Plumbing question

Miller Time

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So I just moved into a new, cheap (and VERY small) studio apartment and in my bathroom sink and shower the hot water pressure is very, very low. Cold water is fine. Just wondering is there something I can check before mentioning it to my landlord? I did a little Google research, but just thought we might have someone with a little plumbing experience here.
 

golfinFF

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Make sure all valves are fully opened- going into hot water heater, and coming out( under sink, back of shower if you can get to it and if there is one)

How is the hot water in the kitchen?
 

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Do you have an individual hot water tank in your unit or is your building running on a Boiler/Storage tank system?
 

Miller Time

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Make sure all valves are fully opened- going into hot water heater, and coming out( under sink, back of shower if you can get to it and if there is one)

How is the hot water in the kitchen?
Hot water in kitchen is better, but still not great. I'll check the valves. Don't think I can get to the one in back of the shower though?

Do you have an individual hot water tank in your unit or is your building running on a Boiler/Storage tank system?
It's a small building converted into an apartment. The water heater looks pretty new. There's a date written on there that says 4-22-11, so that makes me think it's 3 years old.
 

tequila4kapp

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One of the great benefits of being a renter is not having to deal with this stuff. I'd just call the landlord.
 

rollin

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do you have the same issue in your kitchen sink? If not then check the valve under the bathroom sink. As 'Golfnff" mentioned above you may find the hot water valve is not open enough.
Other than that, ask your neighbors if they have the same problem. If they do then of course the landlord needs to know. However if they say its a long time problem then you may be out of luck.
 

ArmyGolf

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Could be anything really. The hot and cold should be the same pressure in this case.

Since its your bathroom sink and shower its probably a poor piping job...not much you can do.
 

Miller Time

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One of the great benefits of being a renter is not having to deal with this stuff. I'd just call the landlord.
I agree. She's an elderly lady, so I thought I'd take a look before asking her about it hoping it was a quick fix.
 

rollin

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is there a hot water circulator pump for instant hot water? or do you have to wait for the water to get hot?
 

Miller Time

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is there a hot water circulator pump for instant hot water? or do you have to wait for the water to get hot?
Not sure? I turn it to the hot side and it gets warm, but seems to trickle out, if I turn it back to the middle at all to get more pressure it gets cold again almost instantly.
 

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My recommendation is to get the landlord involved. Even if it is something simple, best not to turn valves and take on the liability.

If somebody is going to cause a massive failure and flood the apartment, let it be the landlord.
 

Texasbrons

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More than likely this is a real simple $5 fix. I just had this on my kitchen sink. First off do any of the other sinks or the shower show the same problem with low flow on hot? If the other sinks/shower or whatever has good pressure at the hot water it is more than likely the hot water supply valve has calcium build up in the valve. It could have even broken the rubber seat which is clogging the valve. Shut off the hot water supply coming from the heater, open a couple of hot water valves to bleed the water pressure out. Set up a small pan or some towels under the valve in question. You will get some residual water out of the line when you pull the valve out. Use a 9/16" or maybe 5/8" wrench or an adjustable open end wrench (crescent wrench) to undo the hose at the discharge and then loosen it on the inlet side of the valve. You will probably need two wrenches, one to hold the valve body and one to loosen the fittings. It should just slip off of the copper pipe. Take it down to lowes or home depot or any plumbing supply store. Like I said a new valve is just a few bucks and then reverse the order when you put it back together. Save the receipt for her to pay you back. Now before you open the hot water heater discharge valve to refill the system make sure that you leave a couple of hot water valves cracked open. You will hear a lot of noise and if you aren't expecting it, it will be scary. Never fear, this is just air and some water hammer from the piping being empty and now filling with water. I actually recommend just cracking open the water heater discharge valve just a bit. Once the air and popping and hissing is done and you have a nice steady stream, open the discharge valve fully. Verify, once again that you have a solid stream of water with no air and spitting then close your valves. Now test your new valve. Open up the faucet and see if your water pressure has improved, look under the sink and double check that there are no leaks at your newly installed isolation valve and Ta da, you just saved having to have a plumber come over and you saved your landlord a hundred bucks or so. You'll feel satisfied for a job well done and she will love you for it.

If the problem is at multiple valves throughout, it may be you have multiple valves clogged with calcium, but you may be best off having a plumber troubleshoot. It could be more of a hot water system issue.

Good luck and PM if you have any questions.
 

rollin

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Not sure? I turn it to the hot side and it gets warm, but seems to trickle out, if I turn it back to the middle at all to get more pressure it gets cold again almost instantly.
to be honest ther could one of a number of reasons.
Partial clogged valve in your bathroom, could be the whole small building has a common problem. Could be the settings (if you have single stem faucets) on the hot water setting under the stems., etc. Could be two separate issues. One issue with the sink yet anther with the shower. There are just too many variables unless one is there to look at things in person and also knows what he is looking for in person. First thing is to find out if all others are having the same problem, then at least it can be narrowed to your alone. Good luch getting it taken care of.
 

Franklin51

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Lots of landlords turn the water pressure and temperature way down to try and preserve the units. I know my wife's ex landlord had the hot water on like 90 when she moved in claiming he did it to save the heater. Well a quick screwdriver fixed that mess.
 

ArmyGolf

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More than likely this is a real simple $5 fix. I just had this on my kitchen sink. First off do any of the other sinks or the shower show the same problem with low flow on hot? If the other sinks/shower or whatever has good pressure at the hot water it is more than likely the hot water supply valve has calcium build up in the valve. It could have even broken the rubber seat which is clogging the valve. Shut off the hot water supply coming from the heater, open a couple of hot water valves to bleed the water pressure out. Set up a small pan or some towels under the valve in question. You will get some residual water out of the line when you pull the valve out. Use a 9/16" or maybe 5/8" wrench or an adjustable open end wrench (crescent wrench) to undo the hose at the discharge and then loosen it on the inlet side of the valve. You will probably need two wrenches, one to hold the valve body and one to loosen the fittings. It should just slip off of the copper pipe. Take it down to lowes or home depot or any plumbing supply store. Like I said a new valve is just a few bucks and then reverse the order when you put it back together. Save the receipt for her to pay you back. Now before you open the hot water heater discharge valve to refill the system make sure that you leave a couple of hot water valves cracked open. You will hear a lot of noise and if you aren't expecting it, it will be scary. Never fear, this is just air and some water hammer from the piping being empty and now filling with water. I actually recommend just cracking open the water heater discharge valve just a bit. Once the air and popping and hissing is done and you have a nice steady stream, open the discharge valve fully. Verify, once again that you have a solid stream of water with no air and spitting then close your valves. Now test your new valve. Open up the faucet and see if your water pressure has improved, look under the sink and double check that there are no leaks at your newly installed isolation valve and Ta da, you just saved having to have a plumber come over and you saved your landlord a hundred bucks or so. You'll feel satisfied for a job well done and she will love you for it.

If the problem is at multiple valves throughout, it may be you have multiple valves clogged with calcium, but you may be best off having a plumber troubleshoot. It could be more of a hot water system issue.

Good luck and PM if you have any questions.
I thought it could very well be calcium buildup as well, but I didn't think that would effect both a sink and shower without effecting the kitchen. Definitely a possibility though.
 

golfinFF

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I thought it could very well be calcium buildup as well, but I didn't think that would effect both a sink and shower without effecting the kitchen. Definitely a possibility though.
The bathroom sink and shower are probably on the same feed line and if that feed line is blocked before the sink then it'll effect both
 

Miller Time

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I appreciate all the info guys
 

wadesworld

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I appreciate all the info guys
Let the landlord deal with it. If it's an elderly lady, it's not like she's going to come repair it herself - she'll send a plumber. As someone said, you don't want to be responsible for breaking something.
 

Barberakb

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My recommendation is to get the landlord involved. Even if it is something simple, best not to turn valves and take on the liability.

If somebody is going to cause a massive failure and flood the apartment, let it be the landlord.
The liability for turning a few knobs?
 

Barberakb

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Good on ya Josh for trying to fix it yourself and help her out.

I always try to do the same thing first as long as it's not a major issue. To me it does a few positive things.

1. If it's an easy fix or something you can do yourself it gets done way quicker than calling someone.
2. Sometimes looking into stuff like this helps you learn something new. Might come in handy down the road when you aren't renting.
3. It helps the landlord out, especially if it's something minor.
 

Miller Time

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So any word on what it was?
Landlord has her handyman coming over tomorrow to give it a look. I think it's gotta be buildup at the water heater.
 

Miller Time

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We now have sufficient hot water pressure! Turned the hot water up on the water heater and he did say there was a little buildup there, but everything is working properly now. Thanks for all of the advice.
 

colemanBro

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I know what you're talking about. After the beginning of quarantine and self-isolation, my wife and I had to change, unfortunately, the previous place of housing. It was a difficult time, but we managed to find a good option, and there, just like you, there was a problem with the water supply and heating. This was the reason that we immediately turned to experienced specialists, it turned out to be more expensive than expected, but we did not bother and had no problems with it. If you want to find out about worthy solutions to this problem you can find more here
 
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