Low water pressure can be frustrating, especially when it's in a room you use more often such as the kitchen. While kitchen faucets with low water pressure don't run consistently, those with high water pressure can waste water and energy. Both low water pressure and high water pressure faucets can bring trouble to your home.
Fortunately, fixing a low water pressure can usually be a DIY job. By investing some parts o the kitchen sink, you can determine the source of low water pressure in the kitchen faucet and solve the issue. You need to know the causes of low pressure in your water to be able to raise the water pressure in kitchen faucets.
Is Water Pressure Low in the Whole House?
The first thing you need to do when you notice a low water pressure is to determine whether it's in one spot or the entire house. If all or many faucets have low water pressure, ask your neighbors if they're experiencing the same.
If your neighbors are also facing low pressure in their water faucets, this indicates that the municipal water supply is the problem. Contact your water provider to report the issue and get more information.
If your whole house has low water pressure, but your neighbor's water supply is okay, then the problem is in your home's installation, but it's rooted a bit deeper. If that is the case, you'll need professional help, or you'll need to work a bit harder yourself.
Common Causes of Low Water Pressure
Usually located at the end of the faucet spout, the aerator consists of a screen that aerates the water as it exits the faucet. The aerator also conserves water by adding air to the water stream. Over time, mineral deposits in the water can cause a buildup on the aerator's screen, which will restrict water flow and result in low water pressure. When minerals or hard water clog the aerator, the result is often low water pressure.
Blocked or Broken Cartridge
If the aerator isn't the problem, then check your cartridge faucet. Located at the base of the faucet handle, the cartridge controls the opening valves that let water flow through the faucet. Its function is also to prevent leaks and malfunction in general. Most faucet leaks are also a result of worn-out cartridges, so make sure you know how to repair the kitchen leaks before proceeding.
However, debris can cause issues for the cartridge as mineral deposits can gather on the valve seats, making it difficult for the cartridge to open or close properly. A worn out o ring can also be a problem as it will no longer provide a proper seal, causing water to leak out and lowering water pressure in the process.
Impaired Water Supply Lines
If the aerator and cartridge are not the problems, then there is a chance that your water supply lines are impaired. Water supply lines are the tubes that bring water to the faucet from the main water line. If these pipes are corroded or damaged, they will not be able to deliver water properly, which can lead to low water pressure problems.
Another thing that can cause water supply lines to become impaired is if they are not the right size. If the pipes are too small, they will not be able to deliver enough water to the faucet, resulting in low pressure. In some cases, you may need to replace your water supply lines altogether in order to resolve the issue.
When a pipe that supplies water leaks, the result may be low water pressure. If there is any excess water in areas under and around the kitchen sink, you could have a pipe leak. Since leaks aren't always visible, check the basement for watermarks near pipes and inspect areas around water heaters and faucets.
To check for hidden bathroom leaks, look for nasty smells, mildew, damaged paint or wallpaper, ceiling stains, and damaged flooring. If you notice any of these signs, it's better for a professional plumber to take a look before the problem gets worse.
Sediment Buildup in the Water Heater
If you have an electric water heater, the problem may be with the heating element. If you have a gas water heater, the sediment buildup could be clogging the pilot light.
Over time, both types of water heaters can develop a buildup of minerals from the water. This is more likely to happen in areas with hard water. The sediment can cause the water heater to work less efficiently and, in some cases, can even damage it.
Flushing your water heater once every six months will ensure that your water heater doesn't negatively affect water pressure and also extend the water heater's lifespan. It will also keep the maximum possible water temperature high, saving on your gas or electricity bills.
Malfunctioning Pressure Reducing Valve
If your home has a pressure reducing valve or PRV, it could be the cause of low water pressure. The PRV is installed on the main water line coming from the municipal supply into your house. Its purpose is to protect your plumbing system by reducing the water pressure to a safe level.
PRVs can sometimes get stuck in the closed position, which would result in low water pressure. To check if your PRV is the problem, find the valve (it's usually located near where the main water line enters your home) and turn the knob or handle counterclockwise to see if water starts flowing from the valve. If it does, then your PRV is likely the cause of the low water pressure.
How to Fix Low Water Pressure in Your Kitchen Sink
So, how do you increase the water pressure in your kitchen sink? By following the steps below:
How to Remove and Clean the Aerator
Unscrew the aerator from the end of your faucet with channel lock pliers. Twist the aerator clockwise to loosen it. After unscrewing it, grab a toothbrush and use it to clean off any sediment that may have built up on the aerator. Once you've removed all of the debris, screw the aerator back on and turn on both the hot and cold water to see if there's an improvement in water pressure.
If not, then continue with the steps below. If it's super clogged, soak the aerator in vinegar overnight, brush off the remaining debris inside and reattach it to the faucet.
Check the Faucet Cartridge
Turn off the water valves under the sink. Then run the water in the sink until the water runs out. After that, remove the valve handle by locating and removing the screw cap and the faucet screw. Use an Allen wrench to remove this screw cap and remove the shut off valve handle.
After removing the cartridge, clean it by washing and brushing it. If it's still in good condition, reattach it and turn on the water valves to see if there's any improvement in the water pressure. If not, then you might need to replace the cartridge with a new one.
Cleaning or Replacing the Shut Off Valves
If your shut off valves are old, then they might be the reason for the low water pressure in your kitchen sink. The shut off valves control how much water goes through your pipes and can be found under the sink. You have two valves made of plastic or metal attached to your faucet to control hot and cold water separately.
To clean them, turn off the water supply to your kitchen sink and then remove the valve cover. Use a brush or a toothpick to clean the sediment buildup inside the valve. Once you're done, reattach the cover and turn on the water supply to see if the pressure has increased.
Flush the Supply Lines
If your sink's shut-off valves are clean and you're still not getting enough pressure, then it might be time to flush the supply lines. Over time, rust and sediment can build up in these lines and cause a decrease in water pressure.
To flush the lines, turn off the water supply to your kitchen sink and open the faucet to release any residual water. Next, disconnect the cold and hot water lines from the shut-off valves. If you aren't sure which valve controls the hot or cold water, try turning one off and feel the water temperature from the faucet.
Run your water for some seconds to clear the supply line. Turn your faucet all the way on so that it's at a neutral temperature. The cold water will go up through the faucet and out of the hot water supply line.
Use a garden hose to flush out the supply lines, running clean water through them until it runs clear. Once you're done, reattach the lines to the valves and turn on the water supply. Check to see if the pressure has increased. Repeat the process with the cold water valve.
Turn off the cold water valve and disconnect the supply line. Make sure the supply line feeds into the bucket so that you can catch any water that comes out. Turn on the hot water valve and check the pressure. If the pressure has increased, turn on the cold water valve and check the pressure again. Repeat this process until you find the source of the problem.
Clean the Filter in a Pull Out or Pull Down Faucet
If your faucet has a pull out or pull down sprayer, there may be a filter at the end of the hose. Over time, this filter can become clogged with minerals from the water, which can decrease the water pressure. To clean the filter, remove the end of the hose from the faucet and unscrew the filter. Rinse the filter with warm water and reassemble the hose.
FAQs on How to Increase Pressure in Kitchen Faucets
How can I increase water pressure in my kitchen sink faucets?
If you have low water pressure in your kitchen sink faucets, there are a few things you can do to try and increase the pressure. First, check to see if there is an aerator on the faucet. If so, clean it and see if that increases the water pressure. If not, then you may need to clean the end of the hose from the faucet and unscrew the filter. Rinse the filter with warm water and reassemble the hose. If the faucet is out of date, consider replacing it with a new one.
Which kitchen faucets give you the highest water pressure?
There is no definitive answer, as it depends on the water pressure in your home and what type of faucet you have. However, if you have low water pressure, you may want to consider getting a new faucet that is designed to increase water pressure. You can consider the best kitchen faucet with a sprayer to increase the pressure.
If you have high water pressure, you may want to consider getting a kitchen faucet that has a pressure-reducing valve. This will help to regulate the water pressure and prevent it from becoming too high. There are also many different models available on the market, so be sure to do your research before making a purchase.
Final Thought on How to Increase Water Pressure in Kitchen Faucets
Dealing with water pressure problems in your kitchen faucets can be annoying. However, it's a quick fix that you can do yourself without having to call a professional. But if the problem is in the municipal water supply, then the fix may take a bit longer. By following the tips above, you should be able to increase the water pressure in your kitchen faucets and get them back to working properly in no time.