Water pressure or lack of it - block of flats

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    Water pressure or lack of it - block of flats

    Hi,

    I have a quick question re the above if anyone can offer any guidance.

    I own a flat in a block and it would appear that the water pressure has significantly dropped to the point that the tenant is struggling to get a shower properly.

    I have queried it with the building manager who (without inspection or any real knowledge of plumbing or heating) has said that it will be the boiler (electric) and the "pressure release valve that controls the hot water will need replacing". The problem with that theory is the pressure appears to be effecting both cold and hot water in all outlets i.e. Kitchen, Bathroom (sink, bath, shower).

    I will need to take this to the Managing Agent, responsible for the maintenance of the building, and who are notoriously evasive and unhelpful therefore could anyone answer the below questions before I approach them -

    1. Any ideas what might be causing the lack of water pressure?

    2. What should I reasonably expect from the Agents by way of investigation as this point? They will be reluctant to be proactive about this due to the fact all the piping is boxed in behind the walls of the building and the flat.

    Thanks in advance.

    #2
    Is your flat in a high rise building ( may be the water pump to a communal water tank on roof has failed ) ?

    If it is low rise building, I would expect the water pressure ( to taps on highest floor ) is from the water supply company..

    Has the main stop tap for water supply into your flat been turned down ?

    Comment


      #3
      Lack of water pressure, possible causes:

      If it's mains fed-
      • A reduction in the mains supply pressure. Contact the supply company. It may be a temporary 'drought' measure, or there main be mains works in the area.
      • A mains leak. May be 'somewhere down the supply pipe' well away from the property. Again ask the supply company.

      If it's a tank fed system-
      • Low/no water in tank due to tank filling pump or inlet valve failure. (If pumped).
      • Low/no water in in tank due to low mains pressure. See above.
      • Low/no water in tank due to leak.

      Both types-
      • Filter needs changing in tenants water filter/softener unit.
      • A restriction in the supply pipework. Stoptap/valve half shut somewhere in the supply line, supply piping replaced with smaller bore pipe.
      • Something/someone taking a large volume from the supply.
      • Frozen pipes. Unlikely at this time of year.

      Has T asked the neighbours if they are also having problems?

      Has there been any recent plumbing work done in the building?

      Water pressure in the mains supply varies throughout the day, for various reasons. Try taking a shower at a different time if possible.

      As a rough guide water pressure should be strong enough to fill a 4.5 litre (one gallon) container in 30 seconds from a ground-floor tap.
      Obviously it will take longer the higher you go above ground floor.

      Getting the MA to investigate is another issue; if all the residents are suffering then a joint call for action will be more effective.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Gordon999 View Post
        Is your flat in a high rise building ( may be the water pump to a communal water tank on roof has failed ) ?

        If it is low rise building, I would expect the water pressure ( to taps on highest floor ) is from the water supply company..

        Has the main stop tap for water supply into your flat been turned down ?
        Hey Gordon999, thanks - It is on the 6th floor of 8 floors but according to the Building Manager no other flats have reported, that said he wouldn't tell us if they had. In typical style its being pointed to the leaseholder I just don't see how an electric water heater could effect the water pressure of all utilities both hot and cold.

        I've checked the main stop tap and I don't think it's that as the it is tightly turned so no chance that it could have been slight turned by accident.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by nukecad View Post
          Lack of water pressure, possible causes:

          If it's mains fed-
          • A reduction in the mains supply pressure. Contact the supply company. It may be a temporary 'drought' measure, or there main be mains works in the area.
          • A mains leak. May be 'somewhere down the supply pipe' well away from the property. Again ask the supply company.

          If it's a tank fed system-
          • Low/no water in tank due to tank filling pump or inlet valve failure. (If pumped).
          • Low/no water in in tank due to low mains pressure. See above.
          • Low/no water in tank due to leak.

          Both types-
          • Filter needs changing in tenants water filter/softener unit.
          • A restriction in the supply pipework. Stoptap/valve half shut somewhere in the supply line, supply piping replaced with smaller bore pipe.
          • Something/someone taking a large volume from the supply.
          • Frozen pipes. Unlikely at this time of year.

          Has T asked the neighbours if they are also having problems?

          Has there been any recent plumbing work done in the building?

          Water pressure in the mains supply varies throughout the day, for various reasons. Try taking a shower at a different time if possible.

          As a rough guide water pressure should be strong enough to fill a 4.5 litre (one gallon) container in 30 seconds from a ground-floor tap.
          Obviously it will take longer the higher you go above ground floor.

          Getting the MA to investigate is another issue; if all the residents are suffering then a joint call for action will be more effective.
          Hey nukecad, thanks for this detail it's really helpful. In answer to your question(s) I checked with me neighbour and they don't seem to be having a problem at all. I'm not aware of any plumbing work but the Managinf Agents and Building Manager wouldn't tell Leaseholders that and as I understand we as Leaseholders are not legally entitled to see what works/reports have been carried out on the building.

          Comment


            #6
            Have you checked the cold water stopcock outside the flat ?

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by thechief1977 View Post
              I checked with me neighbour and they don't seem to be having a problem at all.
              Which suggests that the problem is specific to your particular flat and not with the supply as a whole.
              So your problem and not the building managenments.
              (Their responsibility usually ends at the boundry of the flat).

              If the shower is run off the boiler then I'd suspect it's the boiler at fault and the reports of low cold water pressure at the taps are an exaggeration.

              But:
              Has any plumbing work been carried out in the flat in the last year or so?
              New washing machine or dishwasher plumbed in?
              Water meter fitted?

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks again nukecad, I have no reason to exaggerate the pressure of the cold water. The pressure in the property is very low whether that be in the kitchen/bathroom sink or the bath/shower and if it only effected the hot water it would make sense that it was the water heater, but it doesn't as the cold is also very weak.

                The Agents have confirmed now that there have been others reports from the tenants in the building though won't confirm who and whether the issue has been corrected.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Gordon999 View Post
                  Have you checked the cold water stopcock outside the flat ?
                  Hey, I haven't - the Agents wouldn't give us access to that. The Agents are saying the pumps are working fine but there does appear to have been other reports of low water pressure from other tenants but I can't determine who and if the issues were resolved at the moment.

                  Comment

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