My Kitchen Sink has Low Water Pressure
Why does my kitchen sink, and only the kitchen sink, have poor water pressure? The kitchen sink is probably, in most homes, the most used fixture in the whole house. When the sink has no or weak water pressure, it’s a headache. It messes up everything in the kitchen. Fortunately, most of the time, fixing this problem is pretty easy and inexpensive.
What Causes Low Water Pressure In The Kitchen Sink?
As frustrating as it is, the low water pressure in kitchen sink problem is usually pretty easy to explain. You’ll need to tinker a bit with your kitchen sink’s faucet a bit, and, maybe, with a few of the valves and pipes, but it should always be an easily identifiable issue if you know what you’re looking for.
The first thing to check is whether the water pressure is low only in the kitchen sink or elsewhere around the house too. If it’s the kitchen sink, that’s good – the problem is fairly localized and surface-level.
If your whole home has low water pressure, check to see if your neighbors are experiencing the same problem. Whether you live in a suburban house or an apartment building, if your neighbors are also suddenly experiencing low water pressure, you’re going to want to talk with your municipal water supplier. The issue is more significant in that case, but it’s also out of your hands.
If your whole home has low water pressure but your neighbors’ water supply is ok, then the problem is still in your home’s installation but it’s rooted a bit deeper. In that case, you’re either going to need professional help or you’re going to have to work a bit harder yourself.
Maybe it’s a Quick Fix
Before panicking about a bigger issue, check under the sink. See if one or both water line valves are normal. It could be one or both of them were turned or hit and that’s the simple reason the pressure changed.
Next, maybe cleaning the aerator is the answer. The aerator is a piece on the end of a faucet. It’s a part made up of a screen and screwed onto the faucet so the water runs out of the fixture smoothly, without splashing. Cleaning this part might do the trick.
Check Other Faucets and Fixtures
It might be just the kitchen sink. It could be something else throughout your whole plumbing system.
Go around the house and check every faucet one at a time. You want to pinpoint the issue if possible. If you have low water pressure in multiple places, with hot and cold water, it could be helpful to call or ask a neighbor to see if they are having the same issue. The problem could be with the water company. This is no good either, but at least you won’t be making unneeded plumbing calls or trying to fix something DIY style which isn’t broken.
Another step is to check the kitchen faucet and lines for leaks. This certainly could be the cause of pressure loss in only one spot. You can also check if it’s only the hot or cold water in just the kitchen sink or throughout the whole house.
If It’s a Problem with the Hot Water
If the pressure is low with the hot water, impacting the whole hot water supply in your house, the trouble is likely with the water heater. Check the hot water shut off valve. It needs to be open. If it isn’t, open it then check the pressure again. If this does not improve the water pressure, it’s possible you have an issue with the pipes going into the water heating unit or with the heater itself.
If the problem is with hot water, and only the hot water going to the kitchen sink, try seeing if it’s a clog or obstruction. With any problem concerning hot water, a water heater and plumbing hardware, it’s often the best idea to call an expert professional and have a pro solve the problem safely.
Trying DIY Fixes
Check the Aerator
The aerator is the piece at the end of the faucet. It has a screen to catch solid bits that have come through the water line. It can become clogged up. It can also gather hard water minerals and build-up with time. This is a straightforward solution.
Use channel lock pliers and tape or a towel to unscrew the aerator from the end of the tap. Once the part is off, look for anything dirty or clogging up the mesh screen. Clean the aerator by rinsing it – which will also let you check the water pressure without the aerator. You can also use distilled white vinegar, a very long soak and a soft brush to clean the aerator. If the build up is too bad, especially with hard mineral deposits, you might need to buy a new aerator. Then reattach the old or new aerator.
Check the Faucet Cartridge
It could be the faucet cartridge. What’s that? It’s a part that is deeper up the faucet. It has small holes and water passes through it, unless it’s dirty, clogged or out of place.
Different models of sinks and faucets are different, but here are the basics to try to solve it yourself.
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 screw which holds the faucet. This usually has to be done with an Allen wrench. Remove the shut-off valve handle.
Now, you remove the faucet cartridge, lifting it out. You may need to remove a clip, nut or washer to get to the cartridge. Pay attention to the order of how you’re taking pieces out so you can put them back in in the right order.
Now you can check the cartridge. Is it dirty? Is it very worn or scratched? You can clean it with hot water, vinegar or special solutions. If it’s not easy to clean or damaged, it’s best to replace it.
Check for a Clog
It could be the pipes are blocked and clogged. The clog could be lots of things or materials, including the mineral deposits. If so, it could be the main reason the aerator and cartridge had build up and maybe those steps helped a bit with the water pressure, but not enough. You may be looking at trying to unclog pipes or lines. This means it might or might not be DIY territory any longer.
If you’re giving it a go, turn off the hot water valve underneath the sink. It’s a helpful idea to place a bucket or plastic bin under the sink and valves. If you’re still going for it, detach the water line from the valve, keeping it over the bucket. Turn the faucet on with neutral, room-temperature water. Let the hot water line flush into the container. Reattach the hot water line and repeat the process with the cold water line.
South End Plumbing specializes in emergency plumbing services and detecting problems, so remember, we are just a click away. We also specialize in leak detection – give us a call! South End Plumbing is one of the only companies that will give you a free estimate. Call us at 704-919-1722 or fill out the form online to schedule a visit.