Very low water pressure...ideas on a fix and whose responsibility?

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    Very low water pressure...ideas on a fix and whose responsibility?

    Hi all.
    I own a flat which is one of two in a converted Victorian house. Mine is the upper floor flat (one story + converted attic). Summary:

    • have always had poor water pressure in the flat...not possible to have a proper shower and run a tap at the same time

    • takes 15 minutes to fill 1/3 of a bath in top level bathroom

    • flow rate at kitchen sink is around 4 litres a minute...the downstairs flat is getting around 20 litres a minute (if not correct measuring units, those are the correct proportions)

    • my relatively new combi boiler has had issues with water pressure which may or may not be related

    • appears to be only one water meter at street for the whole building

    • have had a plumber out who thinks the water mains comes in from street straight through ground floor flat...stops at kitchen (at back of property) and then branches off up behind the walls to my flat where it doubles back on itself towards my kitchen (at street side of the property)

    • I got works done several years ago and a builder found a stop cock under the floor of the room that sits above my downstairs neighbour's kitchen...he checked to see if it did anything...ran the bathroom tap a few times and the water flowed whether the valve/stop cock was open or shut. It didn't seem to be connected to the pipe running through the middle of the room (see pictures) (which is the one we think is linked to the flat downstairs) he left it off or at least the opposite position of where he found it (I can't remember if water pressure was better before this or not)

    • my plumber thinks the stopcock mentioned above could be the source of the problem. Only problem is it sits under carpet and 240mm of plywood so will involve some drilling and exploration to find it. My question is: how likely is it that the stopcock is anything to do with the problem? If turning it on and off had no perceived affect on the nearest bathroom flow is it just a 'red herring'

    • If looking at the image, the stopcock was on left hand side of room...pipe runs through middle of run and off to the right I believe where it is connected to the water mains downstairs

    Any help or views would be greatly appreciated. I am concerned that this could become an expedition and don't want to deal with the cost if it does!

    Last question: I assume this is my responsibility as long leaseholder? The problem doesn't lie under the small common area hallway. Extract from lease attached showing freeholder's responsibilities for conduits.


    You need to arrange to get a separate supply to your flat. They can use flexible plastic pipes these days to slip and bend between wall and floor voids where they exist, but there may be some disruption (such as taking up floorboards) if they can't manage it. I had to do this a couple of years ago. It cost a few hundred quid but was part of a bigger refurb so was OK.


      Hi, thanks for the reply. Do you think I can just run a new pipe from the existing main (say from a point in the common hallway) and thus I can avoid dealing with the water company etc? Because that route has always sounded like costing £1,000+


        I managed to avoid the water company as the connection point was within the property boundary. It may depend on this. As you say it is otherwise going to be expensive


          If the victorian building had some mild steel water pipes, the rust inside the pipe can corrode and form layers inside blocking the water flow . It does not happen to copper pipes.


            Is it possible your water supply comes from a storage tank in the roof-space and is not direct from the mains? This will only give a low pressure supply to your taps.

            If you turn off the building stopcock does your water keep flowing, ie from a tank?


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