The performance of our water faucets is something we tend to take for granted.
For the most part, our faucets put out a strong, regular stream of water each and every time we put them to use.
Still, it can be concerning if that stream of water becomes inconsistent.
Lower water pressure from a faucet is a common issue, but it is far from serious.
This article will present six easy to follow steps that will help you locate and fix the cause of your faucet’s low water pressure.
Step 1: Turn off water supply to the sink
Any time you perform maintenance on a faucet, a pipe or any other plumbing element, the first thing to do is to turn off the water. ALWAYS.
To do this, look for the two water valves that control the water supply. These are almost always located under the sink.
Since these valves should be fully turned on, there will only be one direction to turn them in – clockwise.
Turn both valves clockwise until they are tightly closed.
Step 2: Determine the problem
While this article is primarily focused on the issue of low water pressure, there are occasions when high water pressure is the issue.
In the case of water pressure that is too high, check the faucet to see if an aerator is in place.
The most common cause of high pressure is the absence of an aerator, which helps to reduce water pressure by mixing air into the water.
The aerator is a simple metal screen that screws into the faucet at the point of water flow.
If it is not there, then you need to install one.
Alternatively, if the water pressure is too low, then the most common cause is that the aerator is clogged.
Calcium deposits and other things can get into the aerator, blocking the regular water flow.
In this case, you will simply need to remove the aerator, clean it, and replace it.
Step 3: Close and cover the drain
Before you begin to remove any parts from your faucet, always make sure that they won’t simply fall down the drain.
Place a stopper in the drain, or close it in the case of a bathroom sink.
It is also recommended that you place a towel over the drain as well to further insure against any mishaps.
Step 4: Remove the aerator
You will need a cloth and a pair of pliers to perform this task.
First, place the cloth over the faucet to protect it from the pliers.
Without a cloth, the pliers can cause severe scratching to the faucet should they slip.
Next, place the pliers on the aerator – as it should protrude slightly from the faucet, and unscrew in a clockwise motion.
Step 5: Clean the aerator
For the most part, an old toothbrush and some soapy water will be all you need for this task.
Simply scrub any residue from the aerator, making sure that all the holes are clean and clear.
Should this not be enough, soak the aerator for 10 minutes in a small container of vinegar.
This will loosen any calcium deposits that regular scrubbing won’t remove.
After soaking, scrub the aerator with a toothbrush and rinse off.
Step 6: Replace the aerator
Replace the aerator by screwing it back into the faucet.
You can begin doing this by hand, but be sure to tighten with pliers at the end.
A loose aerator can fall off, causing further problems.
Once replaced, turn the water valves back on to restore the water supply to your sink.
All in all, this task is a very simple and safe one to perform.
It won’t take more than about 20 minutes under any circumstances.
If the problem is still not fully resolved, then it may be time to replace the aerator altogether.
Any hardware store will have them on hand.
Ordinarily, however, this process should be all you need to restore normal water pressure to any faucet in your home.