Low water pressure; new pipe leaching?

CarolNYCOctober 3, 2013

Finished renovating a house, we bought but had never lived in...and have bad water pressure. Just learned our pipes connecting the house to the town water main on the street are galvinized steel and really old. Water company measured water pressure on the street outside of our house and it is is 55-60. Water pressure just inside the house is 35. We are going to replace outside pipes to the house -- with copper pipes, probably about 60 feet worth of pipes. The new outside pipe will be 1 1/4 inch type K copper pipe. Plumber also will replace about 10 feet of old pipe inside the house with 1 1/4 inch type L copper. This will connect to new and existing 1 inch copper pipe inside the house. The ph of city water is about 7 or 7.1. Probably good to get rid of old pipe anyway, but does anyone have a view if this will help our water pressure? Also - anything I should worry about with new copper pipes leaching? We have water filter at kitchen sink. Thank you.

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If the pipe is galvinized it should be replaced since you are concurned about water being contaminated by pipe. No,the copper will not leach anything harmful but if lead solder is used to join it,the lead will leach. I don't believe the new pipe will increase static pressure but will certainly alow ample flow to maintain pressure while flowing. Sounds like you have it covered with new copper.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 5:13PM
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Thank you for your thoughtful and reassuring email. Appreciate this very much.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 7:08PM
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Lead solder was taken off the market in 1982.

What is the size of the meter? 1 1/4 line is very big for a normal house. Most residential meters and lines are 3/4.

Also, K copper is very expensive especially in that size. You should have them look using PVC or HDPE.

When I was doing water sevices for several years we found a lot of galvanized pipes that had barely a pencil sized hole left in them.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 7:45PM
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Also, running a larger pipe (1 1/4) to a smaller pipe (1 in) will not increase pressure at all. In will increase volume a small amount. In some cases the larger pipe will reduce pressure.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 7:51PM
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Thank you very much for your info. Plumbers are coming in on Monday or Tuesday to do work. Will let you know how the galvinized pipe looks coming out. Think our water meter is 5/8, may be going up to 3/4. Got a good deal on the copper and plumber wants to stick with, so will go with that. Thank you again. Will report back.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 1:10PM
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I'm not trying to talk you out of it but I can't see how somebody got a better deal on 1 1/4 K copper than pvc or hdpe.

People are going to jail for stealing copper so it ain't cheap.

Other than costing more did they tell you why you should stay with 1 1/4 line?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 7:01PM
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Thank you very much. We are okay with cost of copper...the water company is going to replace their side with copper too. At this point, we are committed to going forward. I will let you know how it all turns out! And I will post earlier next time around.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 7:15PM
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Yes, please keep us updated.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 8:39PM
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Are you replacing the in-wall pipe runs too?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 9:35PM
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