Bladder to feed a cold water line that has low flow on city water.

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by FBXFixIt, Sep 17, 2009.

  1. FBXFixIt

    FBXFixIt New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Alaska
    Newbie to forum. I am tracking a low water flow to two cold water lines feeding two side-by-side restrooms. Lines run in utility room just other side of wall. This 1" copper line is on the third floor coming from a dungeon in a 50-ish historical commercial building. First thought was flow meter, replaced with a 1.6 gal same as I took out. However I was always in doubt due too why both toilets have the same problem at once. No Change. Replaced with a 3.2 gal flow meter, very little to no change. Thought maybe clogged line--great. Snaked and checked all drain lines. If they weren't free, they are now. When tracing the line I found a bladder coming off the line. Climbing on a steam heater blower unity (Operational in winter) I tested the pressure, zero, found a pressure gauge in line prior to the fixtures and bladder, it read 60-psi. Tried putting pressure in the bladder, would not take pressure. Oh yeh climbing through blower unit to get to the pressure gauge as it was installed pointed towards the wall-- X??//\\whydothat. Ok when flushing toilets and running cold water sinks in both bathrooms water trickles no not much, I asked a pretty large heating contractor friend, he said the bladder was probably old and not in use and was when they used the old well. However, when they used the well it was galvanized line, this is copper. This bladder is just above the line suppling the fixtures. I read that you can use a bladder where you have a feed line that is too small or travels a long distance causing large pressure drops. Cold this be it. Lines above this do not seem to have this problem but could not explore all cold lines. Retired city water guy said do not rule out build up in line. But lines going in other direction do not seem to be effected. Ok what's the next step. Taking the line apart to check flow? Replacing the bladder tank. We need the toilets to flush properly--maybe a tank wall toilet that would be better water savings? Call a plumber? I am a pretty good lic Handing Man and would like figuring this one out. I do a lot of work for the owner, I now know this buildings digestive system, I just cant figure out this hick-up. FBXFixIt
  2. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,143
    Location:
    South*East
    Replace the tank.

    John
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,636
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    problem

    You may be a "licensed handyman", but if you are snaking drain lines to correct a water supply problem to the toilets, then you are not a very good diagnostician. To add air to the tank you either have to drain the lines or remove the tank first. IT will give a stabilizing effect to the pressure, and can overcome SOME restriction in the supply line TO IT, but is seldom a good fix for a conventional toilet with a water supply problem.
  4. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Is there any chance that somewhere there is some galv. pipe that is directly connected to the copper pipe, even a small section, and dialectric action has reduced the flow...

    OR

    a dialetric coupling was used somewhere to transiton from galv. pipe to copper and the dialectric coupling is rusted almost closed...
  5. FBXFixIt

    FBXFixIt New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Alaska
    Was told that drains have been a problem and they snake the basement lower one twice a year. So I did all main ones. Great point, wish I would have followed my first suspensions.
  6. FBXFixIt

    FBXFixIt New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Alaska
    No galvanized pipe touching in this line where it come into this utility room. It does appear to touch in a few spots early in the line where it goes through concrete. Will be draining the system tonight and replacing the tank.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2009
  7. FBXFixIt

    FBXFixIt New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Alaska
    Thanks, will do at closing as well as get some shut off valves i place.
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