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After my own inspection and talking to the utility company I have the following:

  • The meter (near the road) is 5/8" x 3/4". From what the water company told me - this is the most commonly installed size service in this area.
  • There is approximately 180ft of 3/4" PVC and 3/4" PEX coming off the meter to my house where it connects to a 3/4" copper trunk line. (The first 100ft or so is PVC and the rest is PEX that I installed recently to replace a section of galvanized, corroded pipe.)
  • My hose bibs which are fed from 1/2" branch lines (and before a PRV) measure approximately 5.2 GPM @ 70 PSI (tested with a flow gauge and pressure gauge at the bib w/ no other fixtures in the house being on)

My questions are:

  • Does 5.2 GPM seem pretty low? It seems barely adequate to get spray things clean at times. It barely seems able to feed my pressure washer at times.
  • Would changing that 180ft main line with 1" improve anything?

I've inquired with the utility about the cost of changing my meter to 1" as well. That would be pretty costly but not crazy (around $2k).

Thanks in advance for any guidance.

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    Tell us a little more about what sits between the PEX and the hose bibb. Any valves? What kind? (gate, globe, full-port ball, etc) How many elbows (or tees where the branch is taken)? How long is the 1/2" section? Tell us more about the outdoors, too. Is there anything that might have caused the buried pipe to be constricted -- a tree or shrub with roots over or near, soil that might have settled and crimped the pipe, etc? – Greg Hill Aug 21 at 21:04
  • Initial thought is that it might improve flow to the house, but once it gets there, you'll have all the same bottlenecks that you did before. – JPhi1618 Aug 21 at 21:06
  • @GregHill I think I have a little bit of homework to do in order to fully respond. I'll prepare a diagram of all of that in the days to come. I believe I can also measure the GPM and pressure directly at the meter (before the 180ft of 3/4 main line) and at the end of the main line where it enters the house. That should tell us if there is a problem with any of the buried pipe don't you think? I'm expecting a little drop of volume due to the length and rise of the pipe. – Freddie Aug 22 at 0:08
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    What does 5/8" x 3/4" mean as a description of the size of your current meter? I would have thought that it would be either 5/8" or 3/4"? In Dallas the available residential sizes are 5/8, 3/4, 1, 1.5, 2, 3, 4. – Jim Stewart Aug 22 at 2:26
  • What is your static and full flow pressure ? Without this information we really could not give a true answer. Just to give a simple example if your static pressure is only 40 psi it may not help at all if your static pressure is above 60 there is a problem, again now if your static 40 and full flow of 35 there is nothing you can do within reason to help. If you have over 60 static and 20 full flow there are restrictions that need to be fixed. I have seen 1-1/4” galvanized pipe had buildup inside at ~150’ that a 1/2” RV water hose had more flow, so we would need static & flow pressures to know. – Ed Beal Aug 22 at 4:06
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I would assume there's a pressure regulator somewhere after the meter mounted on your house ?

Loosening the locknut(s) and turning the adjustment clockwise will increase that flow.. You might not have to go thru all this, if your place has a pressure regulator.

  • My only PRV is after the hose bib. – Freddie Aug 22 at 22:23
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Increasing the supply pipe size will allow a higher flow rate due to reduced resistance. If you replace the water meter with the next size, you will have to absorb the cost, and there is usually a higher monthly cost for that meter. I never measured the flow rate in my house but I would have to assume that 5.2 GPM @70 psig should be adequate for most high flow devices like a hose or pressure washer. Another problem that may effect the flow would be the piping inside your home.

  • Got to say pressure washers are low flow devices, my big unit only uses 7gpm and has a 5 gallon resivor my little one is under 1.8 GPM . Neither is rated for 100% duty cycle. We need to know maybe re info than provided, I agree that upsizing from 3/4 to 1” may be what is needed but if the static and full flow numbers are out of wack the pipes could be blocked. Causing the low flow. – Ed Beal Aug 22 at 4:16

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