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I have a multi-family residential project - ground up. I took it over toward the end. The designer and Owner originally tried to go LEED, but it was too late in their process, so it was decided not to be a LEED job. But, since it is for a local University, they talked about going ahead and just installing the ultra low flow shower heads.

Schedule got in the way, so they just ended up putting on the regular heads to get a final, so they could move students in.

Now I get on the job running the punchlist. After they moved in Students, etc. we switched all the heads to the low flow when they came in. Now, of course there are many warranty calls for the water pressure.

The university personnel are claiming that we have a huge water pressure problem. I am telling them that we only really have a perception problem.

We have 34 psi on a gauge at the entry to the building. Then 30 psi on the 2nd floor, 26 psi on the 3rd floor, and I am only getting 20 psi on the 4th floor.

I cannot find anyone (our engineer, design engineer, architect, etc.) that will tell me what the minimum acceptable psi for a residential shower head would be. In other words, what our goal should be for the 4th floor. The Owner cannot even tell me what they think it should be, only that they should not be getting complaints.

The line into the building is a 4" line and there is absolutely no room for a pump and the tank that would be required by the City.

Any ideas?
 

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I aint CPV see in it?
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I have the answer straight from the 03 IPC plmbing code book. But, before i give you the answer, how bout an intro, where are you, and what do you do?
 

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45psi....min pressure stays the same .....volume is your problem..
Except that you lose about 1/2 pound per foot as you feed the higher floors.

This project could never work without a pump.

Mark
 

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Illinois Licensed Plumber
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I guess it depends on the code you follow. Our code states a minimum of 20 PSI on the discharge side of the meter, and minimum of 8 PSI at the fixtures or the minimum required by the manufacture.

Minimum Water Pressure. The minimum constant water service pressure on the discharge side of the water meter shall be (at least) 20 p.s.i.; and the minimum constant water pressure at each fixture shall be at least 8 p.s.i. or the minimum recommended by the fixture manufacturer.
 

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Our minimum is 15 but there is no way I would ever plumb a 4-story multi-family at that. A new booster pump every 5-years or so could pay for a lot of over-sized copper.

Mark
 
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Wow my street pressure in Santa Clarita is 185 psi.

Mark
 

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Illinois Licensed Plumber
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Wow my street pressure in Santa Clarita is 185 psi.

Mark
No water towers in Chicago. Its just large pumps pumping lots of volume of water. I remember as a kid we used to open the hydrants to get cool, and the old ladies would complain and call the cops cause they have no water to do laundry.
 

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The water company I am president of in Utah has an average pressure of about 60 psi. The problem is some of the homes at higher elevations only have about 20 psi. Our source is an artisan spring and the only pump in the system is a 12 volt battery operated piston pump for chlorination.

I have asked everyone at the higher elevations to add a booster pump and storage when they build. On occasion we have a demand which exceeds our storage and spring and those homes end up without any water.

Mark
 
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Professional Bullshioter
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ANything under 20 psi on a public or private water main requires a boil order. No?
 

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2007 Florida plumbing code book

Our code says minimum is 8 psi for a shower, 4 psi for a bidet. I can't imagine 8 psi coming out of a shower. With regard to a boil water alert, I don't think that falls under the scope of a plumber's license. My .02
 
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