There comes a time in almost every house where the pipes need to be replaced or made larger to increase the flow of water to the home. While it can be a process with a lot of steps, let's look at one, basic operation that can potentially increase your water pressure, without replacing the pipes in your walls.
Step One: Call 811
The first thing you'll need to do is call 811. This is a number/service on your phone that will bring someone out to your house (usually a city or county employee) to tell you where other lines (like power and phone) might be buried and if by digging and accidentally cutting through them, you'll shut power off to your neighborhood or half the USA.
Once it’s established where the lines are, if you even have them, you might need to get a plumbing permit. Of course, you can check with the city or county on this.
Step Two: Find the Water Main
In your water meter, you'll likely find one or the other; a home shut off valve or something called a "Corp Stop," or a corporation stop valve. Both of these shut off water to your house from "The Main." The Main is the main line that travels from the local water supply to your house.
Step Three: Replace the Main Pipe
Once you've found the main and the pipe leading out from it, you'll need to dig down and get into the trenches and follow the main, up as close to the home as possible. Once you shut off the water and start digging (you'll need to go deeper than the pipe itself in case you have to saw the pipe) you can begin to dismantle the existing pipe. You can go to PVC, just make sure that you're down 18 inches when you lay the PVC.
Once you've replaced the pipe, and synchronized everything, try out your new system before filling the ditches in! You don't want to have to dig twice. Make sure you run the water for a while to get all the dirt and sediment out.
If it’s all good, then cover the ditches back up.
Hopefully, this will remedy your water pressure problem. If not, then you'll have to look at re-piping in the house, but the new water main pipe will be a valuable addition to the house no matter what!
We'll look at re-piping the house in part two.