Water pressure in condo?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by 38ppBBia, Oct 17, 2020.

  1. 38ppBBia

    38ppBBia New Member

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    Oct 31, 2018
    Location:
    WI
    I have a condo that is on the end of 8 units, and the supply line is from another unit. I have no idea where it comes from, so I don't know how many units it travels through before getting to our unit. I replaced the line from steel to copper, and as expected, the old lines were highly corroded inside, making the inner diameter of the pipe extremely small from the start. The situation is that the water pressure is horrible. If the washer is running in the basement, the upstairs faucet barely trickles. Is my only solution to add a pressure tank? And if so, what is the cheapest way to do this? I did add a whole house filter, and maybe that's slowing things down too.
     
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Plumber
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    Bothell, Washington
    A whole house filter with water coming in from galvanized piping? You might want to check the filters.
    An expansion tank anywhere on the cold water side would help to store some ready to use water for you though. Maybe near the water heater.
     
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  4. 38ppBBia

    38ppBBia New Member

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    Oct 31, 2018
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    The whole house filter is after the galvanized switches to copper. The expansion tank would just be a reservoir? Not pressurized? I assumes this goes after the filter? Thanks.
     
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    New England
    An expansion tank is like a mini bladder tank used in a well system - you can think of it like a personal water tower until it empties, your output volume would be based on your new piping. Size it properly, and your volume issue may go away until you try a large load like maybe filling a big tub or laundry. But, an expansion tank holds VERY little water. To get more volume, you could use an actual bladder tank designed for use with a well. The incoming water is pressurized, and that compresses a bladder, so when you use some, the bladder pushes it out until the tank is essentially empty. What you have is a very low volume, the pressure would be the same with a soda straw sized pipe or a fire hose when there's no flow, but as soon as you increase the flow, the friction slows things down, and your dynamic pressure goes down. There are booster pumps, but one of those needs an adequate incoming volume, but at low pressure, and the pump boosts it. Not reliable if the incoming volume is low, as then the pump could try to be sucking air rather than water through the small pipe.

    A better overall situation would be to try to get the condo association to replace their old galvanized line before it starts leaking, and the end result would help everyone without problems. In my condo, something like that would require the association (obviously, made up of the owners), to fix the problem. I suggest you read your bylaws, they can vary considerably from one place to another, so that may not apply. Galvanized piping is not a good idea, and with its limited lifespan, anyone with any should be planning to replace it. The timing would depend on your water quality, the volume, and the age. Sounds like yours is way past its lifetime, and as it rusts from the inside out, it gets thinner and thinner, and leaks can't be all that far away. Iron rust is larger than elemental iron, so as it rusts, the flakes expose additional iron, and the rust continues.
     
  6. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

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    Feb 27, 2020
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    You said you have no idea where the pipe is coming from, but you replaced it? aint making sence.
    Id say repipe it
     
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  7. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

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    Sounds as if this was an old apartment building that was rezoned and sold as a condo. At one time the landlord paid for water as part of the rent so many old apartment buildings do not have their own water meter. Since this is a condo and if there are no water meters per unit, I would say at least the cold water side is on common ground and owned by the condo. If the pipes are that bad as you stated, it's time for the condo to upgrade water lines. As Terry suggested, it may be the only temporary solution.
     
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  8. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

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    yes agree never saw galvie that wasent in an old building. who knows whats going on with it? could be some plugged up angle stops from the rust too. but when owner doesent give full info how can you know or help?
     
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