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Get The Right Water Pressure Throughout Your Home with Balancing.

Updated on August 25, 2011
With improper design and plumbing the furthest outlets don't have adequate water pressure.
With improper design and plumbing the furthest outlets don't have adequate water pressure. | Source
By increasing the size of the main feed plumbing you can balance the water distribution more evenly.
By increasing the size of the main feed plumbing you can balance the water distribution more evenly. | Source

Get Great Water Flow throughout Your Home

Have you ever lived in a home where the water pressure was great in the basement but significantly lacking on the third floor? This is an all too common predicament in many homes and comes from a variety of problems. Many homes that were constructed too quickly or on a strict budget that often cut corners when it came to setting up the plumbing system. The results have been felt home owners every time they go to that far room for a shower or flush the toilet.

First we're going to assume your pipes are clear and clean and the water flows freely. If have Galvanized old pipes then the solutions that are explained here wont help you.

Let’s start at the beginning: The water line that comes into your house typically enters through the crawl space or basement. From there it branches out to pipes that deliver the water to the various rooms beginning with the closest rooms and eventually sending the flow to the rooms that are the furthest away.

As you can imagine by the time the water gets to the rooms furthest away there is often significantly less pressure in the system than there was when it started. This problem is due to unbalanced water feed system. It should also be noted that in a very general sense the water pressure coming from many city systems has deteriorated over the years as the infrastructure ages and underground pipes get leaky. So what happens is you have less pressure coming into the house than in years ago and now even less water pressure getting to your furthest room.

The best of the best plumbers practice the fine art of water balancing. The word "art" is used deliberately because there is a specific process and series of calculations required to balance a water delivery system. Very often the architects that designed your home didn't necessarily specialize in balancing the water system or care about it as much as the overall look of your home.

A water balancing specialist can measure water flow and pressure at each water outlet and determine where the strengths and weaknesses are with your system. They can then do a physical examination of your pipes to determine the current layout and calculate the correct methods to balance the pressure throughout the house.

Once an exam is done and any deficiencies are found there are multiple ways to rework your plumbing and bring the water pressure into balance. Many of these depend on how easy it is to access the existing pipes in your plumbing system.

In some cases the plumber may be able reroute the main lines that feed the pipes that run through your house. If the pipes can be connected in the center of your plumbing layout then a better balance can be achieved.

Another option is to replace piping at the origin of the system with larger diameter pipe that will carry more water to the center of the system and therefore deliver more pressure as it branches out to the smaller pipes running into bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms.

Either process may involve removing drywall or ceilings, to access pipes but it doesn't have to be a major project. And you can always speak with your plumber and ask him to improve the system with less invasive alterations that wont upset areas that you want to keep as is. In many cases, minor adjustments can significantly improve your water pressure in the poorly serviced rooms.

Finding a plumber that's experienced in water balancing can be a challenge in and of itself. If you ask any plumber they will say they can do it, but ask if they have a Flow meter in their tool assortment. Many plumbers don't. You may have to find a HVAC technician that also does plumbing to help you here. That's because many better HVAC techs that work on hot water heating systems use Flow meters to balance hot water heating systems using the same methodology.

So if you plan on staying in your home 4 or more years and you're frustrated with water that dribbles out of some far reaching spigot, then consider water balancing as a viable solution.

A balanced water delivery system isn't necessarily going to pay you back in dollars when you finally go to sell your home, but it will give you added comfort and enjoyment of your home for as long as you live there. And there is nothing as important as that.

Ken Bryan


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