Upgrading water to an old house

  • Thread starter awinn
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  • #1
Hi. I grew up in a house built in 1834. I'm now in college and my parents still live at home. I am a senior in Mechanical Engineering and when I'm home I look around and see the things I can improve. The electricity was all just redone by a very good electrician (and not a moment too soon, from what I saw come out!). But now I am turning my attention to their water. I believe they have about 35-40 psi from a spring, but I am curious to know what typical water pressure for a house is (ie potential). I am going to keep looking online for an answer- it seems to be about 50-70 is appropriate. However, I figured there would probably be a standard, but I can't find one.

I'll run some calculations with 40 psi that they have (w/o a booster pump) and see what kind of piping I'd be looking at.

Any help is appreciated! thanks from WVU!

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  • #2
I think anything between 40 and 50 PSI is acceptable. You need not reinvent the wheel here. Buy a good book on plumbing. They have all the guidlines and requirements needed.
  • #3
If the piping is original I'd me worried about the amount of lead your parents might be ingesting, better switch to gin to be on the safe side.
  • #4
I had a water leak under my house last week, and after inspecting it, I found all my copper pipes were turning green and corroding (they were very old). I called my brother who is a plumber, and yesterday we cut out all of my pipes and replaced them with Pex pipe, which is the industry standard, in TN.

It is flexible, easy to work with, freeze-proof, and required very little tools (mainly a pipe-stretcher, not needed with more expensive "shark-bite" fittings).

This was a 1-day job for a 2 bath, 1 kitchen, 1200 sq/ft ranch house built on a crawl-space (with professional brother).

Look into Pex pipe, it is available at any hardware or plumbing supply store.
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  • #5
Sorry for the long absence. We've used Pex pipe for some of the new stuff we've done around there.

I should have added in the original message that the reason I keep thinking about their water is when I stay there I am reminded each time- the shower does not seem to have a large enough volumetric flow and so dad installed a super low flow shower head. basically turns a stream into really small droplets. The hot water cools off in about 8" and it just sucks. A larger volumetric flow would let them use a "Real" shower head and have "Real" hot water in the shower.

I have a new topic I'll be posting about shortly! Thanks for the replies :)

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