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  Reply # 810048 2-May-2013 10:55
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networkn: Ok I have done the flow rate tests. Essentially with our current setup we get 9.0L/M with the shower head on, 10.5 with it off. Watercare state minimum 25L/M so something must be limiting the shower somehow? I checked and made sure all other taps were off and no washing machines or dishwashers going.


did you do the flow rate test from another tap, or an outside tap?

there may be a limiting valve inline with the shower head inside the wall...




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  Reply # 810088 2-May-2013 11:36
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Yes I have now tested the other downstairs shower and the outside taps. Downstairs is marginally better (1L/M faster) and outside about 3L/M faster.

We had the ensuite redone 2 years after moving in, all the tapware and mixers were replaced from memory and water pressure wasn't any different from my unscientific recollection. We also have different shower heads in our 3 bathrooms with no significant difference between them in flow rate or pressure.

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  Reply # 810151 2-May-2013 13:57
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networkn: Yes I have now tested the other downstairs shower and the outside taps. Downstairs is marginally better (1L/M faster) and outside about 3L/M faster...


Not sure that I am really up to speed on the issue; the thread is too long to unravel :-). But if you are saying that the outside taps are only around 3l/min faster than the flows you have given for the showers then one assumes that you actually have low flows from all your taps and the problem is in your supply into the house itself.

I may have missed the following being suggested already, but in case not:

If I understand what you are saying about flows correctly, and I think you also said you are down a long drive, then maybe like us you have an isolating valve at the house to save you a walk out to the street whenever you need to turn the water off. If so it will typically be in the garage, if you have an attached garage, and that even if the garage is the furthest part of the house from the street, but may be elsewhere. All that might be visible is a valve handle sticking out of the wall a little way. If that turns out to be the case then it may not be fully open or it has a problem.




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  Reply # 810153 2-May-2013 14:01
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John2010:
networkn: Yes I have now tested the other downstairs shower and the outside taps. Downstairs is marginally better (1L/M faster) and outside about 3L/M faster...


Not sure that I am really up to speed on the issue; the thread is too long to unravel :-). But if you are saying that the outside taps are only around 3l/min faster than the flows you have given for the showers then one assumes that you actually have low flows from all your taps and the problem is in your supply into the house itself.

I may have missed the following being suggested already, but in case not:

If I understand what you are saying about flows correctly, and I think you also said you are down a long drive, then maybe like us you have an isolating valve at the house to save you a walk out to the street whenever you need to turn the water off. If so it will typically be in the garage, if you have an attached garage, and that even if the garage is the furthest part of the house from the street, but may be elsewhere. All that might be visible is a valve handle sticking out of the wall a little way. If that turns out to be the case then it may not be fully open or it has a problem.



Hi there!

Yep the valve appears to be in the wall! Developer doesn't know where even, will have to find it and remove the gib etc. 

I have a plumber coming Monday to troubleshoot and said he has some tools for finding taps in walls!

Watercare measured pressure at the gate and "house" and said they were 1250/1200 respectively which is 5 times their minimum sla and seemed happy that was good. We have 20mm pipes and meter according to them which they said would be excellent.

Would be incredibly frustrating if all of this turns out to be that tap isn't fully open and has been buried in the wall.

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  Reply # 810185 2-May-2013 14:27
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You don't have a reducing valve hidden somewhere do you that provides equal low pressure to all showers?
I had this problem when I refurbished a shower unit in our previous house. What I didn't know til the Plumber came was that the cold water supply for the shower was connected to the low pressure inlet to the Hot tank and I'd never noticed. I had bought an unequal pressure shower head which then had to be modified. Always wondered why we had very low pressue at the shower..



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  Reply # 810188 2-May-2013 14:30
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B1GGLZ: You don't have a reducing valve hidden somewhere do you that provides equal low pressure to all showers?
I had this problem when I refurbished a shower unit in our previous house. What I didn't know til the Plumber came was that the cold water supply for the shower was connected to the low pressure inlet to the Hot tank and I'd never noticed. I had bought an unequal pressure shower head which then had to be modified. Always wondered why we had very low pressue at the shower..


No idea honestly.

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  Reply # 810189 2-May-2013 14:31
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I have a somewhat related comment that may be interesting. When I had a new bathroom installed they put a pressure limiting value in somewhere, otherwise it would apparently damage the taps - our pressure was 900 something, maximum is 500 something. As a result the water pressure on the tap out the back of the house dropped. The tap out the front of the house puts out significantly more water. The point is sometimes outside stuff is routed through pressure limiting values inside.

I don't know if that helps at all.




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  Reply # 810190 2-May-2013 14:33
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timmmay: I have a somewhat related comment that may be interesting. When I had a new bathroom installed they put a pressure limiting value in somewhere, otherwise it would apparently damage the taps - our pressure was 900 something, maximum is 500 something. As a result the water pressure on the tap out the back of the house dropped. The tap out the front of the house puts out significantly more water. The point is sometimes outside stuff is routed through pressure limiting values inside.

I don't know if that helps at all.


Hi There!

I have two taps I'll check the one out the front. Could be something like that as well.


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  Reply # 810192 2-May-2013 14:35
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Fingers crossed then :-).



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  Reply # 810196 2-May-2013 14:41
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HAHA Good call:

To fill a 3L Bucket :

Outside Rear External Tap : 12 Seconds
Upstairs Shower Head on : 20 Seconds
Downstairs Shower Head On : 19 Seconds
Outside Front External Tape : <8 Seconds

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  Reply # 810216 2-May-2013 14:56
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networkn: HAHA Good call:

To fill a 3L Bucket :

Outside Rear External Tap : 12 Seconds
Upstairs Shower Head on : 20 Seconds
Downstairs Shower Head On : 19 Seconds
Outside Front External Tape : <8 Seconds


Keep in mind though the possibility that your external front tap is direct off the mains before any in wall isolating valve (so is isolated at the street toby), especially if the front tap is at the end of the house facing the street.



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  Reply # 810217 2-May-2013 14:59
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John2010:
networkn: HAHA Good call:

To fill a 3L Bucket :

Outside Rear External Tap : 12 Seconds
Upstairs Shower Head on : 20 Seconds
Downstairs Shower Head On : 19 Seconds
Outside Front External Tape : <8 Seconds


Keep in mind though the possibility that your external front tap is direct off the mains before any in wall isolating valve (so is isolated at the street toby), especially if the front tap is at the end of the house facing the street.


Yep I am guessing that must be it. I presume they can fix that by putting less of a limiter on the supply though right?

If I could get ~15L/M at the shower upstairs I'd be very happy. 

Does anyone know if there are any legal restrictions for how much water can come out of a shower head? I know Labour was trying to get it to be 9L/M but I am not sure if that passed. Regardless my father in laws house is getting ~15.

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  Reply # 810228 2-May-2013 15:10
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networkn: Does anyone know if there are any legal restrictions for how much water can come out of a shower head? I know Labour was trying to get it to be 9L/M but I am not sure if that passed. Regardless my father in laws house is getting ~15.


None at all as far as I know (in Australia there is but we have escaped, so far anyway :-) ).

The biggest internal consumer flow wise in a house is usually a bath which should be able to flow at least 20l/min assuming the street pressure is able to supply it with normal pipe sizes into and inside the house. Not a great issue if the flow is less, just a longer wait to fill :-(. Of course a bath may not be fitted but that at least flow capability should exist at the house and so should appear at the external taps (which fits in with the 25l/min I think you mentioned that the council or someone advised you).

EDIT: think I misunderstood about the "limiter", normally flows will be limited by the pipe sizes to and tap valve seat orifices at the demand points. For example hand basin taps/mixer will limit the flow more than a bath's. Modern shower flows will be limited at least by the rose/handpiece and as well as the mixer. If there is a pressure regulator on the supply then it should be able to supply the flow demands of multiple taps e.g. laundry and couple of showers. All assuming that the town supply pressure is itself adequate, but it should be in a city.

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  Reply # 810232 2-May-2013 15:25
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Nice work. Finally : ). lol..

Coincidently that might provide a clue to the location of the limiting valve/tap or other issue if there is one installed.

No legal restrictions in NZ I am aware of.

By the way - flow is only one factor. Design of shower head is the deciding factor in most cases.

I just had a pretty good head go end of life. I replaced it temporarily using one with similar flow but it is vastly inferior design and pretty useless in comparison.

But wait and see the result of the investigation. You may have the wrong shower heads for the needs of the system or more likely given what you know now that the fix is a minor increase in pressure (and maybe minor mixer adjustments if needed after increase) and all your problems will be solved.



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  Reply # 810243 2-May-2013 15:27
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gzt: Nice work. Finally : ). lol..

Coincidently that might provide a clue to the location of the limiting valve/tap or other issue if there is one installed.

No legal restrictions in NZ I am aware of.

By the way - flow is only one factor. Design of shower head is the deciding factor in most cases.

I just had a pretty good head go end of life. I replaced it temporarily using one with similar flow but it is vastly inferior design and pretty useless in comparison.

But wait and see the result of the investigation. You may have the wrong shower heads for the needs of the system or more likely given what you know now that the fix is a minor increase in pressure (and maybe minor mixer adjustments if needed after increase) and all your problems will be solved.


Yup hopefully. It's been a long road finding the perfect shower.

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