If you have ever experienced low water pressure issue in a kitchen faucet, you know how frustrating it is. Here’s how to solve it.
Though there are different reasons for low water pressure, the main two reasons are blocked cartridges and clogged aerators.
To defeat a low-flow kitchen faucet, you need to understand what causes the low water pressure issue. It is easier to offer solutions once you know the roots of the problem.
Causes of Low Water Pressure
1. Broken or blocked cartridge
Issues with the cartridge usually happen due to the build-up of different elements in this part of the faucet. These elements include corrosion, sediment, hard water, and debris.
The cartridge makes it possible for the valves to open so water can flow and stop the flow once you turn the tap off.
2. Clogged aerator
You will find the faucet aerator at the end of the spout of most faucets. It consists of a screen that ensures a controlled water flow rate, and it also acts as a cover for the water outlet.
The aerator adds air to the liquid stream which helps in conserving water. Hence, you can experience low water pressure when it is clogged.
3. Leaking pipes
Low flow water pressure may also happen due to leaking pipes. As a result, the water doesn’t flow at its regular rate. This is because a lot of water escapes through the damaged pipes, and you won’t get enough supply in your kitchen faucet.
4. Problems with the pressure reducing valve (PRV)
The PRV controls water pressure from the source. You will find this at the incoming water line, and it features a shape like a bell.
5. Damaged water lines
This problem will not only affect your kitchen faucet but all the water outlets in your house. The issues typically happen due to sediment build-up, debris, and corrosion.
How to Fix Low Water Pressure in Kitchen Faucet
Fix the Broken or Blocked Cartridge
Step 1: Rotate the valves under the sink to cut off the faucet’s water supply. Turn the tap on to release the remaining liquid.
Step 2: Put the sink stopper in the drain as a safety measure.
Step 3: Make the cap that covers the faucet screw loose using a screwdriver. Then, remove it using an Allen wrench.
Step 4: Remove the retaining nut with a wrench. You will typically find it at the bottom of the handle.
Step 5: Remove the cartridge.
Step 6: You can soak the cartridge in an equal solution of warm water and vinegar. Leave it overnight.
Step 7: The next day, scrub the cartridge using a hard-bristled brush.
Step 8: Put back the clean cartridge and all elements in place.
Step 9: In cases when the cartridge can no longer be cleaned or is already damaged, it is best to buy a replacement.
Fix the Clogged Aerator
Step 1: The first step is to clean the aerator. To do this, remove the aerator by twisting it clockwise until loose. You can also use pliers if it’s stuck or hard to turn.
Step 2: Remove the screen inside, which can be made of either plastic or metal. Clean it using an old toothbrush.
Step 3: If you find it challenging to avoid clogging, leave the aerator soaking in vinegar overnight. Continue brushing the dirt the next day.
Step 4: Reinstall the aerator on your kitchen faucet.
NB: To prevent future problems with the aerator, tie a bag of white vinegar at the end part of the faucet and let it stay overnight. Do this every month to see improvements.
Fix Leaking Pipes
If you notice leaking pipes, here is what you can do:
Step 1: Inspect areas of your house where there are hidden water pipes. Check if there are watermarks near them. You also have to check the areas surrounding all the faucets and water heaters.
Step 2: In bathrooms, you can check hidden leaks by looking out for damaged flooring and stains in the ceiling.
You may also want to check damages in the wallpaper or paint and musty smells that may have developed from being constantly wet.
Step 3: It is recommended to call a local plumber once you see signs of leaking pipes. This can be challenging since you need to remove parts of your house covering the pipes before dealing with the problem.
Step 4: You can cover the holes causing the leaks with a sealant or waterproof tape for exposed pipes. But it is still best to call a plumber to have the pipes replaced or fixed before the problem worsens.
Fix Pressure-Reducing Valve
Adjusting the PRV can help solve the issue of low water pressure in the kitchen sink. To do this, follow these steps:
Step 1: To make the necessary adjustments, use a screwdriver to loosen the screw on the top part of the valve.
Step 2: Turn it counterclockwise and see if the problem is resolved.
Step 3: If you still need to increase the flow rate, you may need a valve replacement. Please get a new one and have it installed.
This is another tricky reinstallation, which may require you to call a plumber. However, if you decide to do it yourself, see to it that you first close the master shut-off valve.
Fix Damaged Water Lines
Step 1: Make sure that the water source in the sink is turned off.
Step 2: Put a pail under the sink to catch any water that might flow out during the process.
Step 3: Loosen the water supply line by turning its nuts counterclockwise. You can use a wrench if it’s stuck or too tight.
Step 4: Make sure that the pail is directly under the water line before turning the water back on.
Step 5: If water starts coming out from the line, this means that you will only get more flow from the kitchen faucet by fixing or replacing the faucet.
Step 6: In case no water comes out of the line, the problem is more complicated. You will need the help of a plumber to resolve the issue effectively and for long-term use.
As you can see, not all problems with faucets can be resolved independently. There are instances when it is best to leave the job to a pro.
Refer to the more difficult problems with your local plumber. They can help fix the issues to ensure that the problem is resolved and you won’t encounter similar situations for quite a while.
How to Increase Water Flow Rate in Kitchen Faucet
Looking to boost the faucet’s water pressure but there’s a squeaking noise? There are four critical areas you need to focus on:
Method 1: Cleaning the filter in pull-out faucet
Step 1: Removing the screw of the faucet’s handle
Rotate the nut at the bottom of the handle counterclockwise to make it loose. This will make it easier for you to remove the handle.
Step 2: Pull out the filter to clean
Manually pull the filter out of the handle’s base. It comes in mesh layers and has a cylindrical shape. Rinse the filter using warm water.
Make sure to get rid of any buildup or debris. You can also use a stiff-bristled brush to remove dirt stuck in the mesh.
Step 3: Clear the faucet from any debris
Run warm water on the faucet to remove any loose sediment on dirt inside.
Step 4: Putting the filter back
Put back the filter in its place. Screw and make the nut tighter and seal it in using your pliers.
Method 2: Cleaning the aerator
You can also clean the aerator to increase water pressure. Below are the steps you should follow:
Step 1: Unscrew the aerator
Using channel lock pliers, loosen the screw of the faucet’s aerator. It’s a mesh with a cylindrical shape located at the faucet’s bottom. Aerator works in filtering water from sediments.
Place the pliers around the piece and turn counterclockwise until loose. Manually continue unscrewing the aerator once loose. You can opt to put a rag between the pliers and aerator to prevent scratching the metal.
Step 2: Cleaning the aerator
It’s typical to find debris and sediment in the mesh of the aerator. Turn the piece upside down and wash the dirt with warm water. Rinse it all off until you have gotten rid of any debris stuck inside.
You can also scrape the dirt using a small brush to ensure it is spotless before putting it back on.
Step 3: Soaking the aerator in vinegar
If you aren’t confident that you have managed to get rid of all the dirt inside the aerator, put it inside a small container.
Fill it with enough white vinegar to soak the piece. Leave it overnight. Brush the remaining debris the next day and rinse using clean water.
Step 4: Running the faucet to get rid of the remaining dirt
Turn the tap on for about 10 seconds. This way, the other debris stuck inside will flow along the water. You can then put the aerator back in its original position.
Step 5: Testing the water pressure
Screw the aerator tightly and seal it using your channel lock pliers. Check if the step was able to increase the water flow rate.
If not, you need to replace the aerator. You can bring the old model so you can buy the exact version that will fit your faucet.
Method 3: Flushing out the water supply lines
Step 1: Turning off the valve that controls hot water
Turn the hot water valve clockwise to turn off the hot water connection to your faucet.
Step 2: Unscrewing the hot water valve’s supply line
Locate the nut above the valve and rotate clockwise. You can use your hand to get this done or channel lock pliers if it’s too tight. Disconnect the supply line once the nut is loose and put its end on a bucket to get any spills.
Step 3: Clearing the supply line
Turn the faucet on for about 10 seconds.
Step 4: Reattaching the detached components
Retrace your steps. Turn the nut clockwise until tight. Secure it in place using your channel lock pliers. Open the valve by moving it counterclockwise.
Step 5: Repeat Steps
Repeat all steps on the other valve and Check the water pressure.
Method 4: Dealing with the shut-off valves
Step 1: Finding the valves
Typically, you will find two valves underneath the sink. These valves are attached to the faucet and can be metal or plastic. One valve controls hot water, and the other controls cold water.
Step 2: Opening the valves
Rotate the valves counterclockwise with the arrow pointed in the pipes’ direction. Once the valves are fully opened, check if the water pressure in the faucet has increased.
Step 3: Testing the water pressure
Check that the water pressure is enough – not too weak or strong. If you turn the valves to their maximum limit, expect the water pressure to be strong.
You can decrease the pressure by turning the valve clockwise. Make sure that the two valves are positioned in the same manner to give the same level of water pressure.
How to Remove a Flow Restrictor from Kitchen Faucet
A faucet aerator adds air to the water stream and, in doing so, reduces its flow. To reduce flow and conserve water, restrictors are placed on the aerator. You can remove the restrictor if the water pressure becomes low.
However, it is not recommended to leave the faucet without a restrictor for a long time. Before starting, you must first cover the sink drain with a cloth or close the sink drain. You wouldn’t want any elements dropping directly to the sink.
Follow these steps to get the task done:
Step 1: Unscrew the aerator and remove it from the faucet.
Step 2: Carefully remove the parts of the aerator. Lay each piece in the order you have removed them so you can put them back quickly.
Step 3: Rinse the faucet aerator screen and flow restrictor with water. Remember to turn the faucet on slowly since the pressure will be intense since the aerator is removed.
Clean the parts using a small brush or your fingers. You can soak the elements in white vinegar for 3 to 4 hours if there is any debris you can’t remove.
Step 4: Run the faucet’s hot and cold water for 15 seconds each while the aerator is still off. Check the water. If it is dirty, continue flushing the tap until the water that comes out is clean.
Step 5: Put all parts of the aerator, including the flow restrictor, in their original position. Screw the aerator in the faucet until tight.
Step 6: Check the water pressure to see if this step has solved the problem.
Through time, the many parts connected to your kitchen’s faucet can collect debris, corrosion, and the buildup of minerals and hard water. As a result, the water pressure becomes low.
In most cases, you only need to fix whatever is causing blockage to the water flow. So first investigate why low water pressure in the kitchen and then follow the recommended tips to fix the low water pressure issues in the kitchen faucet.