Low water pressure in the bathroom sink is when the water from your faucet or showerhead doesn’t spout out at the volume or speed it should.
Common signs include water trickling out from your faucet, or drizzling out from your shower head.
It’s a common problem but can be very annoying, especially if you’re in a hurry. If immediate attention is not given, low water pressure in the bathroom sink can end up affecting the quality of life at home. This is because a simple bath or showering will suddenly become a long frustrating task.
Low water pressure in the bathroom sink is an issue that can be easily fixed with a few adjustments.
However, until you understand the possible causes, you may not be able to fix the issue. Fortunately for you, this post explains the several possible reasons for low water pressure in the bathroom sink as well as the solutions for each issue. Read on.
N/B: We assume that you’ve checked the rest of the house and water is running from plumbing fixtures at full pressure. The water pressure is only low in the bathroom sink. We have a separate guide on troubleshooting the low water pressure issue in the whole house if that’s the case.
Reasons Behind Low Water Pressure in Bathroom Sink (With Solutions)
There are a couple of common issues and some rare problems that can cause low pressure in the bathroom faucet. We’ll go through each of them to fix it for good and improve water flow in the bathroom.
1. Clogged Faucet Aerator
The faucet aerator is usually connected to the end of the sprout. It has a mesh that regulates and aerates the flow of water.
The mesh also acts as a filter to trap debris. Sometimes, the mesh can accumulate debris, dirt, tape, or minerals and become clogged up.
As the mesh clogs up, it affects the flow of water. This will subsequently reduce the water pressure from the bathroom faucet.
Fixing a clogged faucet aerator is very simple and easy – clean the aerator.
Remove the faucet aerator, remove the clogs from the mesh using a brush or a soft cloth, rinse the aerator thoroughly under the water, and replace the aerator.
If the problem persists, the faucet aerator is possibly cracked or damaged and needs a replacement.
2. Water Flow Restrictor
Perhaps, there is a water flow restrictor in place and you don’t know. A water flow restrictor is usually a white plastic disc with only small openings.
Just as its name depicts, it restricts the flow of water. If it’s in place in your bathroom faucet, it can lower the water pressure, especially if the openings are too small. Being small openings, they can also get clogged partially or completely, lowering the water pressure even further.
If you’re experiencing a low water pressure in your bathroom sink, you may need to check if a flow restrictor is in place in the faucet.
Remove the water flow restrictor.
The water flow restrictor is usually found above the faucet aerator mesh. Simply loosen the faucet aerator, remove the restrictor, and replace the aerator.
If you don’t wish to remove the restrictor, you can expand the openings using a screwdriver or any suitable tool. Make sure that you clean the flow restrictor before replacing it.
3. Leaking Water Pipe
Leaking water pipes is another common reason for low water pressure in bathroom sinks. This is a technical issue and maybe beyond your skills to fix it.
If the water pipe is leaking, the water pressure will be reduced in the sink as pressure is lost through the leakage.
Call an expert to fix or replace the pipe.
Carefully check for any crack or leakage along the water pipe. It’s possible that you notice water seeping out of the leaking pipe.
Sometimes, it can be challenging to detect the leakage. Once you’ve ascertained that the reason for the low water pressure is a leaking pipe, contact a professional to fix it as soon as possible.
4. Faulty Faucet
If the bathroom faucet is faulty, you may experience low water pressure in your bathroom sink. Common problems with a bathroom faucet are loose or bad handles and faulty cartridges.
The handle or cartridge may malfunction, resulting in low water pressure, because they are old or damaged.
Fix or replace the broken or damaged part (though it’s better to replace the whole faucet).
Take apart your bathroom faucet to remove the handle and cartridge. Check whether the handle or the cartridge is faulty and fix them if you can.
However, it’s advisable to replace the faulty handle or cartridge with a new one because a dismantled handle or cartridge may no longer work well. If you can’t fix them, call a professional plumber.
5. Partially Closed Shut-Off Valve
Sometimes, the reason for the low water pressure may be as flimsy as a partially closed shut-off valve. A shut-off valve is usually located below the bathroom sink to regulate the flow of water.
It should be completely opened for water to spout out at the normal volume and speed it should.
However, if the valve is partially closed for any reason, the flow of water will be affected. This will subsequently lead to low water pressure in your bathroom sink.
Open the shut-off valve completely.
Perhaps, the shutoff valve was partially closed by a falling object or you didn’t turn it open properly after the last maintenance. Simply turn it counterclockwise and see the difference in the water pressure.
6. Clogged Water Supply Pipe
The major reason for a clogged water supply pipe is debris and mineral buildup. Just as the aerator can be clogged with debris and minerals, the water supply pipe can also be clogged up.
When the accumulation of debris and minerals clogs your water supply pipe, you will experience low water pressure in the bathroom sink.
This is usually a common issue with new buildings or homes with a hard water supply. Luckily, this problem has a simple fix.
Clean the water supply pipe.
Depending on the type and amount of clog, flushing the water supply pipe in the opposite direction may be enough to resolve the low water pressure issue.
Turn off the shut-off valve to stop water inflow. Turn on the faucet to drain the water supply pipe. Remove the water supply pipe with the necessary tools and flush it with water.
However, if this doesn’t work then you need to clean out the buildups responsible for the problem.
Dip the removed water supply pipe in a bucket filled with a solution of equal parts of vinegar and water. Make sure that the solution gets into the pipe.
Leave the pipe in the solution for some hours before rinsing. Reattach the water supply pipe and test it. If the clog is so much that this method doesn’t resolve the problem, then replace the water supply pipe.
6. Check the Hot Water Heater
If the low pressure is from the hot water faucet and you’re certain that nothing is wrong with the faucet, supply line, and shut-off valve, then you need to check the hot water heater. This can be the source of the low water pressure issue.
Check and troubleshoot the hot water heater.
This is more of a technical solution and may require the service of an expert. Foremost, check around the hot water heater for leakages. Leakage may be the reason for the low water pressure.
Secondly, the low pressure may be a result of old age. If you’ve been using the water heater for a long period, it may start to break down or malfunction.
This may contribute to the low water pressure. In this case, you need to remove and replace the heater.
7. Aging Water Pipes or Plumbing Fixtures
Another likely reason for low water pressure in the bathroom sink is aging pipes or plumbing fixtures. Water pipes, tanks, and plumbing fixtures, especially those made of metal, don’t last forever.
They tend to rust over time, crack, or lose their potency. Old pipes and fixtures may also build up elements, minerals, bacteria, and debris that may affect the normal water pressure.
Replace old pipes and plumbing fixtures.
The best solution to this problem is to replace all aging and damaged pipes and plumbing fixtures with new and genuine ones. Make sure that the entire duct system is properly cleaned up before installing new pipes and fixtures.
8. Running Too Many Appliances at The Same Time
Finally, you may be experiencing low water pressure in the bathroom sink because there are too many appliances running at the same time. For instance, when you have appliances like a washing machine, dishwasher, sprayer, and other appliances that use water operating simultaneously, water pressure for your bathroom sink may be reduced.
Avoid running too many appliances simultaneously
There is no harm in having multiple appliances that use water at home. But once you find out that running multiple appliances at once affects the water pressure in your bathroom sink, try as much as possible to avoid running them at once.
Tips to Prevent Low Water Pressure in Bathroom Sink
If you ever experienced low water pressure in your bathroom sink, it may be due to any of the reasons explained above. Luckily, the possible solutions are also explained above.
However, the following tips can help you to prevent low water pressure in your bathroom sink – after all, prevention is better than cure.
- When not in use, always close the water supply valve. Open the faucet to drain out excess water and release pressure before closing it.
- Always check water pipe connections. For any reason, pipe connections may become loose over time, leading to a loss of water pressure.
- Always check the shut-off valves to ensure that they are fully opened.
- Carry out a routine check on the aerator screen, drain stopper, and water flow restrictor, to prevent any debris or mineral buildup.
- Carry out a routine check on other faucet parts for worn-out or rust parts. Replace any rust or worn-out part as soon as possible.
- Once in a while, even if there is no sign of low water pressure, call on a professional plumber to carry out a general check on the entire water duct and plumbing fixtures in your home.
As discussed above, low water pressure in the bathroom sink can be caused by several different factors. Luckily, there are possible DIY solutions to all of these factors.
If you’re experiencing low water pressure in your bathroom sink, simply follow the solutions given above.
However, note that this post is only informational. Sometimes, it can be a bit overwhelming to try and fix intricate plumbing issues. If the cause of the low water pressure is beyond what you can handle, you should seek a professional plumber to do the job for you.