The Renovator’s wife Blog

Renovating with your partner and living to tell about it

Water Pressure, Where Art Thou?? November 24, 2009

Have you ever experienced crappy water pressure? Sure you have. At the cabin, in the motorhome, some strange little sink someone put in a bit backwards? Yes, you know what it’s like – turn on the tap, wait for that blast, but instead you get a trickle. The Renovator and I deal with this trickle every day in our new home! Check it out:

We modify. No showers – we run a bath. Start it about an hour before you want to get in.

This will be fixed!

We knew the water pressure was a problem when we had the house inspected. From the road, water pressure is usually around 90lbs. When our inspector checked it at the front of the house, we had 15 pounds. Make it go up a floor to our kitchen sink and it didn’t even register on the gauge.

But, as always, we had a plan. Before buying, I checked with the city to see what the scoop was on disconnecting the water from the front of the house and hooking up to a line at the back of the house. “It won’t be much” she said. “I’ve never seen one come through for more than $5000, it will probably be closer to $2000.” Happy with this new-found knowledge, we bought the house.

A few days after moving in, I put in the request for the official quote to the city. We continued to adapt to the challenging water situation as we waited and planned the basics: get the plumber in to extend the water main out the back of the house (The Renovator would need to dig a trench, I’d need to make cookies for our friend the plumber), stake it, install a pressure regulator (every house has one of these except ours it seems), hook up to the city line when they completed their work, disconnect the water at the front. Lengthy process, but easy enough.

Then the call came. The hook up would be $4800 and there would be a ‘latecomer fee’ payable to the developer of the new subdivision behind us of $2600 (plus interest) for a grand total of way more than we’d budgetted for. Back to the drawing board.

I arranged for the city to come out and test the pressure at the road. I showed a couple of nice ‘management types’ that no, we didn’t have a pressure regulator and if they could find it, I’d be thrilled. They couldn’t find it. They sent out a nice ‘worker type’ who confirmed 90 pounds pressure at the road and the pee pressure of a geriatric person in the house. He did note that he could hear water running from the road pipe to the house even when I didn’t have anything running. Voila! It is a leak.

The Renovator called ‘BC One Call’ – the dial before you dig gas line – to ensure he has the layout of the gas line and now, we will dig. We’ll dig until we find the water line, then we’ll dig until we find the leak. We’re hoping we can repair the leak (and that there is only one) and be done with the whole mess. If not, it’s time to come up with another plan, or make the cat and dog get jobs to pay for the new hook up.

And that’s why I love being The Renovator’s Wife.

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3 Responses to “Water Pressure, Where Art Thou??”

  1. Susan Main Says:

    Hehe – I wasn’t sure if I wanted to mention the thought of “old man peeing” but then you used the image in your post. I lived in an apartment like this downtown in the late 80s in Vancouver. Very hard to rinse hair in shower! Will be curious to see what happens with yours…

    • renovatorswife Says:

      Quite the visual huh? I can attest that the reality is no less brutal! Hopefully, we’ll have this taken care of soon!

  2. renovatorswife Says:

    PS – so great to hear from a fellow writer! 🙂


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