Low water flow from a faucet is a frustrating issue. If the water main below the affected sink is fully turned on, then the issue lies elsewhere and troubleshooting is necessary.
Causes of Low Flow
There are three possible causes of poor water flow from your faucet water pressure, mineral scale, and faucet failure. If the water pressure is too low, flow can slow to a trickle. If only a single faucet is having issues, then the problem is likely with the pressure regulator valve on that specific water line. If there is low pressure throughout your home, then either the regulator valve on the water main needs serviced, or there is a pressure issue with the municipal water supply.
Mineral scale can build up inside the faucet stem, eventually clogging it and slowing water flow. Often, this scale buildup greatly affects the aeration screen at the outlet of the faucet so this is one of the first places to look for blockages.
Finally, a failure within the faucet can also lead to reduced flow. This could be a leak caused by a worn gasket, which means less water is making its way up the faucet stem. Damage could also have been done to the inner workings of the main cartridge in the faucet itself.
Problems with water pressure require locating the cause of the failure. Once this is completed, the affected pressure regulator valve can be replaced. If this fails to fix the problem, your plumber may need to inspect for line leaks that could be affecting water pressure. Issues with water pressure from the municipal supply must be reported to your water service, as only they can fix these.
Mineral scale requires a thorough cleaning, using either a scale remover or a mild acid like vinegar. The faucet is dissembled and the aerator screen is removed. For minor scale, you can soak the screen in your cleaner then scrub off the scale. For major scale, you may need to replace the screen. Then, any buildup in the faucet stem must be scrubbed away. In severe cases of hard water, it may make sense to install a water softener so that scale can be prevented.
Low flow from faucet malfunction can be repaired if the problem is with a gasket, seal, or failed cartridge, as these parts are easily replaceable. More in-depth problems with the faucet, such as internal breakage or corrosion, will require the installation of a new faucet.
Contact a plumbing repair service, such as Travers Plumbing & Heating Inc, if you are experiencing low water flow from your faucet.