A solution for low water pressure caused by lead pipework

Resolving a long time water pressure issue that enabled the installation of a new combination boiler and taps. One happy customer!

A solution for low water pressure caused by lead pipework

Article by David Powell,

We were called out to find a solution to very low mains water pressure at a property in Bassett, Southampton.

This issue had been ongoing apparently for some time and was hindering the customer's desire for a new combination boiler and new taps which, unfortunately, have a minimum flow rate in order for them to work. 

On arrival we found the mains water supply was entering the property in lead, this then split into two to feed the ground floor and 1st floor circuits via 2x stopcocks in the entrance hall. We tested the supply and found we had 6 litres per minutes and zero bar working pressure from the kitchen tap. We were also advised Southern Water had taken a reading of 22litres per minute in the road. This brought us to the conclusion that there was a restriction on the mains pipework somewhere between the road and the property.

We advised the customer that the best course of action would be to replace all the lead pipework with copper from the stopcock in the road but that would mean digging up his front garden, but with the benefits of a stronger flow of water and the reduced effects on his family’s health posed by the existing lead pipework.

After some discussion, it was decided upon to replace all the lead pipework from the point of entry by the front door and connecting it to the more modern copper pipework in the kitchen.
We cut out the old lead pipe work under the floor and renewed the pipework in copper. We replaced the 2 internal stopcocks connecting to the copper supply for the 1st floor. For the ground floor we cut the lead just before it enters the kitchen and ran a new copper supply under the hall floor between the internal stop cock and the kitchen.

On completion, we renewed the tests and the customer now has 14litres per minute and a working pressure of 1.1bar which is sufficient to run a new Worcester combination boiler from for which we have provided a free quotation.

On leaving we refitted the floorboards and vacuumed the area leaving one happy customer.

Could you have a problem the pipework in your home causing low water pressure?

You could well have the same problem as this customer so please get in touch with us. Our expert plumbers, based in Southampton, will advise you on your best course of action.

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