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  1. #1
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    Default Water flow rate and pressure...

    Hello,

    Just getting into the home inspection field and have a question. What is the best way to check the water flow rate and pressure during the winter when the hose bibs are closed off.

    Thanks

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Water flow rate and pressure...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Mangus View Post
    Hello,

    Just getting into the home inspection field and have a question. What is the best way to check the water flow rate and pressure during the winter when the hose bibs are closed off.

    Thanks
    Water flow, I open faucets at interor fixtures at both ends of the home on sgl levels, and down and upstairs at the same time to see if there is any pressure drop.

    Pressure when hose bibs are turned off for the winter?
    Don't have that problem here. I guess if you really wanted to find out you could disconnect a hose at the washer and put a gauge on that faucet.

    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Water flow rate and pressure...

    Static pressure will be the same at any point in the system. I would be careful about opening any valve not in regular use, especially if it could cause damage.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Water flow rate and pressure...

    Don't even touch a washing machine hose if you want to survive for a few years as a home inspector.

    Dan has never had to think about that one.

    Judge pressure at the shower head and the kitchen faucet. 95% of the time in my area, town water, pressure is a non-issue. Water pump systems, good chance there is a gauge at the pressure tank. If not, the drain valve is threaded.

    Last edited by John Kogel; 01-05-2013 at 08:51 PM.
    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Water flow rate and pressure...

    Why are you checking pressure? Adequate or functional flow is what interests a home owner. Choked down galvanized piping can have 60psi but low water flow. Open multiple faucets at the same time and see what the flow is. Sure, it's a subjective judgment, but that is one of the things that you are paid the medium size bucks to make.

    As an example, if the shower head goes to a dribble with the bath fixtures on at two baths, then I write that up as inadequate flow for typical use.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Water flow rate and pressure...

    Lon,
    Checking water pressure has value.
    Public water may have excess pressure 90psi to 120psi or more. Since there may have been changes in the supply system over the years as demand has increased. Also testing will show if regulator is working, if present at all.

    Private well system may have been increased from the normal 30psi/60psi for the purpose of selling the property.

    Yea, yea I know the SOPs just want you to make a subjective opinion on an adequate flow which is a relative determination. But why not exceed the min SOP.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Water flow rate and pressure...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    Why are you checking pressure? Adequate or functional flow is what interests a home owner. Choked down galvanized piping can have 60psi but low water flow. Open multiple faucets at the same time and see what the flow is. Sure, it's a subjective judgment, but that is one of the things that you are paid the medium size bucks to make.

    As an example, if the shower head goes to a dribble with the bath fixtures on at two baths, then I write that up as inadequate flow for typical use.
    I'm not sure of the OP's area but here it is a state requirement to test the pressure and water flow.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Water flow rate and pressure...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    I'm not sure of the OP's area but here it is a state requirement to test the pressure and water flow.
    If your state SoP requires it, then that settles it.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Water flow rate and pressure...

    You don't have to do anything that might lead to a leak or a frozen pipe after you leave the house.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Water flow rate and pressure...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    I'm not sure of the OP's area but here it is a state requirement to test the pressure and water flow.
    Y'all just have to test static pressure and functional flow, correct?

    I think TX is the only state that has the static pressure requirement.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Water flow rate and pressure...

    Yep. Have to report the pressure.
    The subjective functional flow test and reporting of deficiencies.
    At least for now. Changes to the SOP are report form are coming (again!) but I don't think this will change.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Water flow rate and pressure...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Mangus View Post
    Hello,

    Just getting into the home inspection field and have a question. What is the best way to check the water flow rate and pressure during the winter when the hose bibs are closed off.

    Thanks

    Ben,
    Pressure gauge for PSI is not unusual to be used. One that has oil filled gauge is good.

    Though most HI do not test the flow rate for many reasons. Probably the the highest on the list is the time required to test with and without secondary use/load on system. Then it is a question of what is considered acceptable flow volume.

    Here is a site for equipment source:
    Home Inspection Equipment | Professional Equipment

    Flow rate and pressure meter:
    search water flow
    -

    Last edited by Garry Sorrells; 01-07-2013 at 04:39 AM. Reason: link

  13. #13

    Default Re: Water flow rate and pressure...

    Fluid dynamics is tricky. Way too many variables for us to bother with figuring it out. We are concerned with overall static pressure and "functional flow rate" only.

    Testing the pressure is pretty straightforward. Find a hose bib, or possibly the drain valve on the bottom of a water heater or maybe a washing machine connection. If in excess of 80 PSI, write it up.

    Testing flow rate is pretty simple. Go into any bathroom, run water in the sink and in the tub/shower. Now flush the toilet. If the water flow drops off to a trickle or reduces substantially on any of the other fixtures there is a problem with the system and it is not producing "functional flow rate". This can be either old, clogged up galvanized steel piping or a poorly designed and undersized piping system. In either case, it's not capable of producing a functional flow rate and should be written up as requiring further evaluation by a qualified plumbing specialist to determine the cause.

    True Professionals, Inc. Property Consultant
    877-466-8504

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Water flow rate and pressure...

    Opening the drain valve on an old water heater can cause the valve to remain in the open position. This is prominent in older water heaters with gate type valves and heavy sediment in the tank which has not been flushed for some time.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Water flow rate and pressure...

    Once again, don't touch any shutoff or drain valve inside the house unless you are prepared to follow up with flood damage repair and plumber's bills.

    Outside hose bib is off for the winter? If there is a threaded faucet on a laundry sink, use that. Otherwise, do an estimate and say why.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Water flow rate and pressure...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Peabody View Post
    Opening the drain valve on an old water heater can cause the valve to remain in the open position. This is prominent in older water heaters with gate type valves and heavy sediment in the tank which has not been flushed for some time.
    Most gate valves will, when the stem pulls away from the gate, not open, but will close. This is because the stem pulls the gate open and that joint is prone to failure over time, while the stem pushes the gate closed and means that stem can push the gate closed but not pull it back open.

    My experience is that closing a gate valve may lead to the gate valve not opening again (leaving the water off to the house if it was the main water service valve ... I know this from experience - "failed under testing" ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  17. #17

    Default Re: Water flow rate and pressure...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Most gate valves will, when the stem pulls away from the gate, not open, but will close. This is because the stem pulls the gate open and that joint is prone to failure over time, while the stem pushes the gate closed and means that stem can push the gate closed but not pull it back open.

    My experience is that closing a gate valve may lead to the gate valve not opening again (leaving the water off to the house if it was the main water service valve ... I know this from experience - "failed under testing" ...
    That's why it is recommended to "service" a gate valve by running it fully open and fully closed once or twice a year. They should also never be left fully opened (against the stop) but opened to the stop and then back closed a 1/2 a turn oR so. BUT WHO EVER DOES THAT?

    True Professionals, Inc. Property Consultant
    877-466-8504

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Water flow rate and pressure...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    Why are you checking pressure? Adequate or functional flow is what interests a home owner.
    Although not required, I check pressure at an outside hose bib on every home. Excessive pressure is not always apparent but its existence can lead to stress on fittings and eventual leaks. Leaks and the prevention of them is important, so that's why a pressure test should be done on all homes in my opinion.

    If there was some reason that I could not check the pressure outdoors, I would simply say so and state the reason. Disclaim it and be done with it.

    Joe Funderburk, CBO, CMI
    Alpha & Omega Home Inspections, LLC
    Serving SC & NC

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Water flow rate and pressure...

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Funderburk View Post
    Although not required, I check pressure at an outside hose bib on every home. Excessive pressure is not always apparent but its existence can lead to stress on fittings and eventual leaks. Leaks and the prevention of them is important, so that's why a pressure test should be done on all homes in my opinion.

    If there was some reason that I could not check the pressure outdoors, I would simply say so and state the reason. Disclaim it and be done with it.
    What do you consider "excess pressure"?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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