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Thread: Water pressure!?!?

  1. #1

    Default Water pressure!?!?

    I am having the weirdest problem with my shower. Please excuse the following butchering of plumbing terminology:

    When I turn on my shower, a lot of pressure comes out of the main... spout, thing. When I pull up the stopper to divert the flow to the shower head, barely a trickle will come out. If I press the stopper back down, it's very hard to do, and the water pressure out of the main spout is extreme. I used to have amazing pressure out of the shower head, but now it just stopped. It aggravates me that I know the potential pressure is there, but I can't get it to come out. Does anyone have any ideas as to what the problem's origin is, or how to fix it? It almost seems like there is too much pressure... if that's possible. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    First thing I'd try is remove the showerhead and see what kind of flow you have. If that flow is decent, I'd take the showerhead and let it soak, outlet down, in a bowl of vinegar overnight, then rinse it off. While I had it out, I'd look closely at the inlet to the showerhead to check and clean if necessary the inlet screen, if it has one.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    I would remove the shower head and see what comes out of the shower arm.
    If the water flow is good there, then its the shower head.
    The shower head can either be cleaned or replaced.

  4. #4

    Default Thanks for the help

    When the shower head is off, the flow is pretty good, but kind of irregular. I don't know if that's normal, but it's not a steady stream like in a sink. I've only had the head for a while but I'll try cleaning it and let you know. Thanks!

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glindawantsme17 View Post
    When the shower head is off, the flow is pretty good, but kind of irregular. I don't know if that's normal, but it's not a steady stream like in a sink. I've only had the head for a while but I'll try cleaning it and let you know. Thanks!
    No, that's not normal. Something is preventing you from getting full flow to the shower arm. The diverter on the spout, for example, may not be working properly.

    With the shower head off, you should get a VERY full flow of water.

  6. #6

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    Hey again. I haven't posted back because the pressure came back for a long while, but then did the same thing. I took the head off and apart today and cleaned it and it's the same deal. Also, the problem is even more intense now. Like I said before, when I pull up the diverter thing it's very hard to pull up and barely any pressure goes to the head.
    Also, there is an audible noise that only occurs when I'm getting the little pressure. It's like a hiss/ringing kind of noise. And now when I press the diverter back down (which is VERY hard), the water rockets out, almost to a painful point. Any more ideas?

  7. #7

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    I am not a plumber.

    The way I understand this is that there the tub spout which is the lower water exit and the showerhead which is the above water exit.

    you have only at this point to exits from where the water can come out the bottom and the top.

    when you turn the water on first its first exit point is the tub spout because of gravity because your on/off handles are probably located between tub spout and showerhead.

    when you close (pulling the piston on the tub spout) you re-direct the flow of water.

    you stop the bottom and move the water in an upward direction.

    this takes work for the tub spout because it has to close entirely all the way.

    there may be two problems.

    if there are any leaks in the tub spout because inside is an o-ring which completely if tighted properly seals off any leaks from happening.

    you lose the pressure and water is wanting a way out from the bottom.

    another possiblity is that the stopper (the part you pull) may also be bad so what happens you don't close entirely and water will stip come out from the bottom even though you are getting water at the top. but since it is still comiung out at the bottom (not a lot) but it is coming out what happens you lose pressure again.

    try removing the tub spout and replacing it.

    install the new one, and properly tighten, remove the shower head and see if the quantity of water you get from the top should be exact as what you would have gotten from the bottom.

    keep us informed.

  8. #8
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Normally, you do not push the button back down. You just turn off the water, and it goes down by itself. But from the way you describe this, it does sound like your pressure may be way too high. That can have a lot of side effects, including stirring up debris which clogs the shower head.

    Try connecting a small pressure gage to one of your hose bibbs and see what you have.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by nilesh1540 View Post
    I am not a plumber.

    The way I understand this is that there the tub spout which is the lower water exit and the showerhead which is the above water exit.

    you have only at this point to exits from where the water can come out the bottom and the top.

    when you turn the water on first its first exit point is the tub spout because of gravity because your on/off handles are probably located between tub spout and showerhead.

    when you close (pulling the piston on the tub spout) you re-direct the flow of water.

    you stop the bottom and move the water in an upward direction.

    this takes work for the tub spout because it has to close entirely all the way.

    there may be two problems.

    if there are any leaks in the tub spout because inside is an o-ring which completely if tighted properly seals off any leaks from happening.

    you lose the pressure and water is wanting a way out from the bottom.

    another possiblity is that the stopper (the part you pull) may also be bad so what happens you don't close entirely and water will stip come out from the bottom even though you are getting water at the top. but since it is still comiung out at the bottom (not a lot) but it is coming out what happens you lose pressure again.

    try removing the tub spout and replacing it.

    install the new one, and properly tighten, remove the shower head and see if the quantity of water you get from the top should be exact as what you would have gotten from the bottom.

    keep us informed.
    But how would that explain the intense pressure that shoots out of the bottom part? It's not just 'gravity', it rockets out...

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    Normally, you do not push the button back down. You just turn off the water, and it goes down by itself. But from the way you describe this, it does sound like your pressure may be way too high. That can have a lot of side effects, including stirring up debris which clogs the shower head.

    Try connecting a small pressure gage to one of your hose bibbs and see what you have.
    I only push it down to see if the cause of the problem is the messed up spout, or if I just am having weak pressure at the moment. Sometimes it just is weak because other water is being used throughout the house. That's why I press it down.

  11. #11
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    When the water is turned on and you have the button pulled up, you have the full force of the water pressure acting on that diverter gate. If it is one square inch in size, you could have 50 to 60 pounds of force working on it. And, it is not designed to be tight when in any intermediate position, so you would have splashing and squirting as you pushed it. I still would like you to measure your static house pressure.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    I still would like you to measure your static house pressure.
    I have no idea how to do that... Sorry.

  13. #13
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Go to HD or Lowes, and buy a gauge for about $10. This can be purchased with a fitting that will hook up like a hose. You can hook it up to an actual hose connection, or the washing machine connection, or buy adapters and hook it up many other places.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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