Low Pressure

15 Replies

I just bought a 3 flat(triplex for the non Chicagoan's) and I am hacking it. I live in the top unit, the bottom two are rented.  One of my tenants saw me today and said that their kitchen faucet water pressure was low.  I went in and checked it out and yes, it is low.  The bathroom sink, shower and outside waterhose all appear to have adequate pressure.  Any suggestions before I call a plumber.

Kevin Coleman Most faucets have a strainer on them that can sometimes get clogged with debris. Unscrew it, clean out the debris, screw it back on and you should be good.

@Kevin Coleman

Since its just one service point, I would agree that its likely the strainer. Otherwise, is the problem with both hot and cold, or just one? Is there low pressure from just this one service point?

@Mack McPhatter I took off the strainer and that didn"t help.  The pressure starts off fine but then tapers off when I turn on both the hot and cold water.  I tried them both individually.

@Matthew Olszak I live in the top unit and my pressure is fine.  The 1st floor tenant told the 2nd floor tenant(whom has the water pressure issue) that their pressure is fine also.  I checked their bathroom and pressure seems fine their also.

I think that it is partially blocked.  When the water is turned off enough pressure builds up past the blockage to provide pressure for just a moment when the faucet is turned on.  However, when he pressure is relieved is relieved it tapers back off again.

Any suggestions?

That isnt a pressure problem , its a flow problem . There is something in the line or the faucet . Disconnect the faucet at the supply , check the flow at the turn off valve below the sink , If this is fine , the problem is in the faucet . Sometimes its just easier at that point to replace the faucet.

@Kevin Coleman from what you are describing, @Matthew Paul

is correct.  I would like to add that it is also possible to have a blockage in the supply line between the supply stop and faucet. 

@Matthew Paul  @Jeremy Hunsicker thanks for your recommendations. I am just debating if I should give this a shot myself or should I go ahead have the plumber come out.  If it was my unit, I would be more inclined to fix it myself because no one would be there to watch me fumble around with it.   However, I hate looking like I don't know what I am doing in front of a tenant.  I will let you know how it turns out.

Nah, just tell them I don't want to spend money on something that could be fixed in 10 mins. If it is the same situation on both hot and cold, and the supply pipe/hose is separate, then it might be the faucet.

Good points everyone.  I am going to give this a shot myself.  I will keep you all posted.  Thanks for all the advice. 

thought I would provide an update.  I replaced the supply lines and the pressure is still low. i had a new faucet with me but the tenant said that it is not a major issue and not to worry about replacing it.  I guess I got lucky.  

Now, this is a good person to help, after seeking advice, reports back on what had happened, thank you for that. Let me know if you need anything else.

Originally posted by @Kevin Coleman :

thought I would provide an update.  I replaced the supply lines and the pressure is still low. i had a new faucet with me but the tenant said that it is not a major issue and not to worry about replacing it.  I guess I got lucky.  

 I don't know how old your lines are but we discovered corrosion buildup in our 3/8 supply lines within the shutoff valves. We switched out the 3/8 to 1/2 Pex with new shutoffs & the pressure improved significantly. Then we had a completely unrelated pressure breakdown in the main supply & we discovered the large 1960's era shut off valve on the city side of the water meter was also heavily corroded inside.

Could it be that some of those water lines are galvanized?  If so, they tend to develop blockages within. 

If not, like @Pat L. posted, shut off valves are another place for blockage. And check that there aren't any sections of pipe that got pinched - like a yard hose that gets pinched, you won't get much pressure then. 

@Pat L. and @Steve Babiak thanks for the info.  When I replaced the supply lines the shutoff continued to drip just a little so I know that it will eventually need to be replaced.  I am only comfortable working from the shutoff forward to the faucet so I will have to call a plumber for anything issues from shut off and back. When I replace the cabinet and the faucet, I will also replace the shut off.  Hopefully that does the trick.  If not the plumber will  work their way back to see if there is blockage, corrosion etc.  

Speaking of blockage, I plan to cut down a small tree which sits at the front of the house close to where the main line comes in from the city.  I am worried about root intrusion. 

You can check the line by attaching the hose to the angle stop and opening it to a bucket, if it is slow, the problem is the angle stop and back, if it is not, it is in the angle stop to faucet.

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