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What Causes Low Hot Water Pressure in The Kitchen?

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The kitchen is the heart of the home, and having a reliable hot water stream is essential, especially if you have a young family or messy pets!

Low water pressure is one of the most common issues reported by homeowners, and this can be a major annoyance, affecting your ability to clean, rinse, and carry out essential day to day tasks.

So just what is the cause of low hot water pressure in your kitchen? We put your question to the test, and offer a complete guide!

What Causes Low Water Pressure In The Kitchen Sink?

There are a number of potential culprits to consider when it comes to your water, and these can include:

A clogged faucet or sprayer

This is one of the most common culprits if you are experiencing low hot water pressure, but it is easy to identify and work out the best solution.

The issue is usually with the sink, so start by turning on the faucet to run the water. Watch to see if any leaks appear – these tend to be in the join between the sink and hose, or from the hose itself.

The next stage is to turn off both the faucet and the hot water supply valve and take the sprayer apart.

Check the condition of the diverter, which directs your hot water from faucet to sprayer – this should be intact, in good condition, and free from build-up. If you do notice any debris, soak the diverter in a cup of vinegar and water overnight.

You should also remove the spray head to check whether the aerator is blocked with sediment or debris – another common cause. The final check is the hose; again, this should be free from blockages.

If you do notice any build-ups, soak both in vinegar overnight, and flush through with water before reassembling.

This is also a good idea to check for cracks or damage, or even built-up sediment, which will indicate that the valve or part needs to be replaced.

Issues with the pressure regulator

Another common cause of low pressure in hot water is a faulty pressure regulator.

This is located beneath the front hose connection of your home and will be pre-set by the manufacturer. If this is broken or damaged, the main priority us to call out a professional plumber who can replace the necessary elements in no time and get your water back to its best.

Issues with pipelines

In some cases, problems with low water pressure in your kitchen faucet can be caused by an inadequate water supply.

If this is the case, the issue will not be isolated to your kitchen, but seen across the home and in both hot and cold faucets; the more taps you have on, the lower the pressure. This is because the distribution of the water reduces the pressure across the whole house.

This job may require the eyes of an expert, and they will start by measuring incoming flow and pressure before the regulator – this is a common cause of low pressure and is easy for a plumber to repair.

Low hot water pressure can also be affected by elevation; it is crucial that the hot water heater or storage tank is situated at a higher level, allowing the water to flow down.

Hot water pressure can also be affected if the pipeline is damaged and requires a thorough clean; it may be blocked by sediment, leaking from a crack, or blocked by a build-up of mineral deposits, and this means water cannot flow through properly.

The latter is particularly common if your pipes are made from galvanized or cast iron, as this caused the metal of the pipes to react with the water, resulting in a build-up of deposits. Homeowners in a hard water area are also more likely to be affected and may need to clean pipes regularly.

Shutoff valve

In some cases, the answer to your question could be simple: the shutoff valve may be closed.

These control the amount of water which can flow through the faucet and can result in a drop in water pressure if they are not turned off all the way. Make sure the handles of the shut-off valve are turned all the way to the right, then recheck your pressure by running the hot and cold water to compare.

Consider recent works

If the issue with pressure is a recent one, consider whether or not you have recently added any extra water outlets into your home; if there is increased demand, the pressure may have dropped. If this is the case, it could be a big job which involves increasing the size of your main water pipe.

Check the pressure

Low hot water pressure may also be caused by a problem with the pressure reducing valve. This bell-shaped device controls the hot water pressure of the municipal water into the home and will be situated on the waterline.

Hot water pressure can be increased by making sure the screw at the top of the valve is loose – turn this counterclockwise. When you have tried this, rerun the hot water to check whether anything has changed.

In some cases, the valve may have become worn or damaged by sediment, and so will need replacing.

Keep an eye on the cartridge

As well as the hot water valve, problems can also arise with the cartridge. This cartridge is a feature on most modern faucets, and they contain small holes that can become blocked with sediment and debris. This problem can affect the water pressure and are a common cause of a drop in pressure.

Check the status of the cartridge by turning off the water supply, and running the faucet for a while to ensure that all water has flowed out. Replace the plug and place a bucket under the sink to catch anything unexpected. 

Next, remove the screw cap beneath the faucet, lift the handle and remove the cartridge nut. 

Finally, remove all the pieces in the faucet, take out the cartridge, and wash it under clean running water.

Check for limescale; if this is present, soak the cartridge in vinegar, and then place the cleaned cartridge back into the faucet. Make sure it is totally aligned with the slots in the faucet cavity and recheck the pressure of the hot and cold water.

This job may be one for the experts!

Stay calm under pressure!

Whether it is the hot water heater, the valve, a leak, or a build-up of unwanted substances, the answer to what is causing your low water pressure could be a complex one.

The best place to start your investigation is to consider whether your cold water is being affected in the same way; this can help to identify the source of the problem.

We have worked to outline the most common causes of a drop, and some easy potential solutions to get everything up and running as usual. In some cases, however, the best course of action can be to call in the experts; pressure can be a tricky area, and it is easy to get it wrong.

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