Have you ever been taking a shower and all of a sudden the water pressure drops? You may have even gotten out of the shower to see if anyone else is using water in the house. After a few minutes later, the pressure comes back.

What causes this fluctuation in water pressure? And more importantly, what can be done to prevent it?

In most cases, a drop in water pressure is caused by something as simple as someone using a lot of water at once somewhere else in the house. However, there are other factors that can contribute to it as well, such as dirty pipes or blocked pipes.

Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to help maintain consistent water pressure and minimize fluctuations.

One thing that you can do is to install a pressure-reducing valve. This valve will turn down the water pressure, thus reducing fluctuations in your water pressure.

Another thing that you can do is to ensure that there are no leaks around your home. Leaks usually cause surges in water use and, subsequently, increased water pressures.

If you have an older home or one with corroding pipes, then leaks are more likely to occur so it would be wise to have them checked on a regular basis by a professional plumber.

Finally, you could hire an independent contractor who specializes in working with the city to maintain the correct water pressure throughout your home and neighborhood. Some municipalities regulate water pressure on a monthly basis, so working with them may save you money and time in the long run.

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What causes my water pressure to drop?

The most likely cause of fluctuating water pressure is someone using a lot of water somewhere else in the house – such as flushing the toilet or running a hose through an unattended hose spigot.

However, there are several other factors that can contribute to this problem as well: dirty or blocked pipes; corrosion; and poor maintenance by homeowners.

If your home is older or has corroding pipes, then leaks are more likely to occur so it would be wise to have them checked on a regular basis by a professional plumber.

If you have an older home that uses galvanized piping, then installing a water softener is another option that can help eliminate corrosion.

Inefficient heating systems can also contribute to poor water pressure, though this is often due to the heating system itself and may require a professional to maintain.

If you have a well, then you may have a problem with your water pump. If the water pressure is low when you’re using both hot and cold water, then there may be an issue with the pump.

Why does my water keep stopping and starting?

If you have well water, you definitely have a pressure tank. The pump in your well operates until the tank’s pressure (as well as the entire system’s) reaches a specified level before shutting off. Water is then pushed through the system until the pressure falls below a predetermined level. Then the pump motor begins to run again.

If your water pressure drops in the middle of a shower, it may be due to the same reasons above – someone using lots of water in another part of the house or if there’s an issue with your pump.

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Sometimes when you turn on the faucet for rinsing dishes, water gushes out rather than trickles out. This means that there is too much pressure in the tank. If you are on a well, then your water pump may be faulty.

If your home has public services (i.e., not on a well), then it’s likely that your municipality is increasing its water-pressure regulations and you should check with them to ensure that your system is operating at the right pressure.

If your pressure tank isn’t working (there’s an air valve and an internal separator between the water and the air in the tank, or there’s a problem with one of them), this can cause the pump motor to run too often. When air enters the well system, it can also cause fluctuations in its pressure.

Remember that having low water pressure is not a problem but it might be a nuisance for you. For example, you may have to wait longer for your shower to become warm or your bathtub to fill up or dishes may take longer to clean because of this issue.

Final Thoughts

The reasons why your water pressure can vary from time to time is mostly due to excessive water use in the house which causes a drop in pressure, but there are other factors that can contribute as well.

Fortunately, you can do several things at home or with a professional’s help to maintain your water pressure and prevent it from fluctuating. These include installing a pressure-reducing valve, looking for leaks in and around your home, and hiring someone who specializes in working with the city to regulate water pressure.

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About the author

I started working as a quality control manager with the Water Authority of Nassau County in 2005. After a few years, I moved into Water Waste Prevention, where I currently work as the production supervisor. I love my job and the people I work with, but most of all I love spending time with my family.