Featuring America's Home Inspector: Nationally Syndicated Columnist, Barry Stone

Dear Barry: We bought our home less then a week ago. After moving in, we found the water pressure to be unacceptable. It takes forever to fill the bathtub, but the previous owners had said that they used it all the time. Why did our home inspector say nothing about low water pressure?  Lori

Dear Lori: People often mistake low water volume for low pressure. For example, it is possible to have normal or even high pressure and yet have weak flow at the faucets. This often occurs in older homes where corrosion in old galvanized steel pipes restricts the flow, regardless of pressure. Low flow can also be caused by a faulty valve or by water-saving devices in the faucets.

According to the Plumbing Code, water pressure must be at least 15 pounds per square inch (psi) and no more than 80 psi. You should ask your home inspector to come back and review this condition. He should take a pressure reading and evaluate the flow rate at the tub. You should also get an opinion from a licensed plumber.