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7 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 Leaky 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.

If you think that the low water pressure in your sink is due to a leaking pipe, don’t wait to fix the problem. The sooner you address this problem, the sooner you can rest assured that your plumbing system is functioning as safely as possible.

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.

Remember to Shut off the Water to Your Home

Sure, leaky pipes can lead to low water pressure in sinks — but water damage can result in costly repairs and unsanitary conditions, which can include mold growth. Before you call a plumber, remember to shut off the water inside your home to prevent any further water damage. 

Fortunately, turning off the water in your home is fairly easy. All you need to do is find the main shutoff valve, which is typically located in your basement, along an exterior wall, or outside on the sidewalk near your front lawn. You might also want to consider turning off the shutoff valves to the various fixtures and appliances throughout your home as an extra precaution.

5. Corroded Water Lines

If you’ve cleaned the aerator, spruced up the cartridge, and checked for leaky pipes, you might be wondering what else could be causing this frustrating problem. Well, the culprit could be lurking inside your old water pipes — and it goes by the name “corrosion.”

Older pipes, such as those made out of galvanized steel, can corrode over a long period of time. This corrosion can end up clogging the pipes, which may eventually lead to low water pressure in sinks, discolored water, and various other issues.

Corrosion is one of the most common causes of low water pressure in kitchen sinks for homeowners who are living with old metal pipes. The only way to truly remedy this problem is to replace your water lines with help from your local Sacramento plumbers.

6. 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 shutoff 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.

How to Address Sediment Buildup

Do you like having a traditional water heater? If so, you’ll want to consider scheduling water heater maintenance with a professional technician. During a maintenance service, the plumber will perform a series of tests, inspections, and cleanings.

Most notably, they will flush the water heater as a way to remove any sediment buildup that has accumulated at the bottom of the tank. As mentioned above, sediment buildup can lead to poor water pressure in kitchen sinks, among various other problems, such as high energy bills and the need for Fresno water heater repair.

7. Municipal Water Supply Issues

If you’ve checked for all the potential problems above and still notice low water pressure, don’t hesitate to compare notes with your neighbors. If they’re noticing similar water pressure problems, there could be an issue with the municipal water supply lines.

It’s a good idea to contact your local water provider as soon as possible. Although this issue can lead to low water pressure in sinks, it can also negatively affect the water pressure going to your showers and appliances.

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 a water heater problem, it’s probably time to call a plumbing professional for assistance. We’ll get to the bottom of the issue, whether it’s present when you use cold water or appears to be isolated to your hot water supply. Our experts can check the water pressure in your home, devise a strategy, and supply you with a dependable solution.

Low water pressure in sinks can be difficult to troubleshoot and solve without the necessary skills and equipment. Fortunately, you don’t have to tackle the mystery all on your own.

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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