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In my basement, I have the plumbing pictured here below. The pipe going up from the tee on the right feeds all the fixtures in the main house, and the pipe going down feeds everything in the pool house (a sink, toilet, and hose spigot). Currently, when anything (particularly the hose) is running at the pool house, everything in the main house completely loses pressure. We can’t so much as pour a glass of water from the sink, let alone do laundry or flush the toilets.

Picture of copper pipe in a basement, in a tee configuration. One pipe goes up and another goes down.

With pool season coming up, I’ll be running that hose quite a bit to replace the water that evaporated over the winter. This is a huge pain, and with everyone stuck at home during our shelter-in-place order, we can’t just run the hose while we’re at work like we used to.

Is there a way to reconfigure this so that the pool house loses pressure when house fixtures need water? Ideally, I’d like to not even notice that the hose is running at the pool. (This would also enable me to add an auto-fill valve out at the pool so that the water maintains level. I’ve wanted to do that for a couple years, but I’ve hesitated because it means we’d lose pressure in the house “randomly”)

Update:

I had a chance this afternoon to investigate the well equipment a bit. We have a 30/50 switch, and the pump is a Franklin Electric model 2445059004. Would it be a good idea to replace the switch with a 40/60? Would it help?

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    Has it always been this way, or is this a new problem? – Jimmy Fix-it Apr 11 at 16:48
  • We’ve only owned the house for 3 years, but it’s been an issue as long as we’ve lived here. The pool was built in the late 90s, so I think the water line was installed around that same time. – Ben Wyatt Apr 11 at 16:49
  • (And before anyone asks, yes, I know the pool house line is off right now. We’ve got one more week of cold mornings, then I’ll be opening it up.) – Ben Wyatt Apr 11 at 16:51
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    If that is 3/4 copper I would be verifying your pressure tank is set up for 40/60 or higher. The other thing is if there is any galvanized in the supply line it can be getting closed off I have seen 1” galvanized with about a 3/8 opening in the worst case I have not seen that in copper or pvc. So it may be a supply issue because 3/4” should be ok with multiple faucets open. – Ed Beal Apr 11 at 16:52
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    What is that manifold/equipment upstream of the tee, on the main line? Is that a filtration system? Can you get pressure readings on the system? Is there a pressure regulator installed on the main supply? How do you get your water (e.g. well/pump, municipal supply, etc.)? – Jimmy Fix-it Apr 11 at 16:53
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Use a reduced flow rate to fill the pool, don't open one of the valves fully so that sufficient pressure is maintained in your house.

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  • I may try this. I could experiment pretty easily with leaving the line to the pool house partially closed to see if it resolves the issue. Thanks! – Ben Wyatt Apr 17 at 21:11
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    So I tried this, and it mostly worked. Unfortunately, it still threw the house pressure off enough that the shower wouldn't run. (Sinks and toilets were fine.) Since I don't want to be running back & forth to the basement constantly, I decided to order one of these smart shutoff controls. Cheaper than hiring a plumber & easier than running the stairs before every shower. amazon.com/Asifu-Sprinkler-Controller-Compatible-Assistant/dp/… – Ben Wyatt Apr 20 at 17:09

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