Low water pressure

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de103065

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I have recently started experiencing very low water pressure. I called the water company and they indicated that the issue may be caused by a water softener which I do have in my home. I have a tankless water heater and a water softener that I put in potassium chloride (salt rocks) for the system. The system has been running fine for about 6 years. I haven't had any issues nor has it been serviced. The water company suggested I look into that before they send anyone out because if the pressure is fine at the outside shutoff value then they cannot do anything and would charge me a service fee. Before I call a plumber I wanted to see if I could get any information on what I might look at to determine the issue and if possible fix it if it is something simple like doing a reset or running some self diagnostic on the water softener. I have attached two images that show the water softener that I have. Currently, the LED display is flashing the incorrect time. So, the time is off. Thanks.
 

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oldognewtrick

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Is there a bypass valve so that you can check water pressure without having the water softener in the line?
 

Snoonyb

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You can check the water pressure yourself, with a simple gauge from most hdwr. stores, should be about 65lbs, I believe.
 

de103065

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Thanks for the replies! My apologies, I'm a bit of a novice when it comes to plumbing. I'm not sure if there is a bypass value on the softener. It would seem logical that there would be, but I'm not sure where it would be located on the softener or elsewhere? The strange thing that seems to happen is that the water pressure sometimes will be higher and then will drop off. I've also noticed that in different areas of the house, the pressure can be different. For example, the kitchen sink faucet, the pressure might be really good and normal, but the master bathroom water pressure could be low. Other times, the kitchen sink faucet water pressure is low as well as the master bathroom. Any thoughts on where the bypass value might be that I can check if the pressure makes a difference? Thanks again for the replies.
 

Spicoli43

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Look at your switch where the water comes in the house. I have a well, so it might be different, but the water shut off completely one day, indicating I needed to install a new switch. Tapping on the pipe right under the switch restored the water for a couple of weeks, then it happened again. The new switch was about $25 if I remember correctly.

 

68bucks

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I see some YouTube videos that show the bypass valve. What I saw looks like the bypass valve is right there on yours.
 

BuzzLOL

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I have recently started experiencing very low water pressure. I called the water company and they indicated that the issue may be caused by a water softener which I do have in my home.
Shut off the water just after the water meter, disconnect the house piping and put a gauge there and read the pressure... or just let it flow into a bucket a moment to see if the flow is strong... or add a pipe tee so can have a gauge and house plumbing hooked up at same time... check gauge pressure whenever there seems to be low pressure...
Back when several people were living here and using water at same time ( 3 bathrooms, dishwasher, clothes washer, kitchen sink, washing cars, watering lawn, 2 lower floors taking pressure from upper floors, etc.) I inquired about a bigger water meter than the base 5/8" one, but the water price soars to commercial levels if you do that...
Now the price has soared anyway... from $45/quarterly forever to suddenly $200-250/quarterly... moving toward $1,000/yearly... so they switched us to monthly billing...
 

WasVilla

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Your problem is typical of a malfunctioning Pressure Regulator Valve. It sits between the meter and the house, usually in the garage where the main supply pipe can be seen. It steps down the city pressure from 155 psi to the normal 55 psi. It is conical most often. You can attach a pressure tester to your garden hose bib. If it is high, your PRV should be changed. A good handyman is a better bet to do the job
 

BuzzLOL

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Your problem is typical of a malfunctioning Pressure Regulator Valve.
We don't have any pressure regulator valves here... at least not where we can get at them... not for water... we have them for natural gas...
 

CYUE

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I have the same problem. If I flush the toilet, then my bathroom shower pressure drop drastically. Once the toilet is full and water stop, then my shower pressure comes back normal. I have a 15 years old water softener system, once a year, i will put in "Iron-Out" and run REGEN to wash clean the tank. I talked to my water softener dealer, he told me it is time to put in a new water softener. But that will cost me $1800-. So I wish I can fix the problem.
 

68bucks

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I have the same problem. If I flush the toilet, then my bathroom shower pressure drop drastically. Once the toilet is full and water stop, then my shower pressure comes back normal. I have a 15 years old water softener system, once a year, i will put in "Iron-Out" and run REGEN to wash clean the tank. I talked to my water softener dealer, he told me it is time to put in a new water softener. But that will cost me $1800-. So I wish I can fix the problem.
Have you tried to bypass the softener? Is that the only place that has the problem. If your on a well it's pretty common to have low pressure and temp swings when someone runs the water or flushes. Is this a new thing? Be skeptical of the guy that SELLS softeners.
 

CYUE

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Hi 68bucks, I ran down to basement and by-passed the water softener, then flush the toilet and turn on the shower, and also turn on the sink faucet, they all maintain a very good water pressure. Once I turned the water softener back on, can see the water pressure dropped in same situation. So the water softener tank must be in some way clogged. I wonder is there an effective way to clean the tank (other than using "Iron-Out"), so I don't have to replace the whole system?
 

68bucks

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A water softener is basically a couple tanks. One filled with resin to actually do the ion exchange to remove minerals. BTW the typical softener doesn't really remove much iron. The other tank is filled with salt. That is used to make brine to regenerate the resin. Resin can get sort or used up if you will and may need replaced. So the softener guy should be able to replace your resin but hardly a need to replace the whole system including all the associated plumbing,unless of course you are selling that. Search around and learn what and how the system works, it's pretty basic. I don't know why you would have to replace the whole system unless it's really old.
 

CYUE

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To replace the whole system is what the dealer told me. He never mention that the resin can be replaced. So now, I am going to search who can replace the resin. Thanks "68bucks", probably you help me to save lots of money!
 

68bucks

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Hope so. Resin isn't cheap. That's a big part of the cost of a softener system. Remember it's just a couple tanks. You might be able to buy resin and dyi but I've never looked into it.
 

Spicoli43

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If ANY specialty repair person wants to immediately replace something without trying to repair it, I move on to the next specialty person. I have had a few examples of that happen, so I learned the quick and dirty and figured out how to do it myself in most situations.

The water softener or water heater etc. should last a "certain number of years", but there's nothing saying it won't last a long time. I would flag that dealer on Yelp and other review sites.
 

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