questionshow can i fix the slow water flow in my shower?

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Try removing the shower head and/or hose. If you get good water flow from the pipe sticking out of the wall, then the problem is in the shower head or hose. If the water flow is not good, then the new valves must be clogged up.

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@tbgolladay: Yeah, today I removed and checked the shower head and flex hose up to the pipe sticking out of the wall. The flow is weak coming out of the plumbing.

I guess I'll just have to check those valves again. I hate doing it since I have to put a brace on the shower door so that the water doesn't blast the entire bathroom when I pull the valves and flush the pipes. It isn't hard, just very time consuming (I don't have anyone around I can bribe to hold the door closed while I open the water valve at the city feed).

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@thetexastwister: Might be time to replace the pipes. If you know how to do it, you can run PEX plumbing for fairly cheap depending on the size of your home. It doesn't burst when it gets cold, and lasts damn near forever. Most homes only have about 100 feet of water lines, so if you're a do-it-yourself-er, you could tackle it and be done in a day or two.

If you don't want to replace everything, see if there is a way you can pump water into the lines and flush stuff out the inlet. If so, that's going to be your best bet. My wife and I bought this house about a year and a half ago. The cold water lines never had pressure although the hot did. Turned out I had a blockage in the cold line where it split off to the water heater. I ended up having to cut sections of the copper pipe and flush water through them, then put them back and go to the next section. Once I found the blockage, I put a filter screen in the main line. Hopefully, it will prevent blockages in the future.

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Some of the shower heads have a water restricter, Try troving it or ,make the whole larger

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@capguncowboy: I would love to have the water lines replaced, but the cost is too prohibitive. Unfortunately, I'm not a do it yourselfer. What I am doing with the valves I can do because I saw plumbers do it the first time and I was able to replicate the process.

The house is pretty old (almost ninety years) and the lines aren't copper, they are probably cast iron. Even the city lines leading to the house are old and probably also cast iron. To give you an idea of how old the neighborhood is, the main sewer line here is made of brick and mortar.

Anyway, just to replace the plumbing in the shower would require ripping out shower tiles, the sealant, the vapor barrier and some 2 x 4 wood beams used to form the wall. Too much work for me. I wouldn't know what to do and trying doing it by myself would take days. Possibly weeks.

I'll just have to settle for flushing out the pipes regularly.

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@capguncowboy: Whenever I replace the valves, I always flush the pipes where I removed the valves by barricading the shower door and going outside to turn the main water line back on to full blast for about one minute. (There is no cutoff in the shower.)

The water always blasts out of the open pipes onto the shower door. It starts rust colored and turns clear after about half a minute or so. That usually does the trick. I guess this time it didn't. I'll just to flush the lines in the shower one more time. Maybe I just didn't clear all the rust particles the first time.

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@bigfrank: It isn't the water re-stricter. I took that out ages ago. The water flow has been slowly diminishing over time. It has to be something accumulated in the pipes that is restricting water flow.

Thanks anyway. I appreciate your reply.

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Some wild guesses could be that (internet rumor) a strong magnet away from you shower to collect the particles. Antoerh thought is to get an aerated shower head. it won fix your issue but it wiol give you enough pressure for the time being till yu have the money to get the problem fixed. Honestly, PEX is easy to run. You ca get the crip tool that can do all the sizes for like $300 at HD or Lowes and then just run it through the same holes in the studs the old copper or, if what you said is true cast iron, was run. I have not done construction in a long time but i have never seen a house the has cast iron pipes pix please.

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Before getting too involved I would go to Home Depot or Lowe’s and buy a pressure gauge. They are about 4 bucks. You screw it onto your water spigot outside and turn the water on. This will tell you the water pressure in your house (should be around 80). If the pressure is good then you have blockage issues in your pipes. If the pressure is not, then go look next to your water heater. You should see a thing that looks like a bell on you main before it goes into the heater. This has a screw on the top of it. Twist one way the pressure goes up, twist the other the pressure goes down. Look at the gauge on the spigot to see what the pressure is doing. Hope this helps.

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i too live in a really old house. i have been where you are. what it took for me was installing a clean out valve at the lowest point in the pipes. and about once a month i get to go to the basement with a bucket and open the valve until it runs clear again (usually two trips to the floor drain). all i did was cut an inch long section out of the pipe then put in a Tvalve. if you go to the hardware store most now sell a type of connectors that can be attached to any pipe without chemicals to seal it and it does work. it is a push/pull connector that is basically push it into place then pull the end back.

someday i plan to start replacing the iron pipes with plastic....someday.

good luck to you until then. (oh, did you ask around your groups--church, work, sports team, etc-- to see if anyone there might be able to help you some?)

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Have you tried taking longer showers? That's what I would do.

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@philosopherott: Thanks for the advice. I may talk to someone about running PEX through the house. I just need to find someone willing to crawl under the house to get to the plumbing. The house is built on pier and beam with a shallow crawl space. There is no basement, the ground here is too soft and shifts too easily for basements I have been told.

I'm assuming that the water lines are cast iron. Most of what is around the house appears to be that including the old gas meter and the water line that feeds the house.

If the plumbing isn't cast iron it might be steel. That is what the pipes for the water faucets in the yard appear to be made of. Either way the plumbing is old and is causing my much grief.

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@lostx: Thanks. I did check and the pressure as you suggested and it is at 80. So I'm definitely dealing with some sort of obstruction.

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@odielover: Thank you for the suggestion, but the house doesn't have a basement, just a shallow crawlspace so the ground underneath can dry out.

I do have a couple of outdoor water faucets that stick out of the side of the house which are directly connected to the house plumbing. I could open and run those for a while to see if they will help flush out the pipes in the house.

I hadn't thought about that. Thank you. I'll let you know if it helps.