How to Adjust Faucet Water Pressure

A faucet with a water pressure problem can be a major hassle. If the pressure is too low, the faucet may take too long to get the job done. If the pressure is too high, you might be concerned about wasting both water and money. Fortunately, there are some easy steps you can take to learn how to adjust a faucet's water pressure without having an extensive background in plumbing.


  1. Image titled Adjust Faucet Water Pressure Step 1
    Diagnose the problem. Is the faucet's pressure too high or too low? If the pressure is too low, it's possible that your faucet's aerator is clogged. An aerator is a device that fits onto the end of a faucet and restricts water flow by mixing in air with the water. If the pressure is too high, your faucet may not be fitted with an aerator at all.
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    Check your shut-off valves. All sinks should have 2 valves on the water lines feeding into them - 1 for hot water and 1 for cold water. These valves will be under your sink, and they are used for shutting off the water supply in case you need to make repairs. Make sure these are all the way open. If they aren't, your water pressure will be lower than it should be.
    • Don't, however, use these valves to adjust the water pressure by leaving them partially closed. The valves are designed to work in 2 positions - fully shut and fully open. This is not the proper way to fix a water pressure problem.
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    Remove the aerator. If the pressure is too low, the aerator may be clogged. Removing it is straightforward, but not always easy.
    • Try to remove the aerator with a pair of pliers. Grip the aerator in the pliers and twist. You may want to wrap a rag around the pliers first so that they don't slip on the metal and to protect the metal from scratches.
    • If you can't remove the aerator with pliers, try soaking it in vinegar. Pour some vinegar in a bag and use rubber bands to tie it onto the faucet. Let it soak for a few hours - this will loosen up any corrosion or debris that might be causing the aerator to stick.
    • If vinegar does not work, you can spray the entire aerator with WD-40, then use pliers again to try to take it off. Make sure to open a window to allow the fumes to disperse.
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    Soak the aerator in vinegar. After removing the aerator, inspect it for clogs. You will notice that it has a bunch of very small holes (which your water is forced through), and these holes tend to get clogged over time with mineral deposits and sediment. Give the aerator a quick rinse, and then place it in a dish of vinegar overnight (any kind will do).
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    Screw the aerator back on. After the vinegar soak, rinse the aerator off and re-attach it by screwing it back into place. Test your water pressure. It should be smooth and even.
    • If your water pressure is too high, check to see if you have an aerator. Without an aerator fitted, faucets will spew water out at an enormous rate. To see if you have an aerator, just look at the end of the faucet. If you can see a fine wire mesh, you have an aerator.
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    Check the flow rate of your aerator. Most aerators will have this printed on their side in gallons or liters per minute. In the U.S., all new faucets are required to be fitted with an aerator rated at 2.2 gallons per minute (8.3 liters per minute) - this should be plenty if working properly. If your want to lower the water pressure, you can always buy a lower-flow aerator at a hardware store. Simply unscrew the old one and screw the new one on.


  • If the water pressure problem affects your whole home, you may need to adjust the building's water pressure regulator. This is a bell-shaped fitting located near your water meter. Study how it works carefully before adjusting it - an over-adjustment can cause leaks, overflowing toilets, and more.


  • In some jurisdictions, it may be illegal to run faucets without aerators.

Things You'll Need

  • Pliers
  • Rag
  • Vinegar
  • Plastic bag
  • Rubber bands
  • WD-40 (optional)
  • Small dish

Article Info

Categories: Faucets and Taps | Home Improvements and Repairs