Is your building experiencing low water pressure? If you have numerous tenant complaints about low water pressure when one or more fixtures are in operation, it could be a sign of a major problem, especially if you own and operate a high-rise building. Let’s take a look at what could be wrong and how to fix it when your Chicago building has low water pressure.

Pipe Corrosion

It goes without saying that if you’re experiencing low water pressure, there could be several causes. The first cause is pipe corrosion. This happens when one or more pipes are so severely corroded that the flow of water has been severely restricted. This most commonly occurs if you have galvanized pipes or galvanized fittings, but it can occur with other types of metal pipes.

Bad Water Pump

If you have a high-rise building with low water pressure, a bad water pump could be the culprit. This is especially true if the upper floors have low water pressure but the lower floors seem to be fine. In this scenario, a water pump could have failed or if you recently had a pump replaced, it could be the wrong size. In both of these scenarios, the water pump will need to be replaced.

Pinhole Leaks

Your low water pressure problem could be the result of several pinhole leaks, especially if the low water pressure gets worse the further along you go in the system. This occurs because each pinhole leak causes a loss in pressure. If the problem is severe enough, your last few apartments may not have much water pressure at all.

Water Main Leak

If your entire residential building is experiencing low water pressure, it could be due to a crack in the pipe that feeds water from the city water system to your building. Since these pipes are usually underground, you might notice soggy ground or puddles where there couldn’t be any in your yard. Additionally, if your water pipe runs through the slab of your building, it could break under the slab. This is extremely serious because water leaking into your slab can cause foundation problems.

Signs Your Building Needs Plumbing Repairs

In addition to low water pressure, you may have other signs that your building is in dire need of plumbing repairs.

  • You see water spots, mold, or discoloration on walls or ceilings.
  • Your potable water is colored, appearing red, yellow, or brown.
  • Your water or plumbing pipes smell terrible. While this could be a water treatment plant adding extra chemicals, it can also indicate the presence of rust or corrosion.
  • Your pipes are banging or gurgling.

What to Do if Your Chicago Building Is Experiencing Low Water Pressure

As a property manager, it’s your job to make sure that every maintenance request is thoroughly investigated and that repairs are made on time. If your residents are complaining of low water pressure, it’s time to call a qualified Chicago plumber to perform a water pressure check and text for leaks in the system. If leaks are found, they’ll need to be repaired. The good news is that you have options when it comes to repairing and replacing your potable water pipes.

Pipe Repair Options: Replace and Repair or Have Them Lined

When it comes to fixing leaking pipes, you have two options. You can choose a traditional Chicago plumber who will repair or replace the leaking or damaged pipes, or you can choose pipelining with a company like NuFlow Midwest.

Traditional Pipe Repair or Replacement

Traditional pipe repairs are made by locating the pipe, deciding how much of the pipe is damaged, and cutting that section of the pipe out of the system. Next, the plumber connects a new section of pipe, ensures it’s fitted well, and tests it for leaks. If the new section isn’t leaking, the water service is turned back on. This method is known as dig and replace, because the plumber digs down to the damaged pipe, removes it, and replaces it. It’s important to note that the dig part doesn’t always mean through the soil. It could mean digging through drywall, ceiling tiles, and even behind masonry.

Epoxy Pipelining with NuFlow

An alternate option for getting pinhole leaks repaired in your potable water lines involves lining with an epoxy coating. Here at NuFlow Midwest, we offer epoxy relining for potable water pipes. This process involves thoroughly cleaning your current pipes down to the pipe walls. This removes corrosion and maximizes water flow. Next, we send the epoxy coating through the pipes with pressurized air. As the coating moves through the pipes, it rolls over itself, coating the entirety of the inside pipe. This seals small leaks and cracks. Next, the coating is left to cure. Once it has cured and the pipes have been tested to ensure there are no leaks and that they are operating as intended, your pipes are returned to service.

Still Not Sure What to Do? Get a Pipe Assessment

If you’re still not sure if your building needs a traditional pipe repair or epoxy pipelining to solve your low water pressure issues, you can schedule a pipe assessment with NuFlow. A pipe assessment is designed to determine the condition of your plumbing pipes and whether or not they would benefit from pipelining or pipe replacement. If your pipes would benefit from pipelining, we’ll provide you with a quote. If you choose to have your plumbing pipes lined with epoxy, we’ll work with you to determine a timeframe. In general, we usually line the worst pipes first. Then, as we move through your building, we line the next worst, and so on. The good news is that this can be a multi-year plan so that it fits your budget.

To learn more about pipelining and to schedule a pipe assessment, contact us today at 815-790-9000.