Is Low Water Pressure Harmful to a Dishwasher?

A dishwasher needs moderate water pressure to function well. When the water pressure is moderate, it fills up the machine at just enough speed and enhances a better dish wash. But low water pressure does the exact opposite.

So, is low water pressure harmful to a dishwasher? Low water pressure is harmful to a dishwasher because it affects its productivity. However, old dishwashers often work well with low water pressure. It’s mostly the modern dishwashers that have an issue with low water pressure.

Let’s discuss dishwashers, low water pressure in your house, and how they go side by side. You’ll learn why a dishwasher may have low water pressure, how it affects, alongside how to check your dishwasher for low water pressure, and what to do in such cases.

Why Does My Dishwasher Have Low Water Pressure?

Several reasons may cause your dishwasher to have low water pressure. However, no matter the reason, you need to discover it and fix it early to avoid increased complications from prolonged use.

Why Does My Dishwasher Have Low Water Pressure

An Issue Of The Water Supplier

The low water pressure issue your dishwasher has might not outrightly come from the dishwasher itself. Instead, it may be due to the water pressure flowing directly from the supplier. If there is a low-pressure water supply to the house, this will likely result in low water pressure in the dishwasher as well.

When this happens, contact your water supplier to increase the water pressure in your water supply line. When water flows into your house at moderate pressure, your dishwasher receives the water at the same pressure.

The Main Water Shutoff Valve Isn’t Fully Open

The water pressure in your dishwasher will reduce if your main water shutoff valve isn’t fully opened. If the water is coming from a source with 120PSI pressure and the valve is partially closed, the pressure will reduce.

Even when water reaches the partially closed valve at high pressure, the small space won’t be enough to accommodate it. So to allow passage, the water pressure will reduce. As a result, water reaching the dishwasher will have low pressure.

The Water Meter Valve Isn’t Fully Open.

When the water meter valve isn’t fully open, it will reduce the water pressure flowing into the dishwasher. The meter valve is one thing that determines the pressure at which water flows into the dishwater. So, when your dishwasher has low water pressure, check the meter valve.

Due To A Faulty Water Pressure Regulator

The water pressure regulator regulates water pressure to be high or low. When it gets faulty, the water pressure will be unstable, resulting in low water pressure or excessively high water pressure. But the low water pressure condition is more likely to happen than the high water pressure.

Your Old Plumbing Pipes Have Gotten Clogged And Are Failing

We advise you to change the plumbing pipes connected to your dishwasher before or when it gets old. If they get too old and you are still using them, they might fall and clog. When they do, the water pressure they let through will be below.

It means the pipes are no longer strong enough to hold high water pressure because it is old. Also, the pipe can only let little or no water pressure flow through it because it got blocked.

Your Pipes Are Leaking Or Clogged

When your pipes are leaking, the dishwasher will have low water pressure. It is because the water pressure will reduce when it gets to the leaking point. This is because the linking point of the pipes will leak off some water and let the remaining pass.

The remaining water passing to the dishwasher will not have the same pressure as it had before it got to the leaking point. Therefore, the dishwasher will have low water pressure. Also, when the pipe gets clogged, the pipe will not let water through or let just a little water through.

Is Low Water Pressure Harmful To A Dishwasher?

Low-pressure water will not spoil the dishwasher; it will only reduce its productivity. It will make the dishwasher slower and not effective. Also, the dishes will not be completely clean after the dishwasher has washed them.

Is Low Water Pressure Harmful To A Dishwasher

When the dishwasher has low water pressure, it means water comes slowly into the machine. Most times, it is not enough to fill up the machine. The dishwasher needs plenty of water and pressure to be productive, and when it is not available, it becomes unproductive. So, you could label it useless or damaged if you don’t know that the problem is from the water pressure.

How Do You Check A Dishwasher’s Pressure Switch?

The pressure switch of your dishwasher is the regulator for the level of pressure that the dishwasher jet sends. You can adjust the water pressure with that feature by using some household tools following the steps below.

How Do You Check A Dishwasher’s Pressure Switch

Step 1: Turn the water off

The first thing to do is to turn off the power supply and the water. To turn off the water, turn the spigot handle under the sink to the left till the end. Afterward, switch on the water in the sink to make sure the water is completely off. If it is not, go back and continue turning the spigot handle to the left.

Continue this process until the water offs. After that, pull out the dishwasher and disconnect it from the electricity. Most dishwashers have circuit breakers. For them, you can use the circuit breaker to turn it off.

Step 2: Get the dishwasher ready 

There is an access panel at the back of your dishwasher. The second step to take is to pull it out. To do this, pull out the dishwasher from the wall, locate the panel and pull it out. This will give you access to the tubes and control box where you can do your things like checking and tweaking.

Step 3: Undo the pressure switch 

The long tube attached to the control box under the panel is the water heater. It is easy to find because there is only a pump and pipes in that space. The pipe or tube that is round and passed directly over the water heater is the pressure switch. After removing the panel, the top of the switch will face you.

Next up, unscrew the cover of the pressure switch. For this, you will need a plier. Hold the screw-on cover with your plier and turn it in an anticlockwise direction. Continue turning till it opens.

Step 4: Adjust the switch

When the switch cover is off, you will adjust the switch itself with a flat-blade screwdriver head. Next, use your flat-blade screwdriver to adjust the pressure switch. To increase the pressure to the nozzle of the dishwasher, turn the switch anticlockwise. To reduce the pressure on the nozzle, turn it clockwise.

If you overly unscrew the switch, there might be a leakage in the fixture. Turn it a bit and test the pressure to confirm if it is moderate enough. A simple way to know if it is okay is by trying to wash with the machine. If everything gets properly clean, then your dishwasher is going to run.

Step 6: Get things back in place 

Re-couple the dishwasher and put it back in place. Switch On the water and power supply and use your dishwasher.

How Do You Fix Low Water Pressure?

To fix low water pressure in your dishwasher, you need to know what the cause is first. When you find out the cause, you can then know what to do next and do it. To avoid the stress of having to fix a low water pressure problem, you can get a dishwasher for low water pressure.

If the issue is from your water supplier, call and request them to higher the water pressure. If the main water shutoff valve is not fully open, open it for better water pressure. Also, if the water meter valve is not fully open, open it.

The problem might be that the water regulator is faulty. You can either fix or replace it with a better one. More so, your plumber pipes might be too old that they are falling, leaking, or blocked. The only remedy here is to replace them with a new one.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I tell when my dishwasher is done washing with no timer?

When you are using your dishwasher, it will show a red indicator light on the floor. It is to show that it is still washing and drying your dishes. When the red light offs, it means your dishwasher has completed the washing and drying process.

Should I place the dishwasher in a cabinet or on the countertop?

The position of your dishwasher depends on the size and type of dishwasher. You can place the slimline, tabletop, and compact dishwasher on the countertop. But, the integrated dishwashers need to be in the cabinet because of the flush fit.

How do I clean the dishwasher after use?

Drain the water off the dishwasher. Use a cleaning agent to wash the interior of the dishwasher manually. Then, turn the washer on and run it with detergent. After a while, turn it off and rinse the dirty water out.

Why is my water pressure suddenly high?

Probably your water supplier has increased the pressure which for you’re experiencing higher pressure. Also, the blockage in your pipe might have given way and let the water flow higher than the pressure you’re used to.


Ending up with low water pressure is regular, especially in areas where getting enough pressure is no regular thing. Now that you know whether is low water pressure harmful to a dishwasher or not, you can work things around just fine. Your dishwasher might develop any fault because of low water pressure. The problem is in its productivity.

You can manually increase or decrease the water pressure in your dishwasher by locating the pressure switch and tuning it. If the low water pressure cause is not the switch, find the cause and fix it.

Evans Wade

Evans Wade

Hi, this is Evans Wade, the founder and editorial head of Indoorhelper. I’m a Mechanical Engineer and a businessman. After completing my graduation, I worked for a dishwasher manufacturing company, and later I started my own business. I have created this site Indoorhelper to share my knowledge and experience about dishwashers with people who don’t know it properly.

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