Water System Setup Help

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Oct 7, 2006
North Carolina
I'm 3 weeks into full-time RV and am in need of some plumbing advice.  We're hooked up to city water at the park here and it has wonderful pressure.  I have the regulator that came with the used RV I bought.  The regulator is a small 4-5" plastic in-line dollar store special.  There is no other plumbing changes with the exception of a new kitchen faucet.  Before I made the change of faucets, I noticed the water pressure at the sink to be really low.  The bathroom sink, shower and toilet all have good pressure.  The bathroom sink water has a 2-3 second burst of superb pressure before going low then leveling out at a decent level.  There's always room for improvement on any shower but what we have works for us.
Our system does not currently have a filter on it.  We drink bottled water but I would like to be able to drink out of the faucet if I so choose.  Right now I can't.  I need advice on buying a filtration device/system as well as how I can increase the pressure in the kitchen.  We're missionaries currently in training and will be leaving soon so a large investment is impossible.  But, I still want to get a decent setup.  Y'all have a lot of know how so I know I'm at the right place!

Thanks - <>< Jonathan

First I would check to see if you have a strainer on the kitchen sink and if you do remove it to see if it improves your water flow at the kitchen sink.

Second you can purchase an Acme mobile home pressure regulator that provides substantially more water flow while regulating water pressure than the in line regulator you have. Add a pressure gauge and a hose adaptor and you are all set. They cost about $35.00 at Lowe's or Home Depot.

You can purchase a full house set of 2 water filters for about the same price to filter water before it enters the coach. Add a Drinking Water Filter with its own faucet that also provides filtered water to your icemaker and you are all set.
If the cold water pressure at the kitchen sink is low, check to see if there isn't a filter in that line already.  It's a typical place to put a drinking water filter and when the filter gets clogged (usually after about 6 months) the water pressure drops noticeably.  Look for a cylindrical cartridge under the sink.

And as Jeff recommends, replace the cheap inline regulator with a whole house style unit that won't reduce the flow rate.
I'm going to echo the chorus here.  If you have low pressure JUST at the kitchen, there are two choices

1: You have a filter in the kitchen line (look under the sink)

2: You have a kinked or pinched line to the kitchen. 

It is that simple.

My expierence with water pressure regulators:

I used to use a Marshall Brass (Kind of the default regulator)  It was great with the small trailers I had as there was only the one faucet (kitchen) to worry about, toilet was "Self contained" and no shower (no hot water either)

When I got the Class A I tried the same regulator,  Well, let' s just say it was a disappointment.  I replaced it (Same make/model) and the new one worked better... Slightly.  I got a "High Volume" (Camping world sells them) looks like the Marshall Brass (Standard) but has a bigger hole through it,  This almost, I mean it ALMOST was enough to shower with, everything else it worked well.

Finally I found a WATTS regulator at a local plumbing supply (They are not common here in the Detroit area) and hooked it up.

The current hookup consists of a SHORT stress relief hose (About 4=6 inches, spring wound) the Watts regulator, However much hose I need to get where it's going which is a Camco CX-90 Filter, a "Diverter" valve (This is a T-fitting with a faucet and a pair of hose connectors, I may do away with this as I almost never use it any more) and a short hose to the rig

I can now shower without using supplemental water from the rig's tank.

And that is passing it through the filter

Also, a brief burst of high pressure followed by a drop indicates either a regulator or filter which is too small

I strongly recommend both regulators (With the Watts getting top ratings) and a good LARGE filter as some of the campgrounds I've been in pressure was peaking at over 100 PSI and the water was a long way from what I can stomach. (Very high mineral content)  The rigulator fixed the first and even a low cost filter fixed the second
Most kitchen faucets have a fine mesh strainer in the spout that often gets clogged up with sand or minerals. Unscrew the tip of the spout and clean the mesh strainer and that should solve the kicthen problem. If not, there may be an inline filter under the sink, as Ned suggests.

If your budget can't stand a "whole house" sized pressure regulator, try one of the new Marshall Brass Hi-Flow RV regulators available from Camping World. Regualtors
They don't provide as much flow  as a Cash-Acme or Watts "whole house" sized regulator, but are better than the plastic one you now have.

You can add a large "house size" filter system and adapters to connect it to hose thread instead of house-type pipes (all available from Lowes, Home Depot, etc.)  or simply put a separate faucet and filter at the kitchen sink. The Camping World link above is a source for a faucet & filter as well.  The stabdard filter that comes with the kit is a simple carbon filter for improved taste. If you need filtering to remove more dangerous stuff, there are better filters available to use. They can also be found at most home stores.
Some new plumbing fixtures have flow restrictors so they comply with newer plumbing regulations for water conservation.? This can be a problem with kitchen fixtures due to the need to fill pots and the sink with water at a reasonable rate.? If the other suggestions here don't produce results for you, look for a washer in the water supply line to the faucet with a small diameter hole in it.? Remove it or replace it with a washer with a larger hole in it. This might be what's going on if the problem occurred only after replacing the faucet unit.  Looking on the manufacturer's website for the faucet brand you have might give you additional information, or a contact you can email to see if there is a restrictor and where it's located.
Unscrew the screen on the faucet end and see if it's clogged up. Will happen as there are plenty of places where there is high mineral content in the water. To eliminate a lot of that, flush the hot water heater too. My hot water heater is close to the faucet that usually clogs up so I flush the hot water heater twice a year.

Those inline pressure regulators also can clog with sand, minerals, etc. Get a new regulator or else get the adjustable regulator. The adjustable costs more but it also has an added advantage in that it can be disassembled and cleaned so it should last almost forever. Here it is at Camping World:  (H2O Regulator I looked all over the place for this regulator at Lowes, etc all over the country and couldn't find it. Finally broke down and got it at CW.
Tons of great info!  Thanks for it all!  Here's what I did:
Went to Lowe's and bought a Watts whole house regulator, a Watts pressure gauge and a Whirlpool whole house sediment filter.  I measured the pressure that little piece of junk regulated to and can you believe I got a 20 psi reading?!  The RV park here is nearly full so I figured that's the reason I recorded a mere 32 psi at the city supply faucet.  Those 12 extra pounds make an amazing difference inside the RV!!!

But, I now have a new problem.  Apparently my piping is clogged somewhere between the T-split just inside the RV connector and the kitchen sink.  The toilet, shower and bathroom sink all have phenomenal flow but the kitchen sink flow has slowly decreased to a drip at best.
Suggestions on how to fix this one?

<>< Jonathan
Jonathan, did you see the suggestions to remove the screen on your kitchen faucet? These screens are notorious for clogging up with junk and restricting water flow.
But, I now have a new problem. ?Apparently my piping is clogged somewhere between the T-split just inside the RV connector and the kitchen sink. ?The toilet, shower and bathroom sink all have phenomenal flow but the kitchen sink flow has slowly decreased to a drip at best.
Suggestions on how to fix this one?

Start out by removing the faucet areator and see if that improves things. ? Then backtrack thru the lines leading to the faucet with a pressure gauge till you find 32 psi pressure.
Yeah. ?It is a brand new kitchen faucet but I took it apart anyway and it looked good. ?It is one of those with the hidden metal hose where you pull the head of the faucet out. ?I checked the screen at the connection between that hose and the faucet head. ?Should I look elsewhere?

I completely detached the faucet head from the end of the hose but the water still trickled out the end of it so it must be deeper in the line.
What exactly does backtracking look like as I have very little experience with interior RV plumbing.  My pressure gauge is threaded to mount to the end of a hose... not sure how to incorporate that into the plastic piping inside here...
You have already started backtracking by checking the flow from the faucet's feeder hose.  Without seeing your plumbing setup, I do not have the least idea how to back track it.  As far as adapted a hose barb pressure gauge to threaded plumbing is concerned, use an thread to hose barb fitting.  See your local hardware store for that.

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