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Upgrading water to an old house

  1. Oct 29, 2011 #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!
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 29, 2011 #2


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    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.
  4. Oct 30, 2011 #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.
  5. Oct 30, 2011 #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.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2011
  6. Nov 11, 2011 #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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