Lets start with the history and why it matters.
In most cases, when water pressure is lacking the pipes themselves can be the culprit. In older homes built in the 1940’s-1960’s we have found that “Galvanized” pipes were used throughout most of the home as a material for potable water delivery. Through many years of working in the industry we have found homes in areas such as Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, Ventura County and even Riverside County were built using galvanized pipes.
These homes were built during the WW2 era and metal was in abundance during that time frame. In fact, most of the plumbing was made out of metal. Drains/Sewer lines were built using “Cast-Iron” pipes and even Galvanized was used for drains as well. Gas lines were also installed with galvanized pipes and still to this day. However, history has shown that when any form of liquid is introduced to metal piping over time the metal starts to deteriorate and eventually leads to rust. And Rusty pipes are the main cause for bad water pressure!
Rusty pipes are bad?!
Rusty pipes or rust filled pipes are the main reason why the majority of our clients have bad water pressure. As time moves forward the pipes continue accumulate rust which reduces its inner diameter. A stick of 1″ pipe has the inner diameter of 1.00″ known as its “nominal” dimension. According to this site most galvanized steel comes with an accurate or true to size nominal or Inner dimension.
After some time this inner dimension becomes reduced and filled with rust. Similar to what would happen to a humans arteries, the same theory would apply. Combine the rust accumulation with years and years of normal water usage and the pipe dimension will eventually reduce to less than half its intended size. A smaller pipe dimension reduces water volume which means flow. Less flow means not enough water for the fixtures throughout the entire home and this results in bad water pressure.
How to remedy bad water pressure?
The short answer is repipe your home! But if you’re still reading and are genuinely interested in how to resolve this issue lets take a look at a couple of options. First, attempt to remove all of the filters in your faucets and showers to see if there’s any debris or build-up. This can be accomplished by taking a pair or pliers and removing the “aerator” which is the little screen filter at the end of the faucet. Granted, some faucets don’t come with a standard aerator and will require more specific tools. The shower head will also have a screen which can also have build-up accumulated after some time.
Second, don’t be fooled by a local plumber when they say that replacing a small portion of your already rust filled pipes will make a difference. Sure, it may temporarily help but it’s not a long term solution and the rust is everywhere! Replacing a small portion of pipe really won’t help do much and a waste of money. At this point the only true solution would be to get rid of all of the old rust filled pipes and replace them with either PEX or COPPER.
To conclude, this bad water pressure issue can be a nuisance to any home in any area no matter where it’s located. Older homes may suffer from bad water pressure or brown water more often than others but it’s an issue no matter the age. Even if brown water or bad water pressure isn’t present, rust is still running through the plumbing supply. Bathing in rusty water can lead to a number of health issues we can further discuss in another article which will be posted here.
In short, call us for a free in home estimate today!
– Mike , CEO/President and an “ACTUAL” plumber