Low water pressure can be problematic while washing a load of laundry. Your washing machine would take too much time filling water up before it can even start with the cycle.
There are several different reasons why your washing machine may act up as such. And consequently, the troubleshooting would be different for each cause.
Some of the most common reasons may include clogged pipes, screens or valves. Others have also complained that their washing machine slows down when their sinks or showers are running.
Additional, but less common problems include problems with corroded pipes, valves etc. While some of these problems can easily be solved using basic DIY skills, others may need attention from professionals.
Let us now know in detail why water pressure drops when washing machine is running.
Possible Reasons for Water Pressure Drops When Washing Machine Is Running
Multiple Faucets Running At The Same Time
Oftentimes, house owners complain that they can’t run two or more lines or appliances simultaneously. This is because the water pressure drops and causes problems in doing laundry or cleaning or showering.
Your washing machine and shower may share the same water source. And as a result, when two (or possibly more) outlets are running altogether, the water pressure drops across the different points. You can try closing all running taps and outlets and only run the washing machine.
If it still takes too much time to run the water before starting the cycle, the problem may lie elsewhere. Continue reading as we dissect further reasons for this problem.
The Valve Screen Is Blocked
The valve screen acts as a sort of filter. It prevents debris and dirt from getting inside your washing machine. You can find the valve screen at the end closest to the valve, or near the washing machine.
Naturally, over time the filter would clog up due to the build-up of dirt over time. And as a result, water flow becomes constricted and the pressure drops.
A Clogged Water Line
Just like filter screens, water lines can also get clogged with mineral deposits. Despite being a far less common reason compared to clogged filters, water lines too can get blocked.
If your hot or cold water lines get jammed, it would restrict water flow, hence lowering water pressure.
Water-conserving devices are installed to regulate water flow and prevent wastage. This equipment may be good for the environment, but the same technology can cause problems on your end.
Since it regulates and restricts water flow, it may well be the cause of pressure dropping while you’re washing your laundry.
Any leakages due to broken pipes or improperly handled hoses can be the cause of low water pressure. You should check if all the pipes and hoses are fixed tight and there is no dripping.
And even if you don’t find any issues with the plumbing of your house, your washing machine may still underperform.
There could also be leakages in the city’s water mains. In that case, unfortunately, you may not be able to do anything about it until the city authorities fix this issue.
Contact the authorities if you think that leakages in the mains are causing the problem. However, that should be the last reason you need to concern yourself with.
There are other, way more probable reasons (as we have discussed so far) that the water pressure of your washing machine is dropping low.
If the main shut-off valves are partially opened or completely closed, it may prevent proper and complete water flow. There are two valves that control the water supply in your house: the main valve and the water meter valve.
Water Filters Or Softeners
If water filters are broken or malfunctioning, they can be the cause of decreased water pressure. Their job is to remove certain minerals off of the water coming into your home and making it soft.
Any problems affecting the filters can cause a drop in water pressure. This is because they have some control on the water supply coming into your house. In that case, not only your washing machine but all outlets and faucets may suffer from low water pressure.
Pressure Reducing Valves
A pressure reducing valve ensures that the incoming water pressure matches the capacity of your house’s plumbing. This too may be a cause of decreased water pressure in your washing machine.
If you have explored all the other possibilities and suspect the pressure reducing valve is the problem, contact a professional for help.
Now we know the various reasons why water pressure may drop in our washing machine. It is time that we also educate ourselves on the possible solutions to these problems.
Solutions for Water Pressure Drops When Washing Machine Is Running
Fixing A Clogged Valve Screen
You first need to shut off the hot and cold water valves attached to your washing machine before disconnecting them. Use pliers if needed, and also keep a bucket handy (you would not want to flood your bathroom or your house) in case of dripping or leakage.
After that, look for the valve screens, located at the end nearest to the valve or that of the washing machine. Remove the screens and carefully clean them using a mixture of water and vinegar. Or you may also replace these screens and purchase a new one.
Fixing Clogged Lines
If you suspect that your water lines are clogged, you may have to replace them. Water lines are available for purchase in online or major stores. Installing them should be left to a professional plumber unless you know how to do it yourself.
Also, if you detached the hoses, make sure you flush them. Before reattaching them, check if the water pressure is back to normal by pointing it in a bucket. Make sure that the hoses are completely unclogged and deliver the desired pressure.
Related: Washing Machine Drain Pipe Clogged
Problems Concerning The Main Valves
It is easy to check if the main valves are causing the drop in water pressure. First, close both the main and water meter valves completely and fully open them.
After that, try washing your laundry to see if the water of the washing machine is up to the normal level. If not, then the main valves aren’t responsible for the drop in water pressure.
Problems Regarding Water Filters Or Softeners
If your home’s water softener has developed any fault, you may need to replace the filter. First try replacing the filter of the unit. If the water pressure still doesn’t recover to its normal level, in rare cases, you would have to replace the entire unit.
Solutions To Other Miscellaneous Problems
If there is a leakage in any part of your house’s plumbing system, the most obvious course of action is to call a plumber. Do not try interfering with the pipes unless you know what you are doing.
In case of specific tools, like pressure reducing valves or water-conserving devices, have them re-calibrated or removed if necessary. It is also advisable to check the pressure tank and observe the gauge.
If the pressure drops significantly after turning on the washing machine then perhaps the tank is the problem here.
It can be really problematic if the water pressure in your washing machine drops when turning it on. Your weeks’ worth of laundry would take ages to wash as the water takes so much time filling up.
In this article, we have tried to tackle this exact problem. Here we have discussed in detail the various reasons the water pressure may unexpectedly drop.
Following that, we have also explored some possible troubleshooting techniques to remedy this problem.
Some of the root causes, like leakages or clogs are fairly easy to understand and fix. While others, like problems in the water softeners, may require more involved effort.
And in some rare cases, like faults in the city mains supply, may be completely out of reach to even fix. We hope that this article has helped you realize the specific problems you may be having and successfully guide you to help fix your issues.