Face it, nobody likes having to do the dishes. But when the water pressure coming out of your kitchen faucet is next to nil, this undesirable chore gets even worse. If you have a faucet whose pressure just doesn't seem up to par, read on. This article will teach you to how to two of the most common problems that cause low pressure.   

Clogged Aerator

Most faucets today come with a screw-on aerator at their tip. This assemblage, which consists of things like flow restrictors and fine mesh screens, provides a number of benefits. These include:

  • minimizing splashing
  • reducing water usage
  • improving the pressure

Yet over time, aerators may also contribute to poor water pressure. This happens when sediment builds up against the mesh screen, thus blocking the flow of water. Luckily, this problem doesn't take much time or effort to address.

All you have to do is unscrew the aerator from the tip of the faucet using a pair of pliers. Before doing this, it's a good idea to wrap either the aerator or the pliers with a protective substance, such as tape or rubber. This will prevent scratches the pliers would otherwise cause.

Once you've got the aerator off, carefully disassemble it. Keep track of the order the various parts come out, so that you can get it back together again. Remove any dirt or debris from the screen and then reassemble and reattach the aerator. Chances are your faucet will now be back up to pressure.

Stuck Cartridge

If your pressure still seems low after cleaning the aerator, there's a good chance the problem has to do with the cartridge. This moving component is responsible for opening up the flow of water when you turn on the faucet. However, when sediment builds up in the faucet head, it can affect the pressure by causing the cartridge to become stuck.

To inspect your cartridge, begin by turning off the shutoff valves located under the sink. Then remove the decorative cap from your faucet handle. This should reveal a recessed retaining screw, which you will then unscrew using the appropriate type of screwdriver (or, in some cases, hex wrench).

Now you should be able to lift away the handle, revealing the retaining nut. This can be removed by unscrewing it using an adjustable wrench. Once you've removed the nut, simply pull out the U-shaped retaining clip from the side. This will grant you lift up and remove the cartridge.

Clean the cartridge thoroughly at another sink. If you notice that it is excessively scratched or corroded, it's probably a wise idea to replace it. The faucet may then be reassembled in the reverse order: clip, nut, screw, and decorative cap. Congratulations, your faucet should now be working good as new! 

For further assistance, contact a local plumber, such as one from Angeles Plumbing.