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Thread: Water pressure on shower - any way to measure?

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    DIY Member pktaske's Avatar
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    Default Water pressure on shower - any way to measure?

    My shower is done but I'm not 100% satisfied with the water pressure. I have another bath on the same line and I get decent pressure on that one but only after I drilled through the plastic 'restrictor' ball. I'm wondering if my overall water pressure is sufficient. I'm on well with an above ground shallow jet pump. The water line runs runs all the way across my ~85' ranch in 3/4" copper. That transitions to 1/2" at both bathrooms. Any way I can measure this? Any tips on improving?

    Just a note that the pressure coming out of my iron filter when I'm backwashing it is pretty serious so I think the pump is able to generate enough umph.


    Thanks...Nick

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    What is your pump pressure switch setup for? 20/40, 30/50, or higher? You should have a pressure gauge near the pump and possibly around your filter to determine its state of health. Don't confuse pressure with volume. Most showerheads seem to be rated at a minimum of 40#. If it is a single showerhead, 1/2" should be fine. Not all showerheads are created equal! Based on federal codes, it shouldn't use more than 2.5gpm. That's pretty simple to measure.
    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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    DIY Member pktaske's Avatar
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    30/50+. I think it touches 60 actually.

    Maybe the showerhead just sucks. Like I said, the bathroom on the other side of the wall is pretty powerful. I'll switch them out and see what happens.

    Any idea what makes a powerful showerhead?

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Unless modified, it takes some engineering to make a showerhead feel powerful at the federally mandated flow rates. Then, once designed, it has to be manufactured with care. Not all companies do both, and some may not do either! Some people like really high pressure, some like what appears to be high volume. Different showerheads optimize the flow one way or the other, both is a compromise. It is a very subjective thing.

    If you can easily swap showerheads, that would tell you if the valve is sufficient (almost certainly), or if you have some other mechanical issue restricting flow. As said earlier, flow and pressure are not the same...the lower Mississippi certainly has a lot of flow, but it doens't compare to say Niagra Falls for the pressure at the bottom of them!

    Some people in the pump/well area might suggest a cycle stop valve - this would keep the pressure fairly constant, rather than cycling between the max/min with a conventional control system. I've never owned a house with a well, so have never had to deal with that sort of issue.
    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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