Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Saga of House Plumbing

We moved into this house 16 years ago. Ever since we've had trouble with the water pressure with the indoor plumbing.

On Sunday mornings, and when house guests were visiting, we'd have to 'schedule' the showers to make sure only one shower at a time was running. (kind of hard to communicate from the basement to the 2nd floor)

You couldn't rinse dishes in the kitchen sink and have a shower going at the same time. Before taking a shower you'd have to turn off the clothes washing machine, and make sure the dishwasher wouldn't start on you.

We were 'warned' from the previous owners about this 'little' problem, and learned to cope with it, but still complained mightily about such a simple thing as indoor plumbing not working right.

We did a major house remodel project about 5 years ago. Thinking this was a good time to upgrade and fix this problem. We had the kitchen, master bath, main floor bath, and basement bath pipes all re-plumbed. (Since we had cleared out everything down to the studs, the plumbing was accessible) We also had them put in a brand-new, larger water heater. Thinking more hot water available, perhaps more simultaneous showers.

Still, after the remodel was complete we had even worse water pressure, especially with the 'new' locations.

Since then we've had many many plumbers come by. Some to fix other issues, some just to try and track down the problem with the pressure. Added a water softener/filter system, fixed a couple of leaks, all to no avail. Some plumbers suggested it was NOT inside the house, but coming from the water company's pipes from the street.

So we had the city send out multiple times a water engineer to check the outside water pressure and to make sure all the valves coming from the street were unobstructed. (They have done work on the local streets in front of our house...) The City of Orem water guys proved to me it wasn't on their side.

What to do, what to do. This was *really* bugging Jill, the kids, and anyone who visited. Last weekend after a family dinner my nephews were washing the dishes and couldn't understand how we could live with such low pressure. They were about to get out the pipe wrenchs and 'do something' about it.

Then this week, while a handyman was installing the new 'doggie door' - a larger one that 'fits' Rory now that she is bigger - he also mentioned we shouldn't have to 'live with' the water pressure like that.

He called in a buddy from the plumbing company. Finally a guy who walks in, just asks a couple of questions and then in mere minutes FIXED THE PROBLEM!

It turned out the previous water heater installers switched some of the pipes going into/out of the water heater - seriously depleting the water pressure. Obviously the second replacement water heater installers also missed it, and just installed the replacement just like the original - wrong!

The latest plumber turned off the water to the house, switched these two pipes, turned the water back on and Voila - all better!

We can now take multiple showers, the bathtub fills an order of magnitude faster for the grandkids baths, you can use the sinks AND a shower at the same time. Hallelujah!

So after 16 years of living with this problem... we now have a 'normal' house.

1 comment:

Gram said...

I am so glad it finally got fixed!!