Is your bathroom sink plagued by low water pressure? Sometimes low water pressure doesn’t make a difference for things like brushing your teeth and washing your hands.
But sometimes it affects the amount of water that even makes it into the sink.
It can be extremely frustrating to use a bathroom sink that doesn’t seem to have a good water flow. But this is also often one of the simplest issues to fix by yourself.
Depending on the cause of the problem, you might be able to rectify the issue without doing any complex plumbing work.
Diagnosing The Source
Before you do anything else, you need to diagnose the source of the low water pressure. More specifically, you need to find out whether the source is in the sink or elsewhere.
How do you do that? It’s fairly simple: you just check the water pressure of other appliances.
Turn on your bathtub faucet. Is there a reasonable flow of water? What about your shower?
Are you seeing the same water pressure that you usually do? If that’s the case, then the issue might be localized to your sink.
But if you do notice a pressure change in the shower, then further investigation is required. Check your kitchen sink.
Are there similar pressure issues to the bathroom one, or is the water flowing unimpeded?
If you find that there’s low water pressure in faucets all over the house, then there’s likely a systemic issue at play. That requires the help of a professional who can look at your plumbing and water tank.
The solution might be simple but time-consuming; for example, it could be that your entire piping system needs a major cleaning.
If you’re noticing water pressure issues in all of your bathroom appliances, but not anywhere else in the house, then the problem is likely localized to your bathroom piping. And if the issue only exists in the sink, then you might have a problem with the faucet itself or the sink-specific plumbing.
For sink-specific issues, we’ve outlined a few of the most common problems, along with tips on how to fix them.
Sometimes low water pressure can be related to a flow restrictor. A flow restrictor is a normal part of a faucet.
It is installed to help regulate the water flow, which allows you to conserve water.
These components are integrated into the faucet itself. They are typically flat plastic discs that have a small hole in them.
Water flows through the hole at a lower rate than it otherwise would. You’ll find the restrictor near the aerator in your faucet.
Flow restrictors aren’t always a bad thing. But they do have the potential to cause problems.
If the hole is too small, there might not be enough water moving through it.
If your water pressure problem is new, there might be an issue with the hole becoming plugged. This will make the water flow even slower than it already did.
Fixing The Issue
Depending on what’s causing the problem with the flow restrictor, there are a few different ways to solve the issue.
One option is to make the hole bigger. This will allow more water to flow through at one time, increasing the water pressure.
It’s an ideal solution if you aren’t dealing with a clog, but you don’t want to remove the restrictor entirely.
Keep widening the hole until you’ve achieved a water flow you’re satisfied with.
If you find that the flow restrictor is plugged by debris, you can clean it. You’ll get to the restrictor the same way, by taking it out of the aerator.
Use a cloth and soapy water to remove grime and dirt. In most cases, soap is all you’ll need to get rid of the buildup.
However, you might find that the grit doesn’t seem to be loosening. This can happen when minerals have built up on the restrictor over time.
Minerals tend to be deposited on the interior of your faucet as time goes on, especially if your water supply isn’t the purest.
If you’re dealing with a buildup of minerals, then you can keep the flow restrictor in a cup of vinegar overnight. This will dissolve the buildup and unclog the hole.
Then you should put the faucet back together and test the water flow.
A final solution is to take the flow restrictor off. This is not ideal if you can avoid it.
Flow restrictors play an important role in conserving water, and you might end up increasing your monthly water bills.
If your flow restrictor is clogged or damaged in a way that you can’t fix, you might consider removing it until you can get a replacement. But a replacement is important if you want to conserve your water usage.
Sometimes the water pressure issue is related to the faucet aerator. While the flow restrictor can be found inside the aerator, the aerator itself serves a different purpose.
If the pressure is still low, you might be dealing with built-up mineral deposits. Soak your aerator in a vinegar solution overnight. You can soak the flow restrictor, too, for good measure.
Screw the aerator back on and test the water pressure again.
If you complete all these steps and still don’t see an improvement, you might need to replace your aerator. The aerator can wear out and become corroded over time.
You’ll likely be able to find a replacement online or at your local hardware store.
Shut Off Valves
If the problem isn’t with your aerator or flow restrictor, then it might be with the shut off valves. Rather than being a part of the faucet, these valves are found under the sink.
Sometimes the valves aren’t opened enough after being closed for the winter or closed for maintenance.
It’s also possible that something under the sink accidentally pressed against one of the taps and closed the valve. If you have a ton of cleaning supplies and other items stored down there, it’s even more likely.
Fixing The Issue
This is an extremely simple fix. In order to have ideal water pressure, the sink valves need to be fully open.
Otherwise, the flow of water through the pipes will be restricted.
So you simply need to remove the items from under your sink until you can easily access the taps. Then be sure that your hot and cold water taps have been opened all the way.
Try closing and opening the valves, then check your water pressure.
Most sinks have valve taps that rotate. Turn them counterclockwise to open the valve, clockwise to close it.
Water Supply Lines
Sometimes the issue is related to a clogged water supply line. The water supply line is susceptible to dirt and corrosion, just like the aerator.
It’s most common to see this problem in newer houses, since debris from construction might accidentally end up in the pipes.
Similarly, you might have this problem if you’ve just done a major remodel with open plumbing.
Another common reason for this is because of hard water deposits over time. Hard water is mineral-rich water.
While there’s nothing inherently wrong with it, it can cause damage to your pipes, especially in older houses.
Fixing The Issue
To fix the issue, you’ll need to flush the lines. Follow these steps:
Close the valves under the sink.
Turn on your hot and cold faucets.
Wait until the water runs dry, then use a wrench to unscrew the supply lines under the faucets.
Put the ends of the lines in a bucket below the sink.
Turn each valve on and have the water flow for around ten seconds into your bucket.
Screw the supply lines back on, turn the valves on, and check your water pressure.
If you’re dealing with low water pressure in your sink, there are easy DIY solutions. The right solution will depend on the source of the problem.
If you’ve tried all of these solutions, or you’ve found low pressure in multiple appliances throughout your household, then you’ll want to get in contact with a plumber.