Water Pressure — My Faucet is Totally Low Energy

Whether you are a good chef or not, chances are you will have to clean a dirty plate this year. If you haven’t cleaned a plate yet this year, you should probably put this down and go take care of those dishes.

Really, I can wait. Go ahead.

Whether your plate is dirty from the spaghetti sauce you ate yesterday, or six months ago, you expect water to come out of the faucet and wash away whatever you have created.

When the water comes out in a weak, low energy, embarrassing stream instead of full blast, it can be unexpected. Yes, you probably have a problem. But, unlike the problem of bad cooking, low pressure in a faucet is usually an easy problem to fix.


First, check under the sink for the two shut off valves feeding your sink water. Make sure they are both fully open. However, do not use these valves to change your water pressure the opposite way. They are only intended to be fully on or fully off. The latter for repairs. The former to make sure your faucet is getting all the water it can.

Back in the days of lax federal regulations—and lead paint—faucets were connected at their valves by rubber and plastic washers that created a large pathway for the water to flow.

Today faucets are much more complicated with multilayered flow restriction cartridges which force the water through tiny holes and mix it with air. Unscrewing the aerator and attached cartridge on the end of the faucet and cleaning out any buildup can fix the problem. Those on a well may have more issues along this line, or those with particularly hard water otherwise.

One way to clean hard deposits off a clogged aerator cartridge is to unscrew it from the faucet and leave it overnight in a bowl of warm, white vinegar.

If you try this and your faucet is still running low, the problem could be a little bigger, or could just be your faucet. At this point referring to your faucet’s manual is a good plan. The valve cartridge could be busted, which is ok because they are easy to fix and inexpensive when you know how your own faucet operates.

If you think there’s a much larger issue at work preventing you from cleaning the spaghetti from your plate, call your friends at A-1 Sewer and Drain.