Low Pressure on outside spicket

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by wmena, May 26, 2005.

  1. wmena

    wmena New Member

    Messages:
    5
    I have a 2 outside spickets with low water pressure. I went to Home Depot and spoke with a plumbing guy. He said that I might be helped by replacing the inside shutoff valve (which is the typical looking red handle kind which you turn a few times to shut off) with a ball valve, as there is very little restriction. I replaced it and it did not help much at all.

    The particular spicket I'm working on is VERY near the city water inlet that comes into my basement. The main run is 3/4" and there is a 3/4" to 1/2" tee that is used to supply water to the spicket.

    It probably does not matter... but the tee comes strait up off of the 3/4, then the 1/2" copper connected to it makes a 90deg turn before going strait to the spicket.

    Any ideas? What PSI should I expect?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,153
    Location:
    New England
    Re the pressure, the easiest way to check that is with a gauge. You can usually buy one that simply screws onto the hose bib (the outside faucet). You can read it off of that directly. They aren't very expensive, say around $10 or so I've been told. I've got one, but I've had it so long, I don't remember what I paid. At least 30 pounds should be available. On the other end, if it is over 80, you should put a pressure reduction valve. Around 50-60 is a good number to shoot for. If you are trying to do something like fill a pool or something like that, it might have been nice if you had 3/4" pipe all the way to the faucet, but for most things, the 1/2" should be okay. You'd get more volume with the 3/4" supply, but it would have no effect on the pressure. It could be something as simple as the washer in the outside faucet has swollen, restricting the flow. My unprofessional opinion.
  3. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,360
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    You can get a gaige as mentioned or you can check with the city to find out what pressure is on your main, but don't confuse pressure with volume. If you have old galvanized pipes, they could be corroded to the point that you really only have perhaps a 1/4" opening and a gauge would still show the full pressure carried in the main. You just can't get the volume out of a smaller opening. It is true that the ball valves are better for the reasons stated by HD. The elbow is not a factor. Somewhere in the line there is something blocking full flow. Is there possibly another valve?
  4. captwally

    captwally New Member

    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Florida
    Also, is there an atmospheric vacuum breaker, or PVB screwed onto the hose bibb outside? While normally they do not affect the pressure, they can if an obstruction presents itself. Just a thought from MY unprofessional opinion...
  5. wmena

    wmena New Member

    Messages:
    5
    I purchased and replaced the original bib with one of the 3/4 turn ones they sell at home depot. This thing does have a plastic piece on top used to keep it from freezing in the winter. Is that what you refer to when you say PVB? Or are you talking about the think that screws on for backflow prevention? I don't have the latter.

    There is no other valve between the copper supply and bib, other than the one I just replaced with a ball valve.

    I will take the outside bib/spicket apart and see what happens.

    Thanks!
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,835
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    pressure

    Maybe you have poor pressure all through the house, but only when something that uses a lof of water, such as a hose faucet, is used.
  7. wmena

    wmena New Member

    Messages:
    5
    OK, I have good pressure througout the house. Farther downstream from where the spicket taps in, I have a basement sink. Again, this is 1/2" copper tied into a 3/4" line using a Tee. Pressure/volume is great there.

    So, at this point, there is either a restriction in the line (doubtful), or the spiket itself has a problem.

    Will check.
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,835
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    pressure

    A single problem would not affect two different faucets, unless you have an unusual piping system.
  9. wmena

    wmena New Member

    Messages:
    5
    OK, I have one of those pressure guages.

    I have about 65PSI at the spicket. Slightly more at my basement sink. At the basement sink, volume is MUCH MUCH better than at the spicket.

    So, must be a restriction, right?

    Willy
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,835
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    pressure

    The pressure at the faucet is immaterial as long as no faucets are turned on. Put the gauge on the faucet and check the pressure. Then without doing anything else, open the sink faucet and go back and check the pressure reading. Turn that faucet off and open the other hose faucet and again check the pressure reading. Tell us what those pressure readings are, and we may be able to give you an answer.
  11. wmena

    wmena New Member

    Messages:
    5
    HJ, thanks, I'll do that, but I think I may have solved my problem.

    I shut the water off on the inside of the house, then took the spicket apart. I put the guage in the normal outlet so that water would not come out from that end, but from the actual faucet part. Had wife turn the water back on inside and low and behold, good volume.

    When I installed my new 3/4 turn spicket, I used mapp gas... and probably held the heat on to long, ruining some of the insides. I had thought I took everything apart prior do applying heat... but I guess not. I had a second one ready to install at a second location, so I replaced the insides with the unused spicket. Volume definately up now.

    Now, as soon as I fix the leak in my Ames hosereel (free parts replacement!), I should be in business!

    Thanks all for you help!
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