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I have low water pressure

Learn more about why we manage water pressure and what you can do to increase it in your home.


Why do we manage water pressure?

Water pressure is the force of water that gets pushed through pipework, which results in the strength of the flow that comes through your tap.

We monitor water pressure all the time. This is because it’s an important way for us to prevent leaks, save our precious water, make sure you have a constant supply and reduce your bills.

We manage the strength of the water flow so that there’s enough for your everyday needs, but not so much that it causes bursts and leaks.

Frequently asked questions about water pressure

If your house suddenly has low water pressure at certain times of day, it could be because it's a period of high demand. This can result in water pressure being high at night (a stronger flow through your taps) when few people are using it and lower during certain times when lots of people are using it.

If there is little or no water running from your tap then there may have been a burst water main in your area. Turn off the taps and contact us for more information.

If we're carrying out work on our network which would interrupt your water supply for more than four hours, we will let you know at least 48 hours in advance, usually by letter or card.

If you have any additional needs, such as kidney patients on home dialysis, you can join our confidential Priority Services Register and we'll make sure you have bottled water in the event of an interruption to water supplies.

This can be down to a few factors. Your water pressure can depend on the local geography, whereabouts your home is in relation to our service reservoir or water tower, and how much higher (in terms of ground level) either of these is in relation to your home. Did you know, for instance, that homes at the top of a hill will receive water at a lower pressure than those at the bottom?

The pressure within our pipes varies across the day and we use control devices installed on our pipes to stabilise pressures. This normally involves lowering pressures at night, when demand is low and pressures are generally at their highest. However, it can also involve increasing pressures during times when demand is high and pressures are normally at their lowest. We continually monitor pressure.

If you are in a part of our supply network where we are introducing pressure management for the first time, you may notice a change in the pressure you receive.

This shouldn't mean that you will receive less water, although you may need to turn your taps on further or it will take a little longer to fill a bath or washing machine.

In the unlikely event that our management of pressure stops you from receiving a consistent water supply, we'll investigate, increasing pressure when applicable, and work with you to resolve any problems.

However, the majority of customers in areas where we're managing water pressure will not be significantly affected and it is likely that they may not even notice the change.

We manage pressures across our supply network in accordance with our Guaranteed Standards Scheme (GSS) which emphasises our commitment to our domestic customers, detailing the minimum standards of service you can expect.

Spluttering taps, irregular water flow and vibrating pipes may indicate that there are air bubbles present.

Air usually gets trapped at high points in your water supply system, and to force this out, you have to temporarily increase the force of the water flowing through the pipes. The high volume of water created by turning on all of your taps causes a rush of water through your pipes that carries the air bubbles out.

How to clear an airlock:

  1. Check the main water supply valve (stop tap) to make sure that the water in your house is turned on.
  2. Move through your house and turn on every hot and cold water tap, beginning with the tap closest to the main water supply valve. Work your way to the furthest tap.
  3. Flush all toilets and run the water in all appliances or fixtures that use a water connection. For example, fill a cup with water from the refrigerator dispenser and run the dishwasher and washing machine through a rinse cycle.
  4. Let the water flow for about 10 to 15 minutes or until it begins to flow normally at every tap, without any spluttering or banging.
  5. Go back to the last tap you opened, farthest away from the main valve, and turn off the water. At each toilet, turn off the tap that is closest to the main valve first, then flush the toilet. Wait about two minutes before closing the next taps.
  6. Continue turning off taps. Work your way back to the first taps you opened until you’ve turned the water off at all taps and fixtures. This should get rid of the air pockets.
  7. Contact a plumber to inspect your pipes if clearing the air from the lines doesn’t stop the problem. You may be dealing with water hammer or improperly sized pipes.


Loud thumps or bumps or prolonged noises and vibrations are usually caused by air in your pipes. If noise or sputtering occurs when you close a water valve or an appliance such as a dishwasher or washing machine switches cycles, it's more likely to be a pressure surge than air in the pipes.

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