Kitchen Faucet Pressure Reduced - Too much PSI?

ceburySeptember 23, 2012

First Question: Why does excessive PSI in water line reduce kitchen faucet water flow?

Short Version:


Four year old Delta faucet worked great until apparent water pressure changes were made to the home, now it's down to a trickle. However, no other faucets had any noticeable (negative) changes.

The water comes out of the faucet at good flow for about 1 second, then reduces quickly and starts a (relatively mild) knocking sound on the pipes. Flows stays at a trickle. No knocking after the faucet is shut off. Nothing else in home triggers any knocking. The knocking *appears* to be in the home piping, as it's much louder in the bedroom than what can be heard at the faucet itself. Though this may be illusory due to sound acoustics via piping and walls.

If I *reduce water flow* into the faucet, by half-way closing the valves from H&C below the sink, it *increases* from 25% to about 75% water volume.



Let me first state I've read through dozens of posts and done all the troubleshooting methods for DIYers. I typically do before posting.

Events Triggering Change:


During the city installation of new water meters (and changed lines in the street), the kitchen faucet started acting funny -- air in the lines, sand in the aerators, reduced pressure, then normal. Figured this was all normal.

After they finished: I cleaned out all the aerators (three times over the next month) and also ran all the faucets in the house to eliminate all air and discolored water in the lines.

Troubleshooting Steps Performed:


* Aerators cleaned, replaced.

* Removed and cleaned the hand-held sprayer.

* Ran a small brushed-snake down hand-held sprayer line to confirm no obstructions.

* Removed the faucet handle and verified no obstruction and the 3 holes (2 supply, 1 out) were clear.

* Ensured copper piping into faucet (below sink) weren't bent, pinched, etc.

* Replaced old valves from the wall source with new 1/4 turn.

* Cleaned out inside of supply pipe stubs with small brushes (found small amount tiny bits of rust/metal/calcium substances).

* Confirmed water source pressure strong by disconnecting supply to the faucet (the copper intake pipes) and spraying water into a bucket directly from the H&C metal-braid flex lines. Water pressure and volume is strong.

I suspect I had a 1 1/4" piping into the home and city reduced it via new 3/4" meter placed on the home. Speculation though...

Second Question: How can I fix this problem?

My dirty faucet and sink pic below....

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It could be that the hose has delaminated and it's blocking your water flow or the cartridge is the problem.

I'd turn off the water (under the sink), remove the cartridge - hold you hand over the faucet and have some turn the water on - for a second or two.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 2:58PM
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>>>cartridge is the problem.
It uses a steel ball with a few holes in it as a cartridge. Extremely simple design and everything looks OK, but /shrug. I've replaced cartridges on bathroom faucets and they look much different than this one.

>>> hold you hand over the faucet and have some turn the water on - for a second or two.
LOL is this a practical joke?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 6:05PM
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Am I missing a rubber gasket+spring for the mixture(out) line?

As suggested, I turned on the supply and yes both H&C will shoot up water in strong fashion (cartridge removed). If I put pressure against it (flat of my palm), it just makes a mess.

Video of the problem (CLICK to view any below):

Faucet Parted:

Inside with cartridge removed.

Cartridge Closeup:

Cartridge Closeup:

Other than the small gasket above, everything looks good to my inexperienced eyes.

Note: There is only 1 way for all these parts to go on correctly. All parts are keyed, including the steel ball cartridge.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 9:53PM
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In case others have this same faucet and use this post for their reference: Delta Single Handle Gourmet Spray Faucet model 466 or model 426. (discontinued)

Here is a link that might be useful: Delta Model 426 466 Gourmet Single Handle

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 10:47PM
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I checked the documentation and there are only two gaskets and springs (labeled seats and springs) inside the mixture area underneath the ball cartridge.

However, I was able to *fix* the problem: I (again) cleaned part #7 (rp21539) labeled "Adapter" that is the long brass piece that attaches the hose to the underside of the faucet below the sink. I previously had blown it out with pressure, shook & banged it on the counter, and then rinsed with strong water from the bathroom: almost nothing came out. I had brushed the other end out, but not on this side. I even blew on the adapter side to ensure there was no obvious obstruction.

This time, using a flashlight I saw there was 1 little piece of calcium/rusted metal stuck in one of the three tiny holes, removed it with a micro-pick and reassembled --

The pressure still isn't what it was before the city changed meters, but this may be the new 100% now.

PROBLEM RESOLVED (7 hours later).

I still wish I knew why a partial obstruction causes the vibration & knocking....

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 12:51AM
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You truly have been patient and persistent on this project. Kudos to you.

As yourself, water use-induced knocking is something I loathe and try to fix (main house pressure reducer installed at advice of plumber but washing machine pipes still "knock" with water turn off). Makes you wonder if you're going to spring a leak.

No plumbing knowledge here nor knowledge on water pressure dynamics: couldn't an "obstruction" any where along the path of a water pipe cause an alteration in back flow pressure farther down to "get around" that obstruction?

Glad you fixed your problem.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 8:56AM
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