The kitchen faucet is a reliable plumbing fixture that works without any complications. However, problems such as low water pressure can occur. These usually indicate that there is a problem with the water shut off valve or another part of the plumbing.
It's frustrating when your kitchen faucet's water shuts off by itself. You're in the middle of cooking or washing dishes, and suddenly the water stops flowing. Not only does it interrupt what you're doing, but it also means you have to track down the source of the issue and fix it.
Read on to learn the causes of low water pressure in your kitchen sink and how to fix them.
Causes of Low Water Pressure in the Kitchen Sink Faucet
There are a few different reasons why your kitchen faucet's water pressure might be low. It could be due to a problem with the water shut off valve, an issue with the plumbing, or something else entirely. Let's take a closer look at each of these possibilities:
Kitchen Faucet Handle
You turn your kitchen sink handle on and off several times a day. If the water continues to run after turning off the faucet, check if the handle is fully closed. The easy fix might be that you just need to reposition your kitchen faucet handle.
If you confirm your faucet is in a closed position, try to turn it further. You may be able to rotate past the off position slightly, which is just what you need to close the water supply. In some cases, adjusting the faucet kitchen handle may not have any effect. You may have a faucet handle that doesn't work properly.
The handle has threads that connect with the faucet stem, allowing you to turn it. Threads can become corroded or stripped over time, which means the handle may no longer turn off the water supply. You'll likely need to replace the entire faucet if this is the case. If your kitchen faucet has a sprayer attached, check to see if it's turned on. The water pressure from the sprayer can cause the water to shut off by itself.
Kitchen Faucet Sealant
There are four categories of faucets on the market. These include compression faucets, ball faucets, cartridge faucets, and ceramic disk faucets. In a compression faucet, the washer compresses over an opening to stop the water flow.
This washer component can wear and tear over time. Since the worn out washer will not provide a complete seal, the kitchen will begin leaking and dripping. Other styles of faucets, such as the ball type or the disc type, use plastic components that also wear out with age.
Mineral deposits can build up on these parts, causing them to deteriorate and weaken the effectiveness of the seal. In this case, you'll need to replace these parts to stop the water from randomly shutting off.
Clogged or Broken Cartridge
The cartridge is the part of the faucet that controls the water flow. Over time, this component can become clogged or broken by mineral deposits, causing the water to shut off randomly. The cartridge can be replaced by new ones with the help of a professional plumber.
You can try doing it yourself, but the process is tricky with springs and seats that must be aligned. The kitchen faucet cartridges may have one or more o rings that may have caused the plumbing troubles. A worn out o ring prevents water from seeping out around the spout.
Corroded Valve Seat
The valve seat is the part of the faucet that the cartridge sits on. The valve seat plays a big role in determining how long kitchen faucets can last. With repeated use, this component can wear out gradually. When the valve seat doesn't work correctly, it may cause your kitchen faucet to drip even after the washer is turned off.
Corrosion can aggravate the problem further. Mineral sediments accumulate around the seat valve, eating away at the component. As the valve seat deteriorates, it causes an even bigger water leak. You can fix this problem yourself, only if you have the right tools.
A seat wrench is recommended, but a grinder might be required if a valve seat becomes too corroded. Alternatively, contact a plumber to replace it.
Blocked Supply Line
A water supply line delivers water to your kitchen faucet. Over time, the line may become blocked with mineral deposits, debris, or even dirt. This problem is more common if you live in an area with hard water. A blocked supply line results in low water pressure from your kitchen faucet.
If you suspect that your supply line is blocked, you can clean it yourself using a vinegar and water solution. Simply mix equal parts vinegar and water in a bowl. Next, use a funnel to pour the mixture into the supply line. Allow the solution to sit for at least 30 minutes before flushing it out with clean water.
Low water pressure can also easily be caused by a pipe leak somewhere in the supply chain. If that's the case, a portion of water will literally be going down the drain, and either a section of your home or your whole house will be left with a limited water supply, leading to low water pressure.
Such pipe leaks can really occur anywhere, and it's sometimes difficult to locate them before it's too late. It's not uncommon for such leaks to happen inside your home's walls or in its base. If this is the case, you may have to do a large scale renovation to fix the damage.
Sediment in the Water Heater
If you have an electric water heater, then it's possible that the heating elements are covered in sediment. Check if it's hot or cold water that has reduced pressure. If you're only experiencing low hot water pressure, then the problem is in the water heater and not anything else.
Sediment buildup in the water heater is very common, and that's why good prevention and water heater care are important. It's recommended to flush your water heater once every six months, especially if the water in your area is harder than average.
Flushing out your water heater not only ensures your water heater doesn't negatively affect the water pressure but also extends your water heater's life. It also keeps the maximum possible water temperature high, saving your gas or electricity bills.
If the water pressure decreases gradually over time, then it's likely that your kitchen faucet's aerator is clogged. The aerator is the small mesh screen at the end of the faucet spout. Over time, these screens can become filled with minerals from hard water or debris if you have well water. If you're not sure how to fix a clogged aerator or replace your kitchen faucet, then it's best to call a professional plumber.
If the problem isn't in the aerator or cartridge, then you'll likely have to replace the entire faucet. If your kitchen faucet is old, then it might not be able to handle the water pressure from your home's plumbing. You can also change other parts of the faucet, but those can vary a lot based on each faucet model.
How to Fix a Troubled Kitchen Faucet
Tools and Materials Needed
Distilled white vinegar
Plumbing wrench or a channel lock
Flathead and Phillips screwdrivers
Replacement parts or a replacement kit
Shut Off Water Supply
Begin by shutting off the hot and cold water valves under the sink. Then place a rag in the kitchen to catch any water that might drip from the faucet when it is removed.
Fix a Leaky Compression Faucet
Replace your seat washers and o rings by prying off the decorative cap that covers the bolt. Use a screwdriver to loosen it, then pull up to remove the faucet handle. Use two wrenches: one to loosen the packing nut and another to loosen the stem.
Remove the rubber washer from the bottom of the stem and replace it and ensure you apply the plumber's grease before installing it. Pull out the stem and replace the o ring. Apply plumber's grease on the o ring before installing it.
Next, replace the washer, which is located inside the seat. Assemble the faucet and turn the water valves back on.
Fix a Leaking or Clogged Cartridge Faucet
Before you start, make sure you stop the water supply to the kitchen faucet. After that, pop the top of the faucet's handle or remove it entirely, depending on the exact type of faucet you have.
Once the handle is removed, you can unscrew the cartridge cover. You can use pliers to remove and repair it, a screwdriver, or whatever instrument necessary for your particular faucet type. Then, clean the cartridge by washing and brushing it.
If possible, replace the cartridge's rubber o ring seals to ensure that they offer a good seal when you twist the cartridge back into place. Make sure you find a good replacement for the seals as well as the cartridge itself in any hardware store.
Fix a Leaky Ceramic Disc Faucet
Use an Allen wrench to loosen the set screws that hold the faucet handle in place. The Allen wrench is a small, L-shaped piece of metal with a hexagonal hole in the center.
Remove the faucet knob by pulling it straight off the valve stem. Some knobs have a small cap that needs to be pried off before the knob will pull off.
Look for the retaining clip that holds the ceramic disc in place. The clip is usually a C-shaped piece of metal located under the knob. Use needle-nose pliers to remove the clip and then lift out the disc.
Inspect the discs for any cracks or chips and replace them if necessary. Coat the new discs with the plumber's grease and reassemble the faucet.
Turn on the water valves under the sink to check for leaks. If the faucet still drips, you may need to replace the o ring seals. These are located under the discs and can be replaced with a new o ring kit. Reassemble the faucet and turn the water supply on.
Replace the Old Faucet
If your faucet is old and continues to give you trouble, it may be time to replace it. A new faucet will not only fix your current problems but could also improve the look of your kitchen. Make sure you purchase the best kitchen faucet with a sprayer to get the best out of your faucet. Follow these steps to remove an old faucet and install a new one.
- Turn off the water supply valves under the sink.
- Disconnect the water lines from the faucet using an adjustable wrench.
- Remove the mounting nuts that hold the faucet in place using a wrench.
- Lift the faucet off the sink and take it to a hardware store to find a replacement.
- Install the new faucet by following the manufacturer's instructions.
- Turn on the water supply valves and check for leaks.
- If you're still having trouble with your kitchen faucet, call a plumber for assistance.
FAQs on What to Do When Your Kitchen Faucets Shuts Off Itself
Why doesn't the water get hot with the Moen kitchen faucets?
There could be a few reasons why your Moen kitchen faucet isn't getting hot water. First, check to make sure the shut-off valves under the sink are turned on all the way. If they are, then the issue could be with the cold water supply line leading to the faucet. Check for any kinks or blockages in the line and if you find any, call a plumber to have them fixed.
How do I fix a dripping kitchen faucet?
If your kitchen faucet is dripping, the first thing you should do is check the washer. If it's damaged or worn, it will need to be replaced. To do this, simply unscrew the cap at the end of the faucet and pull out the washer. Take it to a hardware store to find an exact match, then reassemble the faucet.
If the washer is in good condition, the issue could be with the O-ring. Again, unscrew the cap and pull out the O-ring. Take it to the hardware store to find a replacement, then reassemble the faucet. If you're still having problems, call a plumber.
Final Thought on What to Do When Your Kitchen Faucets Shuts Off Itself
Kitchen faucets are very important fixtures at home. However, like all other fixtures, they are subject to damage and wear and tear. When your kitchen faucet starts shutting off by itself, there could be several causes. By troubleshooting the issue, you can usually find a quick and easy fix. However, if the problem persists, it's best to call a professional plumber for help.