Low Bathtub Pressure? The rest of the house has great pressure.

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by adayinthelife, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. adayinthelife

    adayinthelife New Member

    Oct 27, 2010
    Northern VA
    Hi there. I have a pretty bizarre issue going on that I can't figure out. I am on a well and over the past few months, my pressure in my bathtub has gotten progressively worse, while it's stayed great in the rest of the house. The pressure was still decent until I replaced a leaking check valve in the basement this weekend and when I turned the water back on after the glue dried, there was barely a trickle coming out of the buthtub faucet.

    Once again the rest of the pressure was great. So, after reading up I figured it was just a clogged screen in the bathtub (my screens get clogged in my new bathroom sink faucet all the time, so I figured that was it....and yes I will be installed a filter as soon as I get this situation figured out). Anyway, I pulled the faucet entirely and the pressure was still a trickle coming out of the threaded coupling. So I figured it must be the cartridge. I disassembled the water shut-off valve for the shower/bathtub and removed the cartridge and took it apart and cleaned it and ran water straight through the rough-in (there was a lot sediment). Once I finished, I turned the water back on expecting the pressure to be great and it was the same trickle.

    So, I went to Ferguson's today and bought an entirely new cartridge and put it on there and the pressure is still awful.

    Here's what I don't understand: If I take the cartridge out, the pressure coming out of the rough-in where the cartridge goes has amazing pressure if I just turn the water on in the basement, but as soon as I put the cartridge in and turn the lever, the pressure is a trickle. Is it possible that somewhere between the rough-in valve and the bathtub faucet coupling, there is an obstruction? The entire bathroom is only 2 and a half years old. I don't know what could be clogging a 1/2" copper line.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated since the plumbers I've called are so busy it will be a loooong time until they can show up.

  2. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Aug 27, 2008
    A bounty hunter like in "Raising Arizona"
    Can you test if the new cartridge immediately clogged up? What is a normal pressure drop across a cartridge of this type at some given GPM?
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010
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  4. adayinthelife

    adayinthelife New Member

    Oct 27, 2010
    Northern VA
    Fixed it! Turns out our well water is just that damn full of sediment. After getting nowhere with disassembling the new cartridge, I decided to get out the old air compressor and hook it up to the faucet stub-out and blow air the opposite direction out through the rough-in. That must have jarred the remain sediment out, because after that, I hooked the cartridge back up and had fantastic pressure. The next order of business is install a filter asap in the basement to keep this from happening again.

    Thanks for your help Thatguy.
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