In this paper, we examine the effect of private tap water reliability on time spent on water collection and total water consumption among urban households in Kathmandu, Nepal. Although the majority of households in Kathmandu are connected to a private tap, they experience intermittent water supply. We link a unique time diary dataset collected between 2014 and 2015 to household water consumption and tap water reliability data. Our empirical analyses demonstrate that improved reliability of private tap water connection (PWC), measured as self-reported reliability and an objective measure of ‘probability of getting tap water in the next hour’, leads to increased time spent on water collection. Households with more reliable PWC also consume more water overall and from their own taps. Further investigation demonstrates that when private taps became more reliable, households substituted water collected from outside the household, such as water from public taps and public wells, with water from their own private taps. Our results proved robust to additional specification checks.