5 Reasons Why Low Water Pressure in a Kitchen Faucet

A kitchen faucet has many uses, making it one of our most important fixtures. For this reason, we need it to be in perfect working order all the time – and if the water pressure in our kitchen faucet is too low, it makes all kinds of daily chores more difficult.

The good news is, if this is a problem you are facing, it’s often easy to fix, and this means you will probably be able to resolve the issue without the need to call in a plumber. If that sounds useful, here’s everything you need to know about low water pressure in a kitchen faucet.

For more information about a few things we don’t have space to mention here, check out this video that gives you some more tips about raising or lowering the water pressure in your home.

Localized problems or general?

If you have low pressure in your kitchen faucet, you need to work out where the problem is coming from. Is it a problem that’s just affecting your kitchen faucet, do you have problems throughout your house or is it a problem in your whole neighborhood?

The first thing to do is to check other water outlets in your house. If you have low water pressure in other fixtures and not just the kitchen faucet, it is likely to be a problem related to your whole house. If not, it’s just in the kitchen.

If it affects your whole house, you can also ask your neighbors if they are suffering from a similar problem. If your neighbors also have issues with low water pressure, the problem lies with the municipal water supply, and you will need to contact the authorities to deal with it.

Problems for your whole house

Problems for your whole house

If yours is the only house in the neighborhood with low water pressure, there are a few things you can do.

First, try checking the pressure of the water coming into your home at the mains – and also check the valve is fully open. Another possibility is that the valve where the water enters your home is old and needs replacing. If so, contact a plumber or do the work yourself.

If this isn’t the problem, you should also check your plumbing system for leaks. Leaks will cause the pressure in your whole house to drop, and leaking water can also cause serious damage. This means you need to identify any possible leaks as soon as possible and fix them.

Problems with the kitchen faucet

Problems with the kitchen faucet

If you are able to determine that the problem is only in your kitchen faucet – so it isn’t in the rest of your house and your neighbors don’t have a problem – there are a couple of easy solutions you can try to fix the issue.

The two most common reasons for low water pressure are a blocked aerator and a clogged cartridge, and these problems are found in all kinds of kitchen faucet, including pull-out kitchen faucets, or commercial kitchen faucets, or touchless kitchen faucets and more.

Here’s how to check and fix these problems.

Blocked aerator

The aerator is a device attached to the faucet spout to infuse air into the water while also limiting the flow. With time, aerators can become blocked with mineral deposits. When this happens, follow these steps to fix it:

  1. Put the plug into the sink’s drain

Put the plug into the sink’s drain

Before you start, put the plug into the sink’s drain to stop any parts accidentally falling down the drain hole when you remove them.

  1. Remove the aerator

Remove the aerator

You should be able to simply twist the aerator off the end of the faucet. However, if you can’t, you can use a pair of pliers. If using pliers, wrap some plastic tape around the end of the faucet first to avoid damaging it.

  1. Disassemble and clean

Disassemble and clean

Disassemble the aerator and clean inside with a toothbrush. If the deposit is particularly encrusted, you can also try boiling the aerator in vinegar to dissolve it. Another technique is to poke a pin through each individual hole to unblock them one by one.

  1. Test the faucet before replacing the aerator

Test the faucet before replacing the aerator

Run the faucet without the aerator to test the water pressure. If the water runs normally without the aerator, you will know you have identified the problem.

  1. Replace the aerator

Replace the aerator

Replace the aerator on the faucet and test the water. It should now run with normal pressure.

Tip: Another technique you can use is to fill a plastic baggie with vinegar and water with a ratio of 1:1. Fasten the baggie over the faucet head with a rubber band so the faucet head is immersed in vinegar and leave it overnight. This should help dissolve any mineral build-up.

Check the cartridge

If the problem isn’t the aerator, it may be the cartridge. Here’s how to check and fix this issue – or for a preview, here’s a video with very clear explanation for how to change a faucet cartridge.

  1. Put the plug in the drain hole

Put the plug in the drain hole

As before, start by putting the plug in the drain hole to stop anything falling down.

  1. Turn off the water valves

Turn off the water valves 1

The water valves are beneath the sink. Turn them both to the “off” position.

  1. Remove the faucet handle

Remove the faucet handle

Pop off the protective cap with a flat head screwdriver and remove the faucet handles. You will need either a Phillip’s head screwdriver or an Allen key for this.

  1. Remove the cartridge

Remove the cartridge

Remove the cartridge nut with a wrench and then remove the cartridge. Place all the pieces in a line in the correct order so you know how to put them back together after you’ve finished.

  1. Clean the cartridge and replace

Clean the cartridge and replace

Clean the cartridge of any gunk that was blocking the water flow and replace the cartridge in the same way as you removed it.

  1. Turn on the water and test

Turn on the water and test

Turn the water valves back on beneath the sink and test. The water pressure should now have returned to normal.

Usually a simple problem to fix

If you have localized low water pressure in your kitchen faucet and nowhere else in your home, as we have seen, the problem is usually either a blocked aerator or a clogged cartridge.

If this is the problem you have, you’re in luck since these are both very simple problems to fix. By following our instructions, you can easily do it yourself without the need to call in a professional to do it for you.

14 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why Low Water Pressure in a Kitchen Faucet”

  1. We installed a new sink and faucet in the downstairs powder room and the pressure is now low, as well as in the upstairs shower. It’s both hot and cold water.

    Reply
    • I am also having your same problem Debbie. Everything I have read so far, points me in the direction that certain faucets are dedicated to certain gallons per minute so I am hopeful I can just remove that tiny piece that is restricting water flow to that set amount.

      Reply
  2. Hi, I have low pressure that is localized in the kitchen faucet only. My whole house pressure is at 60 PSI (checked with gauge). Removed aerator, it was clean turn the water on with out it just in case. Still low pressure (hot and cold). Re-installed the aerator. Next up, replace the cartridge. Re-assembled and still have low pressure. My faucet is the home depot Harbor Bay single handle for hot and cold. I am not sure what else unless issues with a line to it. I thought about replacing the faucet but not sure if that would remedy that and may be cash out the window. I have those plastic lines for water lines. This is the first house I have had when there is no copper pipe under the sink so to speak. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • Pete I have the same faucet but I’m having problems with the cold water pressure only. Did you find out any solutions?

      Reply
    • I have run into the issue on a few houses that had the metal flexible hoses that connect the main flow to the faucet. Since there is only about 3/18 of an orifice for the water to pass through it often clogs up due to the chemicals that are put into city water. If you have checked the aerator and the cartridge you may want to pull the hose and make sure it is not clogged. It’s usually a metal flex line but I have had the plastic flex lines also do this. I’ve had jobs where the water flow was poor and I then shut off the hot and then turned it back on again to have hardly any water flow. A good indicator of a clogged line. Pull the fl;ex line and check to make sure it is clear. Phil

      Reply
    • I’ve have the exact same issue with a HD Glacier Bay Pull Down kitchen faucet. The water coming in for the supply is fine, but after it goes into the pull down faucet the pressure is gone. They will replace parts for free if you can call in with the faucet information. I’m now ordering a new pull down and quick connect assembly as I think perhaps that is my problem. I’ll let you know.

      Reply
  3. I have low pressure with my cold water only. After cleaning the aerator & cartridge I’m come to the conclusion that the shutoff valve has something in it. Not an easy fix. I’ll have to shut off the water to the house & pull that valve. It could probably just be cleaned. But, since it’s 20 years old I’ll just replace it.

    Reply
  4. Yes. The shutoff valves under the sink for both hot and cold will fail. The rubber washer inside will soften up over time and eventually will breakdown and cause partial blockage leading out to your tap. You will also probably notice a steady drip from the valve itself. Changing the stem inside is quite easy for anyone to take on. ( yes I really mean anyone ). Go purchase a replacement valve stem. Shut off house supply. Test water to make sure its off. Use phillips head screwdriver to remove screw in center of the handle. Remove handle, loosen and remove bonnet nut with crescent wrench, which will also pull out the stem. Dislodge old stem being careful to observe how it fits in the bonnet nut. Put new stem in in the exact way you took the other one out. Reassemble. Turn on house supply. Run hot and cold in the shower on the highest level of house to bleed air out of the water lines. Turn off once water runs uninterrupted. Then turn on inlet valves that you just fixed. Turn on faucet and you should have good flow now.

    Reply
  5. I had the same problem where neither the diverter screen nor the cartridge was the issue. Upon further investigation I found there was year another diverter/trap inline with where my pull out hose connected to the water supply

    Reply
  6. Had exact same problem as most of you guys. I already cleaned screen and checked the cartridge. Didn’t help. I followed someone’s suggestion above and even though my hoses and faucet was only 3 years old, I took the braded hoses off, sprayed water through them and the faucet with outside hose. Then blew them out with air. Put it all back together and my water pressure is now great!

    Reply

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