How to Repair Low Pressure in a Kitchen Faucet

Low water pressure in the kitchen faucet is traceable to a number of causes. While the search is centered on the kitchen faucet it is necessary to investigate in a number of different places to find the reason for the low pressure.

Faucet with low pressure

Low pressure that develops over a period of time could be caused by mineral scaling on the aerator screen. Pressure that drops suddenly could be the result of sediment breaking off from the city water line and becoming lodged in the faucet body. Generally, low pressure problems are not difficult or expensive to repair.

  1. Check the pressure reducing valve on the homeowner side of the water meter to be certain it is set between 50 to 60 pounds per square inch. A pressure gauge can be purchased from the hardware store or a plumber can be called to verify the adjustment is correct on the regulator.

  2. Remove the aerator from the faucet spout by using a pair of channel-lock pliers to grasp its ridged edge and turn it counter-clockwise to start it turning and then use fingers to finish removing it.

  3. Inspect the aerator screen to determine if it is clogged with foreign matter or scaled over with sediment. Repair the problem by scrubbing it thoroughly with a toothbrush after soaking for two hours in warm white vinegar. If aerator will not come clean replace it with exact same type which is available at the hardware store.

  4. Check the main water supply valve, located next to the water meter where the water pipes enter the house to see if it is turned on all the way. The handle of the valve should be in line with the pipe to which it is attached. To repair the problem use a specialized long-handled wrench with a U-shaped tip at one end, available at the hardware store, to turn the main water supply valve all the way on.

  5. To repair a blocked water flow causing low pressure begin by taking the faucet apart; a) Turn off the water valves under the sink that supply the kitchen faucet. b) Lever off the metal cap on top of one of the handles, remove the screw located underneath it and lift the handle off. c) Remove the metal cover located under the handle, unscrew the exposed packing nut and lift out the stem. d) Repeat the process on the other handle.

  6. Rinse the faucet parts thoroughly at a different sink to remove any particulate matter. While the faucet is dis-assembled place a bucket or container over the faucet opening to direct the water flow back into the sink and turn on the water for two minutes to clear the lines of any debris.

  7. Check the washer at the bottom of each of the stems to be certain it is not broken or worn. Replace it by unscrewing the brass screw that is holding the washer in place and replacing it with the same type. Reassemble the faucets and turn the water valves all the way open to determine if the low pressure problem is resolved.

  8. If the house has just been moved into and all other possibilities have been exhausted contact the city water company to determine if the low pressure is due to the house being at the end of the system or for another reason not related to the faucet.

  9. Tip

    Allocate three hours to complete this exercise. Take all parts that will need replacement to the hardware store so the correct replacement parts can be purchased.


    Don't force the dis-assembly or assembly of parts, use penetrating oil and gentle pressure while working on the faucet.