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Question DetailsAsked on 12/25/2013

How do you fix the hot water pressure in your piples? Cold pressure is fine.

Our house was built in the 1950's and the hot water pressure is weak. Over the years some of the pipe has been replaced with PVC, Holt Plumbing has stated it is a sediment build up. How do you get rid of that?

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3 Answers


I am assuming your initial pressure is OK when you first open the faucets, just drops off real fast after faucet is turned on, and flow rate is low. And that the problem is throughout the house, not just in one room or faucet.

I am also assuming that Holt said it was buildup after actually opening up a hot water pipe and looking inside. In a house that old, it would not be at all unexpected to have significant buildup in the pipes, particularly if you have hard water or a lot of iron or sulfides in your water. Most especially if you have iron or galvanized steel pipes, as was common in the 50's.

If truly sediment buildup, prolonged full flow and tapping the pipes MIGHT partially alleviate this, but usually it is so encrusted and settled in it will not flush out.

Generally, what a plumber calls sediment is actually iron bacterial growth and corrosion cuildup, and you cannot clean this out - even if you could, in most cases the pipe is so corroded that the buildup inside the pipe is all that is holding the water in. Obviously, if they did not cut into a pipe in one or preferably two places to be sure it was corrosion buildup rather than a blocked outflow or inflow tube at the water heater or partially blocked shutoff valve, that should be done first to confirm the condition. Another alternative is to have a plumber cross-connect cold to hot water temporarily, BYPASSING the hot water heater and its shutoff valves, and see if the pressure/flow picks up to equal the hot. If it does, then the problem is in the hot water heater or the pipes and shutoff valves immediately before or after it. If the cross connection does not change matters, then pipe replacement time - and you should do the cold ones at the same time, because their condition will be similar, just not quite as advanced as hot water piping which builds up corrosion faster because heat helps the chemical reactions along and also the iron eating bacteria thrive in hotter water.

Unfortunately, you are looking at several thousand $ to replumb a house - you can read prior responses on pipe replacement in the Home > Plumbing section (in Browse Projects, at lower left).

Answered 6 years ago by LCD


It does sound like your pipes are clogged with calcium or lime deposits. Give the age of the house it sounds like replacing these 63 year old pipes would almost be your best bet. I suppose you may find a company that would pump an acid throught the pipes in the hope it would help but I don't think it would be worth it plus with the age if they are copper pipes the solder used had lead in it and you would be exposing yourself to the lead that has been shielded by the deposits. Lead is no longer used for soldering the joints but pipes that were in service were allowed to remain due to the fact that most of the lead had already leached out or was protected by the hard water deposits. If the are galvanized pipe it would be even worse to use an acid to clean them out. Your best bet would be to use the new plastic water lines as it is easier to retrofit and cheaper than copper. It quite often be snaked through the existing holes afer the old pipes are removed, much like an electrician would snake a wire. Plastic got a bad rep a few years ago but todays versions will almost last forever and are less prone to hard water deposits. If you cant do it all at once you could start on just the hot water and even then you could just do sections.


Answered 6 years ago by ContractorDon


The previous answers given to this question are " Spot ON !

We have replaced many a foot of pipe , HOT and COLD in attempts to resolve LOW Water pressure through out a Home .

Even municipality supplied water will eventually leave deposits or build Up as commonly refered to Iron water lines .We've Replaced several such lines where the Hot Water pipes which were 3/4" iron pipes had their sizes reduced inside such pipes by closing up to an open diameter of less than 1/4" , thereby reducing the amount of usuable space for the water to flow by 75% or more . Once an Iron pipe has started accumalating this growth or build UP it IS virtually impossible to clean OUT this obstruction as it ruins the pipe interior and becomes harder than concrete !

As stated in previous responses , replace the entire system with preferable COPPER or PVC/PEX type plastic piping . Your water pressure will drastically and dramatically Increase !

Answered 6 years ago by BentheBuilder

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