Saturday, June 26, 2010

Water Pressure

Being able to bring your home with you everywhere is one of the great things about our full-time RV adventures. We still remember our first trip after moving in and living in our condo on wheels for two months parked in the same location just 7 miles from our old house. As the departure date approached both of us kept thinking we had to remember to take this and that with us only to realize that we weren't packing for a vacation like we used to do in our old sticks and bricks but that we were taking our whole house with us and everything we needed was already packed.

Having the house with you does present some challenges and this post is going to deal with the water pressure challenge. In our old sticks and bricks we had copper and plastic pipes that could handle a lot of water pressure, up to 80 psi. Plumbing in an RV cannot handle that high so when we picked up the RV last September we got a water pressure regulator from the dealer which was preset at 40 psi and nonadjustable. Right away we were very disappointed in the water pressure, the shower was like someone spitting on you and the water flow in the kitchen sink while trying to do dishes was terrible. Strangely enough the bathroom sink did not bother us as much.

The very first thing we bought was an aerator for the kitchen sink at an RV parts store although you can buy these at Wal-Mart too.
Man did that make a difference, now we can spray the entire sink down. After a lot of online research we next bought an Oxygenics Body Spa shower head which is self-pressurizing and can work with pressure as low as 20 psi. Now Jo can rinse the soap out of her hair in less than half a day. The only downside is that there is no off/on control so taking a "Navy Shower" is out of the question, however, the Oxygenics must use a lot less water than we expected because both of us can take a shower and not run out of hot water even with only a 10 gallon water heater.

Even with the improvements of the aerator and the shower head we were still a little dissatisfied with the pressure. More online research indicated that the type of regulator that we had accomplished the pressure reduction at a expense of water flow. Our next purchase was a Watts Adjustable 263A Regulator which maintains good flow while regulating the pressure. We set the pressure as indicated in our owners manual from Carriage and noticed another significant improvement and still are able to take showers back to back.

It may have taken us a lot of baby steps by first adding the aerator then the shower head and then a better regulator but now we have water pressure just like we had in our old sticks and bricks.

Till next time,

Bob & Jo

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