Understanding flow rates is an essential part of solving many problems associated with poor efficiency in your home, the lack of water pressure, high water bills, etc. Although the flow rate is a critical part of every water fixture in your home, it is especially important for your kitchen sink faucet.
The kitchen in many homes is a hub of activity – cooking, cleaning, prep work, etc. To complete most of these tasks, you need water. So, this is where a reasonable flow rate comes in. If the flow rate is too low, filling sinks and cleaning buckets will take a while. However, there’s much more to this topic than slow water fill rates, so stick around to learn more.
Terms To Know
Before we get started, let’s look at a few of the significant acronyms and terms we’ll use throughout this article. If you’re not familiar with these terms, the definitions will be a helpful tool as we move through the information. Here is what you need to know:
- GPM: gallons per minute (this measures water flow rate in units)
- PSI: pounds per square inch (this measures water pressure in units)
- Aerator: a device that restricts the flow rate on a faucet or showerhead and incorporates air
What Is The Best Flow Rate For A Kitchen Faucet?
The flow rate of a faucet is exactly what the name implies: it measures the rate of water flowing from the tap. As you browse for a new kitchen or bathroom faucet, you’ll probably notice a number followed by GPM in that faucet’s specs. This information tells you the faucet’s flow rate.
For a kitchen faucet, the best flow rate is typically between 1.0 and 2.0 GPM. Of course, the best flow rate for your home depends on your individual needs. Some folk find that 1.0 GPM is enough for their needs, while other homes require a higher flow rate that creeps up on the maximum.
What Is The Average Flow Rate Of A Kitchen Tap?
The average flow rate of most kitchen taps ranges between 1.0 and 1.5 GPM. The Federal Standards restrict the maximum flow rate allocated for kitchen faucets to 2.2 GPM. in certain states, such as Georgia and California, flow rates are further limited.
California’s current flow rate restrictions have dropped over the years, finally reaching a maximum flow rate of 1.8 GPM. California’s restrictions vary from one type of faucet to the next, as bathroom faucets cannot exceed 1.2 GPM.
Many kitchen faucets fall considerably below the maximum number, with the most common options being 0.08, 1.0, 1.2, and 1.5 GPM.
Is A 1.5 GPM Kitchen Faucet Enough?
For most homes, a 1.5 GPM kitchen faucet is perfectly fine. Many people confuse water pressure with the flow rate, so with that in mind, consider it this way. The flow rate allows plenty of “pressure” without consuming the same amount of water as a 2.2 GPM faucet.
Kitchen faucets with flow rates between 0.08 and 1.5 GPM don’t have a noticeable reduction in “water pressure,” so any option may be suitable for your home. If you find that a 1.0 GPM faucet does the trick, installing this instead of a 1.5 or 2.2 GPM faucet can help reduce your water bill to a more approachable number.
The number of gallons per minute between a 1.2 and 1.5 GPM faucet is fairly minor, so most people don’t notice the difference. Instead of 1.2 gallons of water per minute, you’d get 1.5, and vice versa.
How To Measure Kitchen Faucet Flow Rate
If you have a kitchen faucet with an unknown flow rate, you can easily measure it with just a few materials. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Container large enough to hold a gallon of water
- A measuring cup
Start by placing the container under the faucet. Make sure it’s firmly in place and won’t tip over while filling. With your stopwatch ready, open the tap and start the stopwatch at the same time.
Make sure you open the faucet and turn on the stopwatch simultaneously, as any variation can skew your results. If you’re measuring the maximum flow rate, you need to open the faucet fully. This includes both handles if your faucet has hot and cold knobs. You may need an extra hand to open both handles and start the stopwatch simultaneously.
Allow the faucet to run for ten seconds. Turn off the tap and the stopwatch at the same time. Once both are off, use your measuring cups to measure the water collected in the container.
Convert the measured amount of water to gallons, then multiply the value by six. This gives you the faucet’s GPM.
Can I Reduce The Flow Rate Of My Faucet?
Certainly, you can reduce the flow rate of your kitchen faucet. If the flow rate is too high for what you need and you end up wasting excess water, there are a few ways you can reduce the flow rate.
You can buy flow restrictors to add to your kitchen sink faucet. An aerator is a great way to restrict the water flow, thus lowering the flow rate. Aerators are available in varying sizes to meet your specific needs. Most modern faucets feature an aerator to regulate water flow and add air to the water.
Of course, you could buy a new faucet altogether. If you have an older faucet, there’s a good chance it has a higher flow rate. Restricting the flow rate or buying a new faucet with a lower flow rate can help cut back on water bills by conserving water. It’s a win-win all around: you save water, which in turn is better for the planet and easy on your water bill.