Poor Faucet Pressure? 2 Potential Causes

Posted on: 4 December 2015

From doing dishes to just getting a drink of water, everything's tougher when your faucet can't generate the water pressure you expect. Luckily, this problem is often easily treated--even by those who normally shy away from home plumbing tasks. If you've noticed that one of your faucets isn't delivering the kind of pressure it used to, read on. This article will explain how to correct two common issues that may be causing this problem.

There's a clog in your aerator.

Many faucets nowadays come equipped with aerators. They're easily recognized because they give the water coming out of the faucet a fizzy, white appearance. Aerators present several distinct benefits, including:

  • reducing the volume of water used
  • increasing the perceived water pressure
  • cutting down on the amount of water splashing up onto the counter

In order to accomplish these goals, aerators are comprised of many different parts, from mesh screens, to flow restrictors. When sediment and debris becomes lodged between the components of an aerator, it can impede their performance--especially where pressure is concerned.

The good news is that it's simple to get your aerator--and your pressure--back up to snuff. Just wrap a piece of rubber or tape around the aerator to protect it from scratches, then unscrew it using a pair of lockjaw pliers. Now carefully take the aerator apart, remove any debris, and reassemble. You should notice an immediate improvement.

Your faucet's cartridge is stuck.

If cleaning the aerator doesn't fix the problem, you may be dealing with this common cartridge issue. The cartridge--located inside of the faucet handle--controls the flow of water through the faucet. When clogged up with sediment, the cartridge often isn't able to open up all the way--meaning your pressure will be noticeably low.

Here's how to check whether this is the cause of your problem. After turning off the water to your sink, gently pry up the decorative cap covering the handle of your faucet. Underneath you should see the head of a screw. Unscrew this and set it aside in a safe place.

Now you can remove the handle of the faucet, thus exposing a retaining nut that you now must remove using a wrench. This will expose the cartridge, locked in place by a special retaining clip. Removing this will allow you to lift the cartridge free.

Thoroughly clean your cartridge and inspect it for signs of wear. If you notice any corrosion or excessive scratching, consider spending a few dollars for a new cartridge. Then simply put the faucet back together in the reverse order. Chances are your pressure will be back where you want it!

If you have other pressure or faucet function questions, visit these guys for more information.