HOW IMPORTANT IS HAVING PROPER WATER PRESSURE IN YOUR HOME?
Proper water pressure in your home is essential for many tasks that are part of our daily life. Without adequate water pressure, showering is much less satisfying and relaxing as water dribbles and trickles from the shower head. Washing your dishes in lower water pressure takes longer, as there isn’t a strong enough stream available to break up grease and soap residue. Washing cars and watering the lawn can be nearly impossible without adequate water pressure as well.
WHAT DO I DO IF I NOTICE LOW WATER PRESSURE?
If you’re experiencing lower than normal water pressure, check to see if it is affecting all the faucets and other water outlets around your home. Check around all plumbing fixtures, toilet tanks, and seals, beneath sinks, and especially underneath your home for any signs of water damage that could indicate a plumbing leak issue. If you notice that the water pressure is lower throughout the house, and you don’t find an active leak, ask your neighbors if they’ve noticed any water pressure issues themselves.
Low water pressure can occur for several reasons, but in an older home, the most likely culprit will be rusting and leaking galvanized pipes. Galvanized pipes are made of steel, then dipped into a protective zinc coating that prevents corrosion and rust. Unfortunately, this zinc coating has an average lifespan of around 30 years, and once it begins to flush away, the exposed steel will start to rust. As rust begins to form around the outer perimeter of the pipe, the corrosion works its way inward to the center, effectively choking off the water supply and lowering your water pressure.
HOW MUCH DAMAGE CAN RUSTED GALVANIZED PIPES CAUSE?
Aside from the damage that rust and corrosion can cause inside of your pipes, eventually that rust will make its way to the outside of the pipe, creating a leak. Damage caused by water leaks remains the number one claim against homeowner’s insurance EVERY year. Don’t wait until your galvanized pipes burst while you’re at work or on vacation, causing additional thousands of dollars of expense, have your galvanized pipes inspected by Nick’s Plumbing and Air Conditioning Services today BEFORE there’s an emergency.
SO, WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT LOW WATER PRESSURE?
If you live in the Heights, River Oaks, West U, Bellaire, Garden Oaks, or any of the other areas around Houston built before the 1950s; chances are you have old galvanized piping in your home. Galvanized pipe is essentially a ticking time bomb, meaning if you still have it, it’s only a matter of time before it fails.
Once galvanized pipe begins to deteriorate, you can fix it, one section at a time as leaks occur; or you can opt for a whole-house re-pipe with copper or PEX pipe. We usually advise homeowners to allow for one galvanized pipe fix in the home; beyond one repair, it’s probably time for a whole-house re-pipe.
Nick’s Plumbing and Air Conditioning Services has been performing galvanized pipe repair and replacement in Houston since 1979, and we have over one-hundred-and-fifty-thousand satisfied customers. We offer free estimates and free second opinions for any pipe repair or replacement job.
Call us Today; We’re on the Way.
More on Low Water Pressure on The Potty Mouth Guys Show
Nick’s Plumbing & Air Conditioning Live Video Transcription:
On today’s show, why you’re experiencing low water pressure in your home.
Thank you. Yeah.
I’m Richard Saad. I’m John Eccles. We’re back for another week. Another exciting topic talking about low water pressure. All right. What causes low water pressure? It can be one of several different things actually, right? That’s right. Some customers, uh, it could be as simple as changing out your shower head and you don’t realize it nowadays they make these pretty little water savers. They really screw you. I hate those. Can you say that on the air? I don’t know. I just did it. I ate it. I ate the water saver. Doesn’t bother me as bad. Well, I’m a bigger guy. I’m more surface to claim. So you need more guilt. Do you need more gallons per minute? Any pressure I need? Yeah, we are in a low pressure society right now. Or wait a minute, would it be at low volume? But Hey, you know, the plumbing system, a lot of things are low volume nowadays.
Absolutely. You know, and it goes to that green, green. Yeah, it’s what it is. I don’t get it. I don’t get it. Save water. I don’t understand why you don’t know when I’m dead. I can’t drink it with it. Hell, I care. I’m a saver. I’m me. I’m a, I’m a drinker. Spiller leave the water running and go do something outside. Come back. He’s up 20,000 gallons. Oh, okay. So what causes low water pressure? Could be piping. That’s, that’s probably the one that a lot of people don’t realize. Right? Piping in their houses, um, old galvanizes the worst, right? That is the absolute biggest culprit. So galvanized piping. What happens is the coating comes off when the coating comes off, it produce rust on the inside and it starts closing up the pipe and therefore it starts necking that pipe down on its own. And that half inch piping will become quarter-inch.
Yeah. Three eights, stuff like that where the volume can’t get through it. And it’s a true challenge. And typically, you know, homeowners there, there’s several things that they can do. Partial replacements, right? Oh yeah. See if that fixes it. But they have another product out where they’re doing pipe coating, right? They’re sandblasting inside of these pipes and then putting a poxy type sealant on it, on the interior. I would recommend against that. I’ve seen way too many of these homes where they don’t clean them. Right. And they still have to end up taking out pipe. Well, once you do that, can you repair it at that point you have to start cutting it out. Well, I thought it was my understanding that once you line the inside of the water pipe, you can’t repair it anymore. If something needs to be done, it all has to be done again.
Like can you cut into it and make a repair? Yes you can, but wherever you cut into it and make a repair, you’re not replacing that a poxy coating in that section. Right. Gotcha. It just won’t have that coating in it. Okay. Makes Sense. Makes Sense. So you can do that. And a lot of times I do because where they make, we’re, we’re, our piping structure makes a 90 in the wall is usually where it’ll bottleneck and they can’t clean it. Right. So therefore that epoxy just covers it all up and there’s no pressure and water coming out of the backside of that. Hmm. So then they have to start cutting out sheet rock to cut that out and put new piping. Is there still a lot of galvanize and Houston tons? Oh yeah. Where is there places where it’s more prevalent than others? You’re looking at the entire heights.
Partial rib roads. Some of these older homes in river oaks do have copper. Okay. You know, all the way back from 1910 they have copper. Yes. It’s awesome. Uh, you’re, you’re washed all the way through west you all the way through Marlin in the Bel Air. So if I’m new to plumbing, what’s governance pipe look like? It is a silver color. Okay. Right. Okay. So if you’re looking up in the attic and you see silver colored pipes, that’s going to be galvanized water piping. Gotcha. Right. And then your gas is going to be black iron, which it’s exactly what it is. It’s black. Cool. So if they go up in there and you know if they have a small leak or they notice a spot on their ceiling, they go in the attic and they noticed they got silver color looking pipe and it’s not plastic, you know, along with obviously getting a repair done, cause that’s the immediate problem.
You might want to look into the big resolution, which is taking that pipe out and getting it replaced before we have something catastrophic happen. Catastrophic happens every day with galvanize these downs. It wasn’t meant to last as long as it has. So if you’re looking at Meijer land and you’re looking at Belair and West u and the heights, and then we got a little bit north of the heights, like garden oaks and oak forest, all of us were built around the same time. All right. Those homes, they didn’t know how long the material was going to last, but it certainly wasn’t meant to last this long. Right? So if you’re purchasing a house or if you have low water pressure, the time is now. And especially if you get a leak, if you get a leak in your piping system. What I always tell our clientele is you get one leak, number two you’re done.
Re pipe the house because the whole thing is about to fail and it’s about the cost you have. What more money dealing with the damage that that is going to create. All that and just the downtime or the mold or whatever else it’s going to do anytime. Anything like that happens in life. It’s just, to me it’s a bigger, it’s just a headache dealing with it. Right. It’s just you got to the time off to going back and forth. You rarely do it on your terms. Correct. Yeah. So that way you can schedule it. It’s not going to be an emergency. So if you’re in one of these older homes, now’s the time to do it. Right. In fact, we got a call on that today. Individual in the heights just bought a house and he wants to repeat. Why does he want it? Cause he knows the galvanizes a ticking time bomb or these had a leak and he just bought the house.
Try either one now. Um, not all these houses have the water pipes in the adequate is visible, right? It’s right. So what would be some telltale signs for customers where it’s not an attic if you’ve got a pier and beam house, right. The way they did it back then as they ran the galvanized under the house. Right. And either your water heater is going to be in the kitchen or it’s going to be in the attic typically, or it could be in the garage. Okay. So one of those places and you’ll be able to view it either from the attic or if you look directly underneath the house, you should be able to see it. If there’s a significant enough leak under the house, could that affect water pressure? Sure. Okay. But if it is a significant leaking or that house, it’s going to show and come out of that house.
Okay. So you’d probably see, you would see it. Yeah. Typically. Well, not, no, not if it was two months ago when it was running and every third day. Correct. Then you wouldn’t know. That’s exactly right. You know, and we have had circumstances where it doesn’t show up outside. It absorbs all underneath that house and it’s not discovered until you get two or three high water bills. Right. Cause you’re trying to figure out who I got a high water bill. What was that? Yeah. And then the next month goes around and then, okay, I know there’s a problem. Yeah. Huh. That’s interesting. So it can be anything from new fixtures, right? It could be anything from a possible leak type of piping, not size dry. So there’s a lot of different things that can affect a lot of variables. And then it also depends on what plumbing fixtures you picked out. Okay. So some of these plumbing fixtures, uh, their flow is lower than actually what the minimum standard is for Texas. Try it or actually isn’t. Right. The minimum standard, that would be the Max Standard.
Like a kitchen faucet and B one seven five is Max. Yeah. So they’re running at 1.25 right? Right. So it could be the actual fixture problem like you said. Yeah. So I started to pay attention to, I guess if you’re looking to replace your fixture and your water pressure hauled like me or you’re on the other end, you want to be more sensible about it. Make sure that you’re taking a look at that and on in other packaging. And when it tells you what kind of psis and pressures it’s given, that’s right. People don’t, they usually look at if it’s pretty, it’s pretty. If it’s not, it’s not. Okay, I’ll buy it. Yeah. But then you could be suffering on, on the volume of water that you’re actually going to get. It’s interesting [inaudible] like we’re all learning a little something today. So what it’s all about. So have you, have we ever had a cool thing about this one? Have we ever had a call where the pressure was too high in my career? One time. Okay. So what was that like? Because I never heard of it, but I figured I’d ask a one time, this guy was complaining he had way too much pressure coming out of all of his faucets. And I found that strange. I’ve never had anybody complain about that. Most people want pressure, right? When I’m in the shower, I want to get beat up on my back and let it just pound me in the back. Right. All right. It makes my back feel better. Right. But this guy was adamant, he just had too much pressure and I found that very strange. But the way that we did and fix that is we put a pressure reducer before when the house and I can regulate how much pressure went in the house and are regulated it down and therefore he didn’t have that volume and pressure coming out of the fixtures.
Here’s something in the, I’m sure that everybody would love to know what’s typical pressure going into a home in Houston? You’ll find it between 35 to 55 right? Psi. Yeah. And, and that’s typical. Have we seen it a little bit less than 35 yeah. So I have, I seen it more than 55 very rare right now they’re building it. Hunter Holmes, as you guys are aware of in the heights, Montrose West, you splitting up watts and it is in some certain areas taxing our, our main water supply. And I have seen it when it’s lower than 35 and if you’re going to do a four storey home and you’re lower than that 35, it isn’t going to work. And I get water up there and you’re not getting the pressure. Yeah. So how do you know what, I’m sorry to keep going. All of these questions, I just find this very interesting cause some of it I don’t know and Richard has a lot more experience in this.
So how does that work? If they continue to build homes and it, did they do they have to put up more water towers? Uh, how, how do they maintain that pressure? Same problem with engineering in a home. Right? If the line becomes undersized due to the fact there’s more people into it. Right, right. And they’re using more volume of water. All right. They have to upsize their lines and they might have to excavate who knows how far back to get to a larger line and then they just increase the line and they cannot increase that pressure. Okay. They have to increase the diameter of the piping to be able to achieve what you need to achieve gives you the volume. Right. Okay. Which they won’t, which means you got to put a pump on your own house. We’ll see out where I live. I live in North East Harris County on the other side of Lake Houston.
And our community is on a community. Well and it’s undersized and we’ve had problems several times when too much demand. Well it can’t put out enough. So if everybody’s up at the same time or whatever the case is, you get 30 homes taking a shower at one time, then all of a sudden there’s issues that will last year, yeah, one of the pumps went out and uh, it took them forever to get the parts to replace it. And for weeks the water pressure was zilch. It was, it stung really bad. So you had the shower when everybody else was asleep. 3:00 AM to eight. Really? Yeah. It was interesting. It was bad and the water didn’t smell good. No, it was fine. That was fine. It’s just one of the pumps went out so it wasn’t, didn’t have it didn’t have, yeah. It didn’t have the pressure and flow.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Understand. So, yeah, I guess, you know, with all that being said, and if you’re having water pressure issues, right. You know, or, or any of the things that go along with it, you’re thinking about changing out your showerhead or your kitchen faucet or whatever it is, and you’re just not sure. You can always call us or always at the office one phone call away. We’ll give you all the answers that we can give you. Sometimes we’re not sure either asked, sometimes we have a little research, but I know where to get answers. Absolutely. You know. So again, if you have those questions, uh, please give us a call. We’d love to help you out and playing in the right direction. Absolutely. John Richard, we’re in the office all the time. Give us a call. See you all next week. Thank you.