Just because a faucet in your home has low water pressure it doesn’t mean you’ll have to call a plumber to fix it. There are a couple of things that you can check to resolve the issue on your own!
Angle Stops are in the “On” Position
A common cause of reduced pressure for kitchen and bathroom faucets is the restricted flow from angle stops being partially closed. This is one of those things that no one knows who did it– like the person who drank the last bit of milk and won’t fess up. Angle stops are the shut off valves that you’ll find under your sinks and behind the toilet. If these valves aren’t completely in the on position, then water volume is reduced to your faucet, ultimately reducing the volume and pressure coming out of your faucet. Make sure these valves are in the “on” position. If the valve handle just spins, or won’t move at all, it is time to give us a call to replace it. These valves leaking happens to be one of the leading causes of floods in Phoenix.
Check Your Water Supply Lines for Kinks
Another cause of reduced pressure on faucets are kinked supply lines under your sink. Sometimes supply lines get kinked and reduce water flow to the faucet, usually by items being moved around under the sink. This is usually a simple fix if the supply line is in good condition. Check your supply lines for kinks and straighten the supply line back out if you find a kink in the line. This is also a great time to check under your sink for leaks. A clean paper towel gently placed on the plumbing under your sink can easily alert you of any leaks that you may not have noticed before. If the paper towel comes back wet, then it is time to have that leak looked at before it becomes an emergency.
Cleaning Your Aerator
One of the most common causes of low pressure to a kitchen or bathroom sink faucet is debris or mineral buildup in the aerator. The aerator is the tiny screen that you see at the end of your faucet. This little mesh screen aerates your water as it exits your faucet, giving it that unique from-a-faucet pour. If you have hard water in your home, then your aerator is very likely the cause of your low water pressure issue. While we recommend preventing the issue by softening the water in your home, the solution to the symptom of hard water buildup in your faucet is a simple one you can do on your own.
The easiest way to clean mineral buildup from your aerators is to grab some plain white vinegar, a rubber band, and a sandwich bag. Place the rubber band around the top of your bag before filling– this will make it easier to put around your faucet once the sandwich bag is full. Make a 1:1 mixture of white vinegar and water placing the mixture inside the sandwich bag. The next step is to put the spout of your faucet into the sandwich bag and hold it in place with the rubber band. Make sure the aerator is completely immersed in the vinegar mixture. Allow the aerator to soak for ten minutes, then remove the sandwich bag. Turn on your faucet to rinse out the vinegar and test your results.
Removing Debris From Your Aerator
If soaking your aerator in the vinegar mixture didn’t quite get the job done, it could be that you have debris in your aerator that needs to be removed. Keep in mind before you remove your aerator, some faucet models require a specialized tool to remove it, so if your aerator doesn’t remove easily, don’t force it– you will break it.
Many faucet manufacturers have made aerators easily removable; these faucets usually have an obvious seem at the end of the spout. Do not just take a wrench or a pair of pliers to this and start twisting– you will scratch the finish of your faucet. The proper tool is a crescent wrench or a mini strap wrench. These tools have a flat, smooth surface that shouldn’t scratch anything.
Once the aerator has been removed check the inside for debris, this could be hard mineral deposits that have turned into rocks or other debris that is in your line. This debris is usually easily removed with an old toothbrush or paintbrush. Once the aerator has been cleaned of debris, screw the aerator back on and test your faucet for adequate pressure.