Why Does Water Pressure Drop When Washing Machine Is Running?

Due to the way modern washing machines operate, low water pressure has become a significant problem for some washing machine users. Want to know the reasons behind this problem? You’ve found the right article! We've searched the internet for every explanation for this occurrence and here’s what we found.

Having low water pressure can make washing clothes challenging. The causes of low water pressure when operating a washing machine are as follows:

  • Other areas of the house have running water.
  • Blocked valve screen.
  • Obstructed water line.
  • Faulty water fill sensor. 
  • Water meter valve is not fully open.
  • Main house shutoff valve is not fully open.
  • Faulty pressure regulator.

In this article, we will dive into the details of each of those reasons for your washer's low water pressure. Also, we will share with you the significance and effects of this water pressure drop on your unit. So, keep on reading! 

A washing machine home appliance with dryer beside it, Why Does Water Pressure Drop When Washing Machine Is Running?

The Significance Of Water Pressure: Old Versus New Washing Machine

Simple mechanical program timers were once used to operate washing machines in the past. The programmer's timer motor shut off during the water filling process. The entire program would stop until the pressure system determined it reached the appropriate water level. 

The washing machine will start washing or rinsing after turning on the timer motor. This system could withstand low water pressure very well. It wasn't time-dependent. Just getting the right amount of water inside eventually was all that was needed.

Washing machine built in the interior of a modern small kitchen

Nowadays, washing machines are far more advanced. Similar to a computer program, the wash cycle is managed. This fantastic development offers many safety features and productivity enhancements.

One downside is that many washing machines will identify a defect and stop the program if the water pressure is insufficient or low, even though the same water pressure has worked for an old washing machine for years.

The Effects Of Low Water Pressure On The Washing Machine

Rotating drum in the washing machine tub with water

The force that propels water through pipes and hoses is water pressure. Low water pressure makes it difficult for the water to flow through the system, which can make it difficult to run your washing machine.

Your new washing machine isn't coping with the low water pressure in your house for one simple fact. New machines include built-in safety features and software that may not always function properly at low water pressure.

The software continuously checks to verify if the proper water level has been reached. The application times out if it dosn't reach the appropriate water level within a predetermined time frame. Typically, this results in an error code and ends the wash cycle. 

The washer takes longer to fill with water when there is low water pressure. The clothing might not come out clean as a result and the washer may not spin properly. Insufficient water pressure can also prevent the washer from pumping water out of the appliance, which may cause leaks.

Also, the machine has to work harder to pump water through the hoses and into the washer if the water pressure is low. As a result, some components of the machine may wear out more quickly.

Why Does Water Pressure Drop When Washing Machine Is Running?

Washing machine inside filled with water

There are several reasons you can have low or no water pressure while you are washing. One of them might be as basic as technical difficulties with your water supply. If it is, you will just have to wait until the issue gets resolved. Below are the listed typical reasons your washing machine's water pressure is low, along with solutions.

1. Other Areas Of The House Have Running Water

You can have low water pressure if someone else is using the water in your house while you are attempting to wash clothing. Verify that no faucets, shower heads, or even outside faucets are in use. Your water pressure will decrease the more faucets that are flowing at once.

Run a load of laundry through your washing machine when no other faucets are running to rule out this possibility. With any luck, this will fix the issue and let you wash your clothing with full water pressure.

2. Blocked Valve Filter Screen

This is another typical reason washing machines have low water pressure. To prevent debris from entering the washing machine, water pipes (both hot and cold) contain screens that should capture it.

Over time, it's not unusual for these screens to accumulate a layer of mildew or debris that is too thick, obstructing the water's natural flow. The good news is that you may rapidly resolve this issue without consulting a skilled plumber.

The screens are often at the end of the line that is closest to the real valve, though occasionally they might be at the opposite end, next to the washing machine. Once you've located the screens, take them out and take them to your nearby home improvement shop to get new ones.

Click here to see this washer inlet valve filter screen on Amazon.

3. Obstructed Water Line

This is another potential explanation for low water pressure in a washing machine. It's uncommon for the water line to become clogged with dirt and mineral deposits, however, clogged screens are far more typical.

You likely have a clogged hot water line if you only experience low water pressure when using the hot water setting (or vise-versa for cold water). 

The simplest remedy to this issue is to install a new line instead of the congested one. You can purchase water lines online or at most big-box home improvement retailers.

Click here to see these water connection inlet supply lines on Amazon.

4. Faulty Water Fill Sensor 

You might have a malfunctioning fill sensor if your washer has low water levels. When the washer is full, the fill sensor signals the control board to turn off the water. 

If the sensor is broken, the control board assumes the washer is full and abruptly turns off the water. The sensor needs to be replaced if the washer fill sensor is to blame for the washing machine's low water level.

Click here to see this washer pressure sensor on Amazon.

5. Water Meter Valve Is Not Fully Open

Two main valves regulate the water flow entering the house in a majority of residences that are connected to a municipal water supply line. The first one is the water meter valve, which is found on the main city supply line going to your house, just next to the water meter.

This valve belongs to the water business. It is often exclusively used by water company employees, therefore you wouldn't normally use it. However, if there is low water pressure throughout your entire home, particularly after plumbing work, it is likely that this valve is not fully open.

Check the water meter valve or get in touch with your municipality if you believe the water meter valve is to blame for a considerable drop in water pressure through your home following a recent repair.

The meter valve is likely in a box that is underground between your home and the street. If not, it could be outdoors on a wall or inside a room like a basement or adjacent garage.

The valve is typically open when the handle is parallel to the water pipe. The handle is nothing more than a simple metal tab that you can rotate with a wrench. It is not fully open if it is angled toward the pipe.

6. Main House Shutoff Valve Is Not Fully Open

Water shut off valve on red

The main house shutoff valve is sometimes closer to the water meter valve as well. It's possible that this valve was partially closed if your water pressure has inexplicably dropped while washing. Make sure this valve is all the way open. 

The handle of this valve can either be a ball valve with a lever handle or a gate valve with a wheel-like handle. If it is the first one, the handle must be parallel to the pipe direction to fully open. But if it is the latter one, make sure the handle is fully counterclockwise.

Avoid turning the valve too hard since it can cause it to corrode or rust and break if you do. It is wiser to hire a plumber in this situation. Or else, you run the risk of damaging the valve, which can lead to flooding in your house until someone else can shut off the water meter valve.

7. Faulty Pressure Regulator

A pressure regulator is a control valve that lowers the plumbing system's input pressure to a safe level so that your pipes won't be harmed. 

Although not all homes have them, in those that do, a broken pressure regulator can cause a significant increase in water pressure. The reverse outcome is also possible is a significant drop in your water pressure.

When the pressure regulator breaks, it will rapidly affect all the fittings in the house. Although you can replace a pressure regulator of the same brand and size, it is usually preferable to let a professional do it. 

Click here to see this water pressure regulator on Amazon. 


A washing machine home appliance with dryer beside it

There can be many reasons the water pressure drops while the washing machine is running. With the possible reasons and remedies mentioned above, we sincerely hope that it is helpful. Dealing with low water pressure is irritating and can make your chores and time miserable.

Sometimes it's wise to leave all the expertise to a professional if washer repair or plumbing isn't your thing. In rare instances, you might need to replace your washing machine. So, let's hope that's not the case, especially if you just bought one.

Read some of our washing machine topics below.

Can You Run A Washing Machine Empty?

Can You Run A Washing Machine With Just Cold Water?

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