flow.

Is this a new problem?

Are you on a well, or city water?

If on a well, if the main incoming line is tied in before the pressure tank, your gonna get weird hot cold syndromes. Happened to me.

That is by no means a dumb question; what is dumb is how many times I’ve forgotten to check that when I’ve moved into a new place. :smack::smack:

Not new. It’s been this way at least since we took ownership five years ago.

It’s city water and rated “moderately hard.”

I know copper pipes were not in common use when the house was built but neither were they unheard of. I don’t believe they were ever changed out (if so, they’re about the only thing the previous owners updated!)

The kitchen is a long way from where the water enters the house. The cold water pressure there is tolerable but the hot stinks!

To repeat one of burpo’s questions: what kind of faucets do you have at the problem locations? Any idea of how old? Washer or washerless?

One thing you can try to test the sink pressure is to disconnect the copper line at the valve so you can test the pressure before the sink. That is, when you look at the valve under the sink, there is a copper line that goes up to the faucet. Disconnect that copper line from the valve. First go to the hardware store and get a flexible sink connector so you can attach it to the valve where you disconnected the copper line. Then put the other end of the flexible sink connector into a bucket and open the valve. If you have great pressure there, then it means the clog is in the sink faucet. If the pressure is low straight from the valve, then it’s somewhere in the pipes.

Of course, make sure you turn off the valve first before disconnecting the copper line.

Good questions. The bath room faucet is likely original and undoubtedly has washers. The kitchen is definitely not original but I don’t know how old. I also don’t know if it is washerless. It’s a single handle job and will be replaced when we update our kitchen in a few months.
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Thanks, Filmore. To my ears that sounds like a job for a plumber.
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