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5 Reasons Why Your Kitchen Sink Water Pressure Is Low

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The kitchen sink in your home is kind of a celebrity — it’s constantly the center of attention, whether you’re washing dishes or prepping a family meal. However, because you use this plumbing fixture so often, it’s easy to notice when things go wrong.

One of the most noticeable problems is when the kitchen faucet has lower water pressure than normal. You might notice that the water pressure has only decreased slightly, or worse — the water could be a small trickle. This particular issue can be frustrating to deal with, especially since there are many potential reasons why your kitchen sink water pressure is low.

Do you want to get to the bottom of the problem once and for all? Let’s go over what causes low water pressure in kitchen sinks and how you can fix it.

1. Faulty Pressure Reducing Valve

First and foremost, you’ll want to check that the pressure-reducing valve (PRV) is working correctly. This valve, which is located on the water line that connects to the municipal supply, is in charge of lowering the water pressure as it enters your home.

A malfunctioning PRV is one of the potential reasons why your kitchen sink water pressure is low. Although you can adjust the PRV yourself to see if this is the cause of the problem, it’s probably best to call a professional plumber for help. A plumbing expert can let you know if adjusting the PRV will fix the water pressure problem — or if it’s time to replace the entire valve instead.

Hand holding aerator separated from faucet in bathroom sink

2. A Blocked Aerator

When discussing what causes low water pressure in kitchen sinks, it’s impossible not to mention clogged aerators. Aerators are those mesh-like screens that screw onto the head of the faucet. These unique and handy devices help control the flow rate, so you’re able to enjoy an even stream of water from the faucet every time you use it.

Over time, mineral deposits from the water can clog the aerator on your faucet, restricting water pressure in the process. Fortunately, you can clean the aerator with a few simple steps.

First, turn off the water supply to the faucet. Once you’ve done this, you’ll need to remove the device by turning it clockwise.

Next, carefully scrub the inside of the aerator with a toothbrush or soft cleaning brush. After you’ve removed as much of the visible debris as possible, soak the aerator in a bowl of vinegar overnight. In the morning, simply rinse the device, re-install it on the faucet, and check to see if your efforts fixed the water pressure.

Hand removing cartridge from kitchen sink with grass in the background

3. A Clogged Cartridge

Since there are many potential reasons why your kitchen sink water pressure is low, you might still be trying to find the source of the problem. If that’s the case, you’ll want to check the faucet cartridge next.

This device has an important job — when you lift or turn the faucet handle, the cartridge is responsible for opening valves and letting the water flow into your sink. If there’s a problem with the cartridge — such as a blockage — you’re likely to encounter low water pressure.

How to Clean a Clogged Cartridge

You can clean this cartridge much like you would the aerator. However, it’s worth noting the process isn’t as simple. You’ll need a few tools for this process, such as a pair of pliers and an Allen wrench. The type of equipment you need can vary depending on the faucet you have.

First, turn off the water supply beneath the sink. Once you’ve done this, remove the handle cap with the help of a flat screwdriver. Next, extract the retaining nut with a wrench, then remove the retaining clip with a pair of pliers. You should now be able to take out the cartridge. Let the cartridge soak in vinegar overnight, then scrub off the remaining debris with a hard bristled brush in the morning.

These are general tips, so it’s always best to consult a professional plumber or the faucet user’s manual before attempting the cleaning process. You want to ensure you’re following the right steps for your specific faucet.

P-trap underneath the sink leaking water.

4. A Leaking Pipe

Are you still searching for reasons why your kitchen sink water pressure is low? There could be leaks in the pipes or water supply lines inside your home, including the one leading to the kitchen sink. As you can imagine, these leaks can easily disrupt the flow of water to your faucet — since water is escaping through cracks or holes instead.

How to Address a Plumbing Leak

Since pipe leaks can be what causes low water pressure in kitchen sinks, you can do a little investigative work to see if you’re dealing with this particular issue. Open the cabinet beneath your kitchen sink and look for any strange puddles. Essentially — look for evidence of water where it shouldn’t be.

Leaking pipes can sometimes be tricky to spot; they’re excellent at staying hidden inside homes. Luckily, you can sometimes find proof of this problem if you have a keen eye. Keep watch for any peeling wallpaper, bubbling paint, or warping floorboards. Another helpful tip is if you see a sudden high increase in your water utility bill. If you suspect you have a leak but can’t seem to find it, call a plumber for help right away. Leaks can lead to costly water damage — so addressing the issue ASAP is critical.

5. Water Heater Problems

Do you only notice poor water pressure when you use hot water? If so, the problem could lie with your water heater. Over time, sediment can collect at the bottom of your water heater tank. This sediment, as it continues to build up, can negatively affect your water pressure.

You might also want to check the shut-off valve to ensure that it is open all the way. A closed valve — even if it’s just a little bit closed — can be what causes low water pressure in kitchen sinks.

If you’re tired of dealing with sediment buildup in your traditional tank water heater, one solution could be to replace it with a tankless unit. Tankless water heaters are steadily growing in popularity and are known for having excellent energy efficiency. Our Fresno & Sacramento  tankless water heater installers can walk you through your options to help you find a solution that meets your needs.

Address the Problem With Our Plumbing Experts

There are many potential reasons why your kitchen sink water pressure is low. Whether you’re dealing with a damaged water supply line or water heater problem, it’s probably time to call a plumbing professional for assistance. 

Contact the experts at Lee’s Air, Plumbing, & Heating for plumbing services you can count on time and again. We offer everything from leak repairs to residential plumbing installations.

Low water pressure in the kitchen might seem like a minor problem — but if it’s getting in the way of your routine, don’t ignore it. Call us today!

Thomas Howard

Written by Thomas Howard

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