Mystery Plumbing II

For no apparent reason, the water pressure in the shower was about 1/3 what it should be.  This is serious.  Let me be clear, I don’t care if Gaia weeps and hippies fall down dead at the thought of it, I need a long hot shower…every goddamn day.  Warm water is the only reason my body’s muscles actually function.  Hot showers and indoor toilets are just about the best thing ever created by civilization…and, like most men, I consider indoor toilets only partially required for the good life.

I pondered the lack of pressure.  Must be a frozen pipe.  Except the weather hasn’t been that cold.  (Also I insulated the shit out of the pipes that lead to the shower.)  But…

I performed some experiments, flushed every toilet in the house, and consulted my limited experience of plumbing.  Frankly I was baffled.  My plumbing diagnostic skills fit with “yes water/no water” decision trees.  “Some water but less than usual…”  Mystery.

Must be frozen.  So I traced every pipe I could find.  Nope.

Finally, I determined (through experiment) that the water pressure was low for the cold line in one bathroom…and not the rest of the house or hot water.  Huh?

Clearly the cold water was going AWOL and should be filling to the basement rafters right now.  Either that or there’s a 80% blockage on one pipe that won’t melt.  (Like Dick Cheney’s heart.)

I’m utterly clueless (which is nothing new).  So I’m “crowdsourcing” (or whatever the hell they call it) by deploying the “poll feature”:

Furthermore I’m not sure what to do about it:

About Adaptive Curmudgeon

I will neither confirm nor deny that I actually exist.
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8 Responses to Mystery Plumbing II

  1. MSgt B says:

    Crimped copper line?
    Scaling? (You mentioned a water softener)
    A valve that’s not fully open?
    Have fun…

  2. jon spencer says:

    Small chunk of stuff in one of the valves is my guess. It does not take a very large piece in a valve to reduce the flow.
    You have to work your way back from the outlet that does not have proper flow to the first outlet that does and then the problem is downstream from that point.
    If you have copper or plastic lines then compression by compression valves are a easy to install replacement if the valve you are cleaning does not go back together properly.

  3. DJLHJ says:

    if its just in shower check the diverter some have a replaceable cartridge that can clog

  4. Titan Mk6B says:

    I will assume that you have pulled off the shower head and removed any debris that may have accumulated on the screen, if it has one.

    I had that happen to me once.

  5. Reddog says:

    You should be able to check for a leak quite easily. Turn off the shutoff valve that leads to the faulty sink/shower. Wait between a few hours and overnight. Open the offending faucet, and see if you have any pressure in the lines (which you should, unless that pressure has escaped through a leak).

  6. Roger says:

    If you have a pressure tank, I assume you have a well. Stand by the pressure tank and listen for the pressure switch to cycle the pump. If no water outlets are open and the pump cycles, you have water leaving somewhere. The first place I would check is the water softener to make sure the valve is not stuck open. If it is bypass the softener until repair can be made.
    If it does not cycle, you have an obstruction. Find the nearest water outlet to the low pressure that does have pressure and look for a valve or elbow in between. If that doesn’t work, start looking for water.



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