The shower water seemed normal for the first four years we owned our
house but lately it's been acting weird.
The water pressure will start out fine. Then suddenly it will drop off
and very quickly the stream will turn into a dribble, oftentimes
To get it to go again, I have to get out of the shower and turn on the
faucet. The faucet water will start out slow then a second later will
kick in. Just as the facet kicks in, the shower will start up again.
Can anyone tell me what's going on?
Perhaps you have a pressure balanced faucet and the cartridge is become
Have you had any plumbing work done recently? It can dislodge particals that
lodge elsewhere. Do you have copper or steel pipes? Galvinized steel
plumbing is a major source or rust and strange flow patterns at elbows and
Sounds like you have a rust ball shuttling back and forth across a Tee pipe
connection acting like a valve. If it flows toward the shower, pressure is
lost in one supply and the pressure balance valve shuts it all down.
Running the sink forces the plug in the other direction but it takes a bit
of flow before the shower unplugs too. Do you hear any other noises from
the pipes like valve flutter when there is no valve?
Probably in the hot pipe since it is common to use 1/2" for hot and 3/4" for
cold. The smaller diameter holds less water so the hot gets to the
destination faster but it also clogs more easily.
If you have steel pipes and upon inspection see rust on the outside
especially near the threaded connections, this is just the tip of the
iceburg. Not much you can do to fix it besides make a good guess where the
obstruction is and tear it apart and replace with new pipe.
Try taking the shower valve apart then run hot and cold water out of it
while open to flush debris then try again. Replace the cartridge if
applicable and check with the manufacturer, many have lifetime guarantees
and you will get the part for free.
If you can open a faucet outside and connect a hose (from a friendly
neighbor) to the sink, you can back flush the whole system but this might
just move the problem elsewhere if it is rust based.
I get that sometimes, but it's the city water supply on the fritz. I
think it has something to do with switching from one pump to another.
So ask your neighbors if they have the same problem.
What happens if you don't turn on the sink faucet? Does it come on
anyway? I guess I am wondering if the faucet is solving the problem or
if it is just a matter of time. Next time, can you yell to have
someone turn on the kitchen sink?
Could it be something silly -- like four years ago the kids were in
diapers but now they are flushing another toilet while you are in the
shower? Or, maybe there's a housing boom where you are and their isn't
enough water flow?
Are you on a well or on a public system?
If it a whole house issue,
If you have a well, it might be a bladder tank needing air.
Should have specified that I have a private well.
And, when I hit the faucet I hear what I am taking to be the water pump
I was messing around with the water softener not too long ago, but it
is scheduled to run late at night.
Otherwise, I'll run through the list of suggestions in this thread and
see if I can narrow it down.
I had the exact same problem..I have a well, also. Turned out to be my
whole house filter plugged. It would have enough back pressure to satisfy
pumps pressure switch and shut down pump. Then when enough water filtered
through the filter finally, the pump would start up again. Turning on other
faucets would seem to expedite the movement of t he water through the
filter. I hadn't realized that I had a whole house filter as I had recently
purchased the house. About a year later, had the same problem again but
this time it was a bad motor on the pump. Wouldn't start back up after
running for a while until it had cooled down a little. That was a real
problem...just try to find someone to work on a shallow well pump located at
the bottom of a 10ft deep, 4ft x 6ft pit. No well company would touch
it...thank God for a 40 yr old son. However that was the last time...next
time we go to drilling a deep well...my son was crippled up for a month
after working in that hole.
most well companys wont we are about the only ones left in maryland
that will go in a shallow well pit.it can be a huge liabilty issue.we
are the only ones that will come to your house and do a free estimate.
what ever happend to customer service? scott
This is just a guess, but do you think your pump coul have a bad
checkvalve. If you used a certain qualtity of water, you would empty
your bladder tank. It would turn the pump on. If the check valve was
bad, there might be a lag as you pump water back up the pipe -- esp. if
you had a pin-hole somewhere.
Also, when you open the sink, put your hand over the sink and see if
any air is moving. If it's blowing air, it might mean that water is
coming up the pipe and just hasn't reached it.
This is just a guess but it's all I can think of that would give that
set of symptoms. Good luck with it.
In addition to the other suggestions, your tank may be waterlogged.
Observe how rapidly the pump cycles on and off while water usage is
high, e.g. while someone's in the shower, or while the washer is
On 29 Mar 2006 16:03:03 -0800, " firstname.lastname@example.org"
Depends on whether you're right about having to get out and
run the faucet, or if it eventually will kick back up again
if you just wait in place. If it eventually comes back
by itself, then I'd check all your filters and the pressure tank.
If it stays off/dribbling forever unless you run another
fixture, then I'm thinking a bad valve or moving
obstruction in or near the shower. In that case, try taking the
shower head off for starters, and if that doesn't help, and there's
a tub, flipping the diverter back to tub mode.
You know what? Turns out it was the time not the action that restarted
the water. Last night when the water stopped I got out, went to the
faucet, and pretended I was turning on the water. Just then the water
Well at least one thing eliminated.
Instead of taking a shower, turn your bathroom and kitchen faucets on
full blast and wait a bit and see if the problem is shower-specific or
if other water usage causes the same problem.
Sounds like your pressure swithc on the pump is out of adjustment, Set
it to come on at a higher pressure. This way, as the pressure tank is
drawn down, the pump will come back on before the tank empties. Or you
may have a waterlogged pressure tank.
At first it sounded like a pressure balanced anti scald shower valve,
but now it sounds lioke a well tank/pressure switch problem.
How would one go about adjusting the pressure switch on the pump? The
problem is I don't see a switch anywhere near the pressure tank or at
the top of the well. A cursory check on the web didn't reveal anything
except for a complicated-sounding procedure for increasing the pressure
in your tank via compressed air.
Someone else mentioned a checkvalve. Where is that?
Last night the shower turned off and wouldn't go back on again until I
hit the faucet. This time I used the downstairs kitchen faucet. When
the water kicked in it was accompanied by a "clung" sound downstairs.
Dashed down there in time to hear the pressure tank filling up.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.