How to Choose the Best Kitchen Faucets

Decoding the Mystery: Why Does My Kitchen Faucet Pulsate?

Have you ever turned on your kitchen faucet only to be met with an unexpected and annoying pulsating flow of water? It’s a common problem that can be both frustrating and puzzling. But fear not! In this guide, we’ll delve into the reasons behind this phenomenon and explore possible solutions to restore a smooth and steady flow to your kitchen sink.

Understanding the Pulsating Flow

First things first, let’s clarify what we mean by a pulsating flow. When you turn on your faucet and notice the water coming out in spurts or pulses instead of a continuous stream, that’s what we’re talking about. It’s akin to the sensation of water hammer, but instead of a loud banging noise, you’re experiencing irregular water flow.

Potential Causes

Several factors can contribute to a pulsating flow from your kitchen faucet. Here are some common culprits to consider:

  1. Air in the Pipes: Air trapped in the plumbing lines can disrupt the flow of water, leading to pulsation. This can happen when air pockets accumulate in the pipes due to various reasons such as recent plumbing work or a sudden change in water pressure.
  2. Clogged Aerator: The aerator is the small screen at the end of the faucet spout that helps regulate the flow of water and prevent splashing. If the aerator becomes clogged with debris or mineral deposits, it can cause the water to pulsate as it struggles to pass through.
  3. Water Pressure Issues: Fluctuations in water pressure can also result in a pulsating flow from your faucet. High pressure can cause the water to shoot out in bursts, while low pressure may result in a weak and irregular flow.
  4. Faulty Valve or Regulator: Problems with the faucet’s internal components, such as a faulty valve or regulator, can disrupt the flow of water and cause pulsation. These issues may require professional attention to diagnose and fix.

Troubleshooting and Solutions

Now that we have a better understanding of what might be causing your kitchen faucet to pulsate, let’s explore some potential solutions:

  1. Bleed the Lines: If air trapped in the pipes is the culprit, bleeding the lines can help alleviate the issue. Start by turning off the main water supply to your home, then open all the faucets in your house to drain the water lines completely. Once the water stops flowing, turn the main water supply back on and gradually open the faucets one by one to allow the air to escape.
  2. Clean the Aerator: Remove the aerator from the end of the faucet spout and soak it in a solution of vinegar and water to dissolve any mineral deposits. Use a small brush to scrub away any remaining debris, then rinse the aerator thoroughly and reattach it to the faucet. This should improve water flow and reduce pulsation.
  3. Check for Water Pressure Issues: Use a pressure gauge to measure the water pressure at various faucets throughout your home. If you notice significant fluctuations or unusually high pressure, it may be worth contacting a plumber to inspect your plumbing system and make any necessary adjustments.
  4. Inspect Internal Components: If you suspect that a faulty valve or regulator is causing the pulsating flow, it’s best to enlist the help of a professional plumber. They can disassemble the faucet, inspect the internal components, and make any repairs or replacements as needed to restore proper functionality.

Preventing Future Issues

Once you’ve resolved the pulsating flow issue with your kitchen faucet, there are steps you can take to prevent it from recurring:

  • Regular Maintenance: Periodically clean the aerator and inspect the faucet for any signs of wear or damage.
  • Monitor Water Pressure: Keep an eye on your home’s water pressure and address any fluctuations promptly to avoid future problems.
  • Professional Inspections: Schedule regular plumbing inspections to identify and address potential issues before they escalate.

By taking these preventative measures and addressing any problems promptly, you can ensure a smooth and uninterrupted flow of water from your kitchen faucet for years to come.


A pulsating flow from your kitchen faucet can be a nuisance, but it’s a problem that can often be resolved with a bit of troubleshooting and maintenance. By understanding the potential causes and following the steps outlined above, you can put an end to the irregular water flow and enjoy a steady stream of water in your kitchen once again. Remember, when in doubt, don’t hesitate to enlist the help of a professional plumber to diagnose and fix the issue.

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