Low Water Pressure Austin Issues

Low-Water-Pressure-Austin-imageLow Water Pressure in Austin area? We all know what a pain low water pressure is and it always happens AFTER the shampoo has been applied. Takes forever.

We’re always happy to come out and check out any low water pressure issues you’re experiencing but just in case you want to do some investigation on your own  – here’s some tips from Bob Vila on what might be the source of the low pressure.

Tips from his article on low water pressure read more on his site –  – http://www.bobvila.com/articles/low-water-pressure/

Are you experiencing low pressure through the ENTIRE home?

Bob says –
The first step in fixing the problem is determining its cause. Let’s say that you’ve recently purchased a home with low water pressure. First consult with neighbors to find out whether the issue plagues the entire community. If it does, you can install a water pressure booster, which operates by increasing the pressure of water on its way from the main water line to your kitchen and bathroom fixtures.

He goes on to say – In situations where everyone in your neighborhood but you has good pressure, the source may be a water pressure reducing valve.

Check to see that a previous owner added a regulator to limit the force of water diverted from the municipal supply line.

First you want to determine if you have one; if you discover one, and ask a plumber to adjust the setting so that it allows a higher flow rate. Call us (512) 551-0789

No water pressure reducing valve?

Check that your main shut-off valve is open all the way; if it’s not, you can turn the knob  yourself, without having to hire a plumber.

Another possible cause of low water pressure is a leak in the main. Check your garage for visual evidence of a leak, or head outdoors to inspect the ground where your main meets the street. Assuming the weather has been dry and this year we’ve had so much rain it may be hard to tell, but a wet spot here suggests the need for professional assistance. Don’t attempt to do this yourself.

Is it just a Fixture like your Shower head that is low pressure?

Bob’s got some great advise here.
In a home with otherwise adequate water pressure, it’s not uncommon for one or two fixtures to trickle weakly when they should powerfully cascade. A poorly performing faucet is likely to have a clogged aerator. Unscrew the nozzle and look for signs of buildup. If the piece needs to be cleaned, soak it in a vinegar-water solution; if that doesn’t work, buy a replacement (they’re inexpensive). Austin has hard water so you’re likely to see a lot of buildup – what comes next is a way to test your fixture.

While the aerator is off, turn on the faucet to be sure you’ve pinpointed the issue. If low water pressure persists, the problem may not be the aerator after all but rather a clog in the line to the sink. Especially prevalent in older homes with galvanized piping (within which mineral deposits accumulate over time), clogged lines are best handled by a plumber. Yes, we’re available for that as well.

Is it only the Hot Water that has low pressure?

If you experience low pressure only from the hot water outputs in your house, blame it on your water heater. First, make sure the shut-off valve to the tank is fully open. If it already is, or if opening it completely doesn’t help matters, call in a plumber to evaluate the appliance.

Give us a call and we’re happy to come out and confirm your results and help you get the water pressure back to a more comfortable level for you and your family. Call (512) 551-0789

Austin Watering Rules

If you’ve got questions about the newly implemented Austin watering rules, what you can do and what you can’t, better to ask than risk running foul of the water police. If you receive a citation and you do not make efforts to change the situation you could be faced with a $475 fine.

After this second week of the new watering rules, there were 675 complaints made to the city by neighbors and homeowners against their own neighbors. This is up from the 586 from the first week, up just over 15%.

It can be confusing to know what’s OK and what’s not and getting used to our neighbors perhaps watching what we do.

If your address is an odd number – you can water on Saturdays between the midnight and 10am and between 7pm and midnight.

If your address is an even number – you can water on Sundays with those same time restrictions.

You can hand water anytime – but you can not leave a sprinkler at the end of a hose and just let it run unless its on your day of watering and not between 10 am and 7 pm.

So if you’re thinking about all that water you use to wash dishes and clothes – you could be interested in some grey water options. Grey water is water that you wouldn’t drink but still could serve a purpose such as watering your lawn and trees or washing your car. Its a ways off but at some point the City of Austin could offer fresh and grey water to homes in the city.

But until that time, you could collect up water leftover in glasses or washing in the sink – even with a little soap in it, and save that in a bucket to water roses or trees or potted plants.

So in the meantime watch your usage. If you have more questions contact waterwiseaustin.com

Your Austin Plumber
7703 North Lamar Boulevard Suite 612
Austin TX 78752

Evolution of the toilet

The Development of Restroom Fixtures

The Evolution of Lavatory Fixtures

People who experimented with to set up bathrooms inside homes and buildings found there were many technical as well as attitude challenges. Decisions on how the wastewater was disposed required as much efforts as what it took to make sure the unit had enough water. And to add to a public that already believed a theory of disease, which held that illnesses stemmed from “bad air” that was readily identifiable by its offensive odor. Consequently this led to an early and abiding distrust of early indoor plumbing that had a tendancy to leak and the fear of sewer gas that escaped in the leaks. Its no wonder than that most people believed that elimination was for the outdoors – not inside.

Of the working mechanism that is a part of toilet plumbing, the advancement of a trustworthy and trouble-free bathroom posed the most problems. There were several options but each had its own drawbacks. They were difficult to flush and quite easy to clog. The worst one of all was the pan water closer. It was called that because there was a waste-collecting sheet metal pan that was designed to close off and seal the bottom of the closet bowl. When the unit was flushed the pan tipped aside, opening the drain at the same time water rinsed the bowl and the pan. It was so intricate and poorly built that is often performed poorly and required regular attention. The most glaring problem of them all was that all of them had a poor seal between the bathroom and the pipe that carried the waste away.

When water-retaining traps or seals were introduced in the 1850s, and the common use of “U”-shaped traps in the 1870s, were major steps forward. The design of the trap ensured that enough water remained in it to effectively block the passage of sewer gas back through the plumbing fixtures. In the 1970s an even more innovative pipe was introduced – the vent pipes. They were able to move the sewer gas through the system, but also broke the suction created by movement of liquid in the pipes and eliminated the possibility of siphoning water that sealed the traps.

One of the most important improvements was the development of the siphon toilet, patented in 1890. This new type of toilet was highly efficient because it had no moving parts to get out of order and it flushed perfectly every time. It also had another advantage in that is created a siphonic action (swirling motion) that made it self-cleaning. And thankfully, the sewer gas leaks were eliminated by its interior design. Water that stayed in the toilet made a perfect seal between the bathroom and the sewer.

Plumbers love holidays!

When a plumber smells a holiday in the area they know odds are they are spending it with family – just not their family.

The house is full of people who get hungry and a bunch of other things as well. There’s lots of cooking and cleaning and pouring all sorts of things down the drain without a thought. And that means the chances of a drain or toilets getting stopped up are very high.

While I won’t deny that its in my best interest for you not to know this information, I feel it my duty, the duty to my family that I do what I can to spend the day with them as well as to my fellow plumbers who also have families.

No matter where you live – don’t pour grease down your drain. That turkey fat in the bottom of the pan? Find a can and pour it off.

Take a few moments to scrap off those plates in the garbage can – those bones will NOT easily go in the disposal.

For more tips – check out what not to throw down your disposal in more detail.