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Photograph of a water pump pressure control switchWater Pressure Stops, Returns - FAQs
Q&A: Water Pressure that Stops, Recovers on its Own

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FAQs about the diagnosis & repair of interimttent loss of building water pressure:

Questions & answers about the cause and cure for well water pressure or flow that seems to stop then restore itself for no obvious reason.

This article series describes questions and answers from and to a homeowner who lost water pressure.



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Q&A on Loss of water pressure that later improves or returns "on its own"

Bladder type Well X Trol Water Tank (C) Daniel FriedmanFAQs on periodic loss then return of water flow or pressure from a private well system.

This article series describes common water pressure-loss problems and their causes, and provides links to more-detailed diagnosis and repair articles for each of those situations.

These questions & answers about mysterious loss, then return of water pressure were posted originally at WATER PRESSURE STOPS, RETURNS

On 2017-10-08 1 by (mod) - lose water pressure when we are away for a few days

re-posting

AUTHOR: Nor'easter (no email)

COMMENT: The loss of water pressure in my house always happen in the morning (2 to 3 times a week recently), or when we come back from a few days trip. It only lasts for about 3 or 4 minutes. On the pressure gauge I can see it goes all the way down to 0, then minutes later I hear the click and pressure starts to go up.

Any idea what could be the cause? Could a faulty pressure gauge cause it? The gauge was replaced about a year ago by a plumber. The gauge itself is from Lowes ProPlumber-Plastic-Steel-Pressure-Gauge — some bad reviews.

Thanks in advance.

On 2017-09-20 by (mod) - gauge pressure jumps and switch seems to stop working sometimes

Rick I would look at replacing the pressure control switch - debris clogging can cause the symptoms you describe.

On 2017-09-20 by Rick

I just replaced my shallow well sand point, It's third time since 1989.

My Red Lion 3/4 and switch are only 6 years old. I periodically lose total water pressure then it will come back on it's own. I've reset my pressure in my tank to 2 lbs below the cut in. I know it's not water logged because I can pick it up fairly easily and it is a 20 gallon.

My gauge takes awhile and then jumps suddenly. Thanks

On 2017-09-05 by (mod) - gauges do not affect water pressure

Nor easter

Indeed none of the standard water pressure gauges are lab-grade in their accuracy.

But a bad gauge on a water pressure tank or elsewhere on water piping itself is never a cause of loss of water pressure. The gauge is simply reporting the pressure it sees. It is not connected to the pump pressure control switch. Rather it is the plumbing water piping and tank system pressure itself - the pressure - that activates the pressure control switch.

More likely your pressure control switch or the tube conducting pressure to the switch is debris clogged. I would try replacing those.

Use the search box above to find our article on WATER TANK PRESSURE GAUGES to read more about gauge replacement, installation, troubleshooting, repair

On 2017-09-05 by (mod) -

RE-Posting blocked comment:

Nor'easter said:

The loss of water pressure in my house always happen in the morning (2 to 3 times a week recently), or when we come back from a few days trip. It only lasts for about 3 or 4 minutes. On the pressure gauge I can see it goes all the way down to 0, then minutes later I hear the click and pressure starts to go up.

On 2017-07-24 by (mod) -

CHeck for a waterlogged pressure tank first

On 2017-06-22 by Mike

Just replaced a faulty pressure switch with a new one on my well jet pump. When I turn on a tap inside the house ,the water flow pulses and is not a consistent flow.The water stream was consistent before I started. Any ideas why? thanks

On 2017-05-12 by (mod) - weak water pressure

Richard,

The symptom that you described could be caused by low voltage to the pump, or low water in the well combined with a pump protection device, or a leak in piping anywhere between the pump in the well and the building, or something else that I haven't thought of.

On 2017-05-12 20:56:56.853886 by Richard McIntire

Water is coming in slowly but steadily

On 2017-04-12 by (mod) - rapid cycling water pressure

If the water pressure is cycling rapidly perhaps the pressure tank is waterlogged. Use the search box just above to search InspectApedia for WELL PUMP SHORT CYCLING to read details of diagnosis and cure.

On 2017-04-10 by Angel

My water pressure is going up and down can you tell me how to fix it?

On 2017-04-05 by (mod) - pump cycles every 10-15 seconds

Valerie,

It sounds as if the water pressure tank for your water system has lost its air charge - we call this a water-logged pressure tank and the problem "well pump short cycling" - usually it's easy to fix by turning off the pump, draining the tank completely - letting it fill with air, then turning the pump back on.

Direct the owner's son to this article or print and give it to him:

WATER TANK AIR ADD BY DRAINING http://inspectapedia.com/water/Water_Tank_Air_Add_by_Draining.php

On 2017-04-05 by Valerie

I live in a Mobil Home park and my place is the last house at the top of the hill that receives water from the well. For the past week, my water cycles every 10 to 15 seconds like this.... on.... off.... on.... off....

The owner passed away in January and his son is trying to figure this problem out. I have been dealing with this water issue for a week... Any Suggestions... anyone... : ) I will be so greatful if anyone else has experienced this and has had success in fixing it and can share your ideas with me.

On 2017-03-12 by (mod) - very low water pressure

Kristy, in the "Water Pressure Diagnosis & Improvement" list of articles above please click on the live link for NO WATER PRESSURE to see a sequence of things to check when water pressure is lost and doesn't return on its own.

On 2017-03-12 by kristy

I have well water i turned it on very low water pressure than water quiet and wont come back on replaced pressure switch and fuses what else is there

On 2016-12-02 by NormanPoppell Texas

WtrHtr 2y/o. Hot water works great upstairs, downstairs...except when using kitchen sink, which is closest outlet. When running water only cold, pressure fine. Hot, runs for a bit then pressure/stream slows way down. Water off for 5 minutes, works great, but not for long.?

On 2016-09-28 by (mod) - water pressure stops, then returns

Could be the well runs out of water.

On 2016-09-28 by Richard

My water works fine for about 20 minutes then goes totally out for about 20 minutes then comes back by itself. I replaced the submersible pump, the bladder tank, pressure gauge. But still acts the same. I'm just puzzled about what it could be. Any help? Thank you.

On 2016-08-26 by Jorge Santana

Water runs and than it stops a couple minutes later it starts. To fill a tub with water it takes around an hour to fill

On 2016-08-20 by (mod) - running a pump constantly

Of course running a pump constantly also invites damage to the pump and exhausting the well.

On 2016-08-20 by Bronte Austin

We did check for anything in the connecting pipes and it was clean. Our water is not high in sediment and never has been. Our wiring was incorrect as it turns out. Whoever did it before we moved in wired it to keep power running to the pump constantly.

Today we changed that and wired it correctly. It seemed like the problem was fixed but tonight we lost pressure again.

On 2016-08-19 by (mod) - pump won't stop

I am seeing some conflicting clues to this pump problem, Bronte.

Pressure falling quickly after the pump has shut OFF suggest that there is a bad foot valve or check valve that needs replacement (water is flowing back out of the water tank into the well) OR there is a well piping leak OR there is water running from a fixture or a burst pipe in the building.

Pressure that never builds up to the switch CUT OUT pressure suggests any of several problems: low voltage, leaky pipes, water running, low water in the well, damaged pump impeller; Search InspectApedia for PUMP WON'T STOP RUNNING to read a detailed list of reasons that a pump can't reach a normal (say 50 psi) cutoff pressure.

A debris-clogged pressure switch OR debris-clogged tubing that conducts water pressure to the switch can also cause erratic pump behaviour as the switch may not consistently nor correctly sense the actual water pressure.

This problem can also cause a switch to fail to turn the pump OFF when it should, resulting in sometimes abnormally or even dangerously high water pressure. I don't want to see actual pressure in the 100 PSI range as that could blow out a tank or pump and even injure or kill someone nearby.

When you replaced the switch did you check for crud in the connecting water tubing?
Is your water high in sediment?

On 2016-08-19 by Bronte Austin

We replaced the pressure control switch and it didn't fix the problem. Actually it's getting worse. The pressure goes down really fast and slowly builds back up but rarely goes above 50 now. We run the water for even a little bit and we lose pressure really fast. PLEASE HELP!! This is so stressful.

On 2016-07-30 by (mod) -

Bronte,

I would replace the pressure control switch and be sure that the mounting tube or small-diameter pipe that conducts water pressure to the switch base is not debris clogged.

On 2016-07-30 by Bronte Austin

Okay, we have a strange water pressure problem. Our well is very deep and was working just fine until earlier this year. For some reason the water pressure jumps around, getting too high (sometimes all the way up to 100) and staying there for a while before gradually going down. If we run the hose or the shower for too long, the pressure goes down.

It will go down to a low trickle and even stop.

Pressure has gotten all the way down to 8 but climbs back to around 50 on its own. We tried draining the tank and repressurizing it a few times and it didn't solve the problem. We replaced a corroded capacitor and that didn't work either. Nothing seems to make sense and the pressure keeps changing intermittently.

What do you think it is? Any help would be much appreciated!

On 2016-06-04 by (mod) -

Mark, I have addressed this question a time or two, and am sorry it wasn't easier to find. The first thing I check when we see the sort of intermittent water pressure loss that you describe is the pressure control switch.

Debris-clogging in the switch base or in the tube that conducts water pressure to the switch base can cause the switch to delay in sensing a drop in water pressure. Particularly if your water supply contains silt, sediment, rust, or other particulates, this is a likely cause.

The sensor port on the bottom of a pressure switch is very small in diameter and is easily clogged. And on older water systems, even the 1/8" ID connecting or mounting pipe can also become clogged with debris. Try changing these.

On 2016-06-03 by Mark

Have saw this question ask couple of times but never see an answer. Water pressure in shower or faucets will be fine. Then it stops altogether for about 8-10 seconds after that it runs again. Seems like it is more frequent now. Please advise. Thank you

On 2016-05-27 by Teresa Hart

Our well will do fine then all of a sudden it's like the water drains out of the faucet and it stops for maybe 10 seconds then it starts back up what would cause that?we have a submersible pump but we do have trouble with the bladder in our holding tank.

Question:

(June 27, 2011) John said:
I experienced low pressure yesterday that later recovered on its own.

The pressure cut in and cut outs on the switch on the pressure tank are at 30 and 50 PSI. Observing the pressure gauge on the tank, the pressure had dropped to only 20 PSI, and would decline to 10 psi (with a tap open to observe) before the pump would come on, but then the pump would cut out shortly afterat perhaps 20 PSI, before reaching 50 psi.

(The pump is at the bottom of the well, but I can hear the water in the pipe when it is running.) I thought the switch had somehow lost it's adjustment, so I took the cover off and watched the location of the contacts. Even though the pump wasn't running at 20 PSI, the contacts were closed and, in case the contacts were bad, I measured the voltage in the wires actually going out to the pump, and it showed 240 volts.

I didn't run anything for a while and the pressure recovered, but then the problem reoccurred later in the day. I woke up this morning, and the tank showed the full 50 psi, and after I showered without any loss of pressure, the tank showed the full 50 PSI. I don't think it could be the well going dry because my well is pretty deep and it has been a wet summer so far. Any idea what might be happening?

Reply:

It sounds as if the water level in your well or the well recovery rate had dropped; if it were a piping leak or a control problem I wouldn't expect the water pressure to recover on its own.

Question:

(Sept 20, 2012) Mike B said:
My system will run fine for 3 or 4 hours then shut off for about the same amount of time, then run properly for 3 or 4 hours. Not exactly like clockwork, and I've never plotted it. Could be temperature control, I'm guessing, or very slow leak, but I would suspect something in the control circuit, not tank. Any ideas? Thanks

Reply:

Mike, usually an overheating water pump that goes off on thermal reset will recover much sooner than 3-4 hours, though another reader reported a similar problem that he traced to a bad thermal reset switch in the pump itself.

I'm not sure how a leak would be intermittent.

Question:

(Mar 8, 2013) Steve said:
My water pressure fluctuates sometimes.And then sometimes it cuts off completely, but comes back on after a minute.I checked the tank, no water coming out of air/valve stem, just air.

(July 4, 2014) Anonymous said:
I have a well and take a shower in the day and the water will do on then for like 30sec it will stop then come right back what is it

Reply:

Anon check for a water logged pressure tank and/or a clogged pressure control switch that is not properly sensing changes in water pressure

Question:

(July 29, 2014) Anonymous said:

I have an intermittent pressure problem with my well/submerged pump. Every so often (once to three times a day) my pressure drops below 20 PSI; the pump will be running but cannot keep up with normal demand. It remains in this state until I do one of two things.

It will be fixed if all water is turned off allowing the pressure to slooowly build up to cutoff. It can also be fixed immediately by cycling the circuit breaker off/on. System has been recently serviced with new controller and new pressure switch. Air tank pressure was also adjusted. Pump is roughly 20 years old.

Reply:

Anon I think you are describing either a pump that is damaged or has low voltage, or a well running out of water.

Question:

(Feb 13, 2015) sue said:
we have a 2 gallon pressure tank on a 40 gallon hot water heater. is it to small? we live in a mobile home the water doesn't have to go only about 7 feet

we just bought a new tank and water heater, we have been burning up capacitors like crazy. now we have no water

Reply:

Sue what kind of capacitor is used on a water tank and water heater - I'm unclear; but in any case I suspect an electrical wiring error.

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