low water pressure in bathroom sink

8 Causes And Fixes For Low Water Pressure In Bathroom Sink

If the water pressure is low in your bathroom sink, there could be various reasons for it. For example, a clogged faucet aerator, clogged faucet cartridge, blocked flow restrictor, plugged water supply lines, and many other things can be the cause. But don’t worry.

We have got you covered. In this article, we will discuss 8 reasons for low water pressure in bathroom sink and their solutions.

Table of Contents

Low Water Pressure In Bathroom Sink – Check The Water Supply

If you are experiencing breezy water pressure or very low hot and cold water flow from your bathroom sink, then the water pressure might be low in the rest of the house.

So, the first thing you should do is check the water pressure in other faucets in your kitchen and bathroom. If all the other faucets are working fine, then the problem is with your bathroom sink only.

If the other areas of your house have decreased faucet water pressure as well, then there might be an issue with your water supply lines, or it might be due to a water leak. The problem may be with your water supply or an issue with your household water pressure and plumbing.

So, before checking anything else, ensure there’s no problem with your water supply. Once you are sure that the issue is with your bathroom sink only, then worry not! We have got you some solid solutions.

8 Reasons For Low Water Pressure In Bathroom Sink And Their Solutions

If you have found that the low water pressure in a bathroom sink is not because of a general problem with your home’s water supply, then it might be due to one of the following reasons. I have discussed each of these reasons in detail, along with their solutions.

Reason #1: Clogged Faucet Aerator

The aerator is the small screen at the end of your bathroom sink faucet. Water comes through this aerator. If you touch it, you will feel a small mesh. This small mesh breaks the water into smaller droplets and allows water to flow freely by adding air into the water stream.

Clogged Faucet Aerator

Over time, this aerator can get clogged with minerals, rust, or other particles, which can cause low pressure in the water flow. The clogging also results in reduced flow and can make your water stream appear spluttering.

Solution: To clean a clogged aerator, you will need a wrench or slip-joint pliers, an old toothbrush, some vinegar, and duct tape/small towel.

First of all, remove the aerator from the end of your faucet using a wrench or slip-joint pliers. Once you have removed it, clean it using an old toothbrush and vinegar. Soak the aerator in vinegar for some time, then brush it gently. After that, rinse it with clean water, reattach it to the faucet, and test the water pressure.

If your aerator is severely clogged, then you might need to replace it. Fortunately, you can easily find replacement aerators at any hardware store.

Reason #2: Clogged Faucet Cartridge

The cartridge is a small part inside the faucet that controls the flow of water. It may get clogged due to hard water, minerals, and other debris. A clogged faucet cartridge can also restrict flow. Thus, this is a common cause of low water pressure.

Clogged Faucet Cartridge

Solution: To clean a clogged faucet cartridge, you will need a hex wrench, pliers, and vinegar.

First of all, turn off the water supply to your faucet. After that, use a hex wrench to remove the cap and unscrew the retaining nut. Next, use pliers to loosen the retaining nut if it’s too tight. Once you have removed the retaining nut and cap, pull out the cartridge.

To clean it, simply wash it under running water. If the debris is stubborn, soak the cartridge in vinegar and water (in 50:50 proportion) for some time and then brush it gently. Once it’s clean, reassemble the faucet and turn on the water supply. Now, test the faucet water pressure. It must have improved to some good pressure level.

Remember, vinegar also removes the lubrication from the O-rings – you will find this at the end of the faucet cartridge. So, before reassembling the faucet, apply some lubricant to the O-rings. Always use silicone-based grease that is approved for ceramic disks or rubber seals.

Reason #3: Blocked Flow Restrictor

Some faucet aerators are coupled with a flow restrictor. The flow restrictor is a small plastic disc inside the aerator assembly with tiny holes in it. It is there to control the high water pressure and flow, and it saves water.

If your faucet has a flow restrictor, it might be blocked, which might be a reason that your bathroom sink has low water pressure.

Blocked Flow Restrictor

Solution: The solution is similar to the one for a clogged water aerator. To clean a blocked flow restrictor, you will need a wrench or slip-joint pliers, an old toothbrush, some vinegar, and duct tape/small towel.

Unscrew the aerator using a wrench or slip-joint pliers. Once you have removed it, look for the water restrictor. It will be a small plastic disc with tiny holes in it. Gently brush it with an old toothbrush to remove the debris. If the holes are too tiny, then use a needle to clear them.

You can soak it in a 50:50 vinegar solution to loosen the debris. After that, rinse it with clean water and reassemble the faucet.

If the size of the holes in restrictor holes is too small, you use a screwdriver or the tip of a sharp knife to enlarge them. However, doing so will increase the water flow and decrease your faucet’s efficiency. So, only do this as a last resort. Also, take precautions while doing this, as you can hurt yourself.

Reason #4: Plugged Water Supply Lines

It is possible that the water supply may also get plugged, like the aerator or the flow restrictor. And as they bring water to the faucet, it decreases water pressure.

Plugged Water Supply Lines

Solution: To clean plugged water supply lines, try flushing the water supply lines. To do so, you will need to shut off the main water supply, disconnect the supply line from the faucet, and then use a plumbing snake or a wire hanger to clear the clog.

First of all, make sure that the water supply is shut off. After that, use a wrench to disconnect the supply line from the faucet. Once the line is disconnected, use a plumbing snake or a wire hanger to clear the hard water deposits from the line, this will improve the water pressure.

If the debris seems to be difficult to remove and the pressure is still low, then you can use vinegar or CLR (calcium, lime, and rust remover) to dissolve it. Just make sure to follow the instruction on the packaging. Once you have cleared the clog, reassemble the faucet and turn on the main household water shutoff valve.

Reason #5: Partially Opened Shut-Off Valve

Maybe you accidentally left the water shutoff valve partially open, which can also restrict the flow of water and decrease water pressure. On the other hand, maybe the plumber who installed your faucet didn’t open the valve fully. Either way, a partially opened shut-off valve is one of the reasons why the water pressure is reduced in the sink faucet.

Partially Opened Shut Off Valve

Solution: The solution is quite simple; you just need to fully open the shut-off valve. To do that, locate shut-off water valves underneath the sink. It will be a knob that you can turn to the right to open fully.

If the knob is hard to turn, then it might be corroded. In that case, you will need to use a wrench or pliers to turn it. But be careful not to damage the valve. 

You can also use a vinegar-soaked cloth to clean the sink shutoff valve if it is corroded. Leave the cloth on for a few hours before trying to turn the valve again.

If nothing works, then you might need to replace the valve.

Reason #6: Water Leaks

Water leaks are one of the most common causes of reduced water pressure. A leaky faucet or pipe can waste a lot of water, decreasing the water pressure in your home.

Water Leaks

Though a water leak is really easy to locate, in some cases, the leaks are hidden. So, if you suspect that there might be a water leak in your home, then you should check for the following signs:

  • A sudden increase in your water bill
  • Water stains on the walls or ceiling
  • The sound of running water when all the taps are turned off
  • A musty smell in your home 

If you find any of these signs, then there is a good chance that you have a water leak.

If the leak is small, you can try fixing it yourself. But if the leak is big, then it is better to leave it to the professionals.

Solution: To fix a small leak, you will need to turn off the water supply, disassemble the broken pipe or faucet, and then replace the broken part.

Make sure you have all the necessary tools and parts before you start. Once you have replaced the broken part, reassemble the pipe or faucet and turn on the water supply. Then turn on the faucet, and check if the water pressure issues are resolved.

Reason #7: Broken Faucet

A broken faucet is another common cause of the low water pressure in the bathroom sink. A single hole in the faucet is enough to decrease water pressure.

Broken Faucet

Old faucets are more likely to break, so if your faucet is quite old, then that might be the reason for the low water pressure.

Solution: The only solution is to replace the faucet. You can either do it yourself or hire a professional.

Remember to choose a faucet that is compatible with your sink and has the same number of holes. Once you have installed the new faucet, turn on the water supply and check the water pressure.

Reason #8: Water Pressure Regulator

The last reason on our list is a water pressure regulator or pressure controller. A water pressure regulator is a device that limits the amount of water flowing into your home.

It is usually installed where the main water supply line enters your home. Water pressure controllers are common in homes with public water supplies.

Water Pressure Regulator

If the water pressure controller is set too low, it can reduce water pressure.

Solution: The solution is to try adjusting the pressure regulator. To do that, you will need a screwdriver.

Locate the water pressure controller and find the adjustment screw. Turn the screw clockwise to increase the water pressure.

If you can’t find the adjustment screw or if turning it doesn’t help, then you should contact a professional.

5 Helpful Tips For Managing Low Water Pressure In The Bathroom Faucet

1. Check The Water Meter For leaks

Most water meters have a leak detector. It can be a rotating disk or a separate dial. You can use this feature to test the water flow rate and thus detect leaks.

If the leak detector is moving, then it means there is a water leak somewhere in your home.

To locate the leak, you will need to turn off all the household water appliances in your home. Now check the water meter on the main shutoff valve to see if the leak detector is still moving. If it is, then the leak is in your home. If not, then the leak is outside of your home.

2. Keep The Faucet Aerator Clean

The mesh-like structure in the faucet aerator is highly prone to get clogged. And a clogged aerator can cause low water pressure in the sink.

So, it is important to clean the aerator regularly. To clean it, you will need to remove it from the faucet and then soak it in vinegar for a few hours.

After that, brush away any debris that plugs into the faucet aerator. And then reattach it to the faucet.

3. Use A Towel When Using Pliers or a Wrench

The aerator or the faucet is often too tight to be removed by hand. In such cases, you will need to use a wrench or pliers.

But before you do that, make sure to wrap a towel around the aerator or the faucet. This will help to prevent any scratches. It also helps to get a better grip so that you don’t slip and hurt yourself.

4. Don’t Use Chemical Drain Cleaners

Chemical drain cleaners are very corrosive and can damage your water pipes. So, it is best to avoid using them.

Instead, you can use a plunger or a plumbing snake to clear the drain. If that doesn’t work, then you can use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar in hot or cold water.

Just pour it down the drain and let it sit for a few hours. After that, flush the drain with hot water.

5. Always Turn Off The Water Supply Before Working On The Faucet

This is the most important tip on the list. Whenever you are working on the faucet, make to close the water supply valves.

Otherwise, you might end up flooding your bathroom. So, before you do anything, locate the shut-off valve and shut the water supply valves by turning clockwise. Doing so will also save so much water.

Once you are done working on the faucet, don’t forget to turn on the water supply.

Low Water Pressure Fix It Yourself Or Get Professional Help?

Fix Yourself Or Get Professional Help

You can definitely try to diagnose and fix the low water pressure problem in your bathroom sink yourself. But if you are not confident or don’t have the time, then it is best to get professional help.

Plumbers are trained to deal with such issues. As a result, they will be able to quickly diagnose the problem and fix it without causing any damage.

So, if you are facing low water pressure in your bathroom sink, then don’t hesitate to get professional help. It will save you time, money, and effort in the long run.

And if you decide to do it yourself, then make sure to follow the tips given in this article. That will help you to fix the problem with water pressure without damaging anything. Good luck!

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