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
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
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Put the plug in the drain hole
As before, start by putting the plug in the drain hole to stop anything falling down.
Turn off the water valves
The water valves are beneath the sink. Turn them both to the “off” position.
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.
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.
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.
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.