How To Change Water Pressure In The Sink

How To Change Water Pressure In The Sink

Water pressure is a major aspect of many daily tasks – washing dishes, taking a shower, washing our hands, etc. When the water pressure is too low, taking a shower might not be as lovely as it could be, and washing dishes or rinsing your hands might take more scrubbing. 

When the water pressure is too high, it can cause all sorts of issues, like pinhole leaks in your plumbing and a shortened lifespan for your water heater, washing machine, and dishwasher. So, it’s essential to find the perfect balance. 

Why Is The Water Pressure In My Sink High?

The water pressure in your sink might be too high. If the water pressure is too high, it might be too high all over your home. To correct the issue, you’ll probably need a water pressure regulator. However, this isn’t usually a project that homeowners are comfortable with, so it might be best to call a plumber, as it can be an advanced project. 

Alternatively, if the water pressure is too intense for your sink, you can reduce the water pressure by rotating the shut-off valves beneath the sink. Turn the valves clockwise a quarter turn to lower the pressure. Make sure you do the same amount on both sides. 

If you notice high water pressure in your home, it’s best to check the PSI and ensure it isn’t too high, as this can cause all sorts of issues. You can buy a pressure gauge from most home improvement stores for less than $20. 

Simply attach the gauge to any male threaded faucet in your home, like your laundry tub, hose bib, or water heater drain. Turn on the water and check the reading. The ideal reading is usually between 40 and 60 PSI. If it measures over 80 PSI, you need to lower the pressure. 

Why Is The Water Pressure In My Sink Low?

Low water pressure is a common issue, likely more common than high water pressure issues. 

Clogged aerators or cartridges are the most common culprits of low water pressure in your sink. The aerator is the little screen at the end of the spout that incorporates air into the water as it comes out of the fixture. The cartridge is inside the faucet itself, so accessing it is a bit more complex.

You’ll need to clean the aerator to remove mineral deposits or clean/replace the cartridge. The fix is something most homeowners can handle independently without an issue. 

How Do I Increase The Water Pressure in My Bathroom Sink?

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The process of increasing the water pressure in your bathroom sink is simple. It’s similar to increasing the water pressure in your kitchen sink, although the specific instructions vary slightly due to the difference in faucet style. 

Here’s what you may need:

  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Old toothbrush
  • Philips screwdriver
  • Replacement cartridge
  • Silicone plumber’s grease

Clean The Aerator

If you have hard water in your home, mineral deposits can build up behind the aerator after a while. Once they accumulate, they can restrict the water flow, making the water pressure seem faulty. So, this is a great place to start navigating the issue.

Many bathroom faucets (and some kitchen faucets) feature a threaded aerator. To remove these aerators, you simply need to unthread them. Once you remove it, soak it in vinegar for a few hours, preferably overnight. Then, scrub the residual deposits away with an old toothbrush and rinse it with clean water. 

Clogged Aerator

Or, you might have a recessed aerator, which hides just inside the spout. To remove these ones, you usually need a unique key, which comes with the faucet when you buy it. Insert the tool into the tap, then unthread the aerator. Follow the same cleaning steps.

Alternatively, if you have a pull-down or pull-out kitchen faucet, you might not be able to remove the aerator. So, soak the entire spray head in vinegar. An easy way to do this is by filling a gallon-sized bag with enough vinegar to submerge the spray head. Tie the bag around the spray head and allow it to sit for a few hours or overnight. 

You can also remove the entire spray head from the tube and soak it in vinegar. If you choose to do this, ensure you secure the spray hose with a clip so it doesn’t retract down the faucet. 

While you have the spray head or aerator off, check the water flow. If the water pressure improves, then the aerator is the issue. If not, it might be the cartridge. 

Note: If the water pressure issue seems isolated to the hot water side and the cold water side is fine, there might be sediment in the water heater. A licensed professional plumber can flush the system for you and correct the problem. 

Check The Cartridge

The next option is to check the cartridge. There might be mineral deposits and debris, causing a lower water pressure. If this is the case, you might have to replace the entire cartridge. While you have the faucet apart, check the O-ring seals for damage and wear. Replace them as necessary. 

The process for removing the cartridge depends on the type of faucet you have. 

Check The Supply Line

If the aerator and cartridge look fine, the supply line might be the culprit. You’ll have to turn off the water supply, then disconnect the lines from the faucet. Then, turn the water back on, one side at a time, directing the lines into a bucked. If the water comes out fine, then the problem is likely within the faucet. 

If no water or very little water comes out of the supply line, it’s time to call a licensed plumber to navigate the issue. 

Check With The Water Company

In some cases, low water pressure might plague more than just you. If the problem is widespread across your entire home, check with your neighbors if they’re experiencing the same thing. If so, there might be a problem with the local water supply.

Things like maintenance can cause low water pressure and supply issues, so call your water company to see if something is going on. There might be a problem that they’re unaware of, so it doesn’t hurt to call.