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A Guide to Kitchen Faucet Flow Rates

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When designing a functional kitchen, a good-quality faucet is a great investment for your kitchen sink.

There are numerous high-spec faucets to choose from, ranging in both price and style, meaning there is a quality kitchen faucet to suit all. From satin-nickel to brushed nickel, to Peerless, Kraus, and Kohler kitchen sink faucets, there is a faucet for any need.

However, with so many models to choose from, picking the one that best suits your needs can be a challenge, which is why we’ve created the handy guide below.

What is a Good Flow Rate For a Kitchen Faucet?

The flow rate of your kitchen faucet is something that is regularly overlooked by generic water users. If the water is being produced at an acceptable measure (not explosive and not a trickle) most consumers are happy to settle for this.

Even though this would signify the faucet is in good working order, this isn’t always the case. Only when you run out of hot water or in the worst-case scenario, clean water, will you come to realize that your maximum water flow is at an unsatisfactory level.

This is why understanding minimum and maximum flow rate specifics is key to your home running in an efficient manner -both in the kitchen and the bathroom.

The flow rate of your faucet is an imperative factor to take into consideration, irrespective of the water system you have in place.

Thankfully, most faucets can be tweaked to improve the minimum and maximum flow rate. This is an easy adjustment to make, especially if you don’t fully understand the ins and outs of your home’s existing apparatus.

In terms of specifics, the flow rate and pressure are estimated by the gallon used per minute (GPM). The plumbing diametre has a major impact on this measurement, meaning the bigger the pipe, the speedier the flow. As an indicator, a high flow rate is what average people aim for.

How to Test the Flow Rate of a Kitchen Faucet

Testing and measuring minimum and maximum flow rate involves so much more than analyzing the faucet’s opening.

To test the true flow rate, you must look to the softener or water heater. Of course, this only applies to those who have one in their kitchen or bathroom.

Some pointers to keep in mind? A heater necessitates a set amount of time to produce warm water, whilst a softener (complete with filters) needs time to rid the flowing water of unwanted contaminants.

On top of this, you must consider the water treatment system linked to your bathroom or kitchen sink, which again necessitates a set period to allow a specific chemical reaction to take place.

This will ensure it works in an efficient manner, keeping both federal standards and maximum flow rates in mind.

You may not have enough water volume to play with if the water softener or heater is too slight for the set-up in place.

Those who are clueless when it comes to understanding minimum and maximum flow rate may find they quickly run out of clean, hot water, especially if the faucet isn’t up to speed.

How to Increase Kitchen Faucet Flow Rate

On average, most kitchen faucets boast a maximum flow rate of 2.2 GPM. Most new kitchen faucets come complete with a faucet aerator. In a nutshell, this is a tip that can be screwed onto the bathroom or kitchen sink faucet’s nozzle.

The majority of modern homes tend to utilize around 20 gallons of water per day from various faucets in the home, including those in the kitchen and those in the bathroom.

This measurement is per person. To increase the flow rate of your faucet, you can invest in more substantial aerators, which can easily be attached to the sink’s nozzle.

This small adjustment works to heighten the spray and speed of your faucet and flow rate, which certainly comes in handy if you have numerous dishes to wash.

This slight adjustment will also ensure clean hot water void of mineral deposits is available to all in the household at all times.

How to Reduce Kitchen Faucet Flow Rate

Faucets with decreased water pressure and flow rate are unable to operate in a consistent manner, whilst faucets boasting a higher flow rate and heightened water pressure often waste both energy and water.

Thankfully, there is an easy way to resolve an unsatisfactory flow rate, and numerous ways you can alter your water flow rate pressure.

This can be applied to each faucet. You should notice two valves on your kitchen faucet, which are made out of metal or plastic. These valves control the cold and hot water individually. To do this, and to open the valves, turn them counterclockwise.

This will boost the water pressure. If you’re struggling with decreased water pressure or a low flow rate, it’s important to ensure the valves are open.

One way to boost water flow rate includes rinsing the filter, cleaning aerators, or flushing out the supply lines.

Another option? Fine-tuning the shut-off valves. This works to heighten and lower water pressure and flow rate.

Once you have administered these fixes, your kitchen faucet should run like clockwork ensuring the utmost in water efficiency and the perfect faucet flow rate! 

Step-by-step guide

  1. Unloosen the aerator from the base of your kitchen faucet. The easiest way to do this is to use channel lock pliers. If you’re unsure what aerators look like, it’s a piece of mesh boasting a cylindrical shape, which sits at bottom of your kitchen faucet. This piece of equipment is in place to remove fine sediment from your water via a filter. To loosen, tighten the pliers around the aerator, rotating them counterclockwise. Once loosened, it is a simple task to unscrew this part by hand. For best results, place a cloth between the pliers and the aerator, this will avoid any unnecessary damage.
  2. Rinse to remove any unwanted debris such as sediment caught in the mesh component. You can remove this debris by simply flipping the piece of equipment onto its opposing side and rinsing it underneath a warm tap. This will flush out any mess trapped inside. If the debris is stuck, a toothbrush will help to scrape it out. When doing this, ensure you have the plugin in the sink, as this will prevent you from losing any components.
  3. For a deep clean, soak the aerator in vinegar overnight. This will get rid of limescale. Even if you rinse your aerator, there may be built-up limescale. To do this, plunge the aerator into a glass of vinegar, ensuring the liquid covers the aerator completely. Leaving the component in this mixture overnight will break up any debris. When removing the aerator from the solution, be sure to rinse it with clean water. If you don’t have any vinegar to hand, you can use Formula 409 lime cleaner, which will achieve the same results. 
  4. Before fastening your aerator back into place, run the faucet for a minimum of ten seconds. This will ensure all debris has been disposed of, and that debris won’t get trapped in your aerator just after cleaning it.

What is the Highest Flow Rate Kitchen Faucet?

The “maximum flow rate” is an indicator of the sum of gallons that a water pump has the ability to pressure instantly without the need to journey through and up the pipework.

In a nutshell, the quantity of water volume that can be directly pushed out of the pump.

Do Kitchen Faucets Have Flow Restrictors?

The majority of traditional faucets boast flow rate restrictors in the shape of aerators. All contemporary kitchen faucets, which have been on the market since the year 1994, must feature flow restrictors. Why? To save water.

Hard water specifically can result in blocked restrictors. Federal laws necessitate that modern-day kitchen faucets shouldn’t feature an average flow rate over 2.2 gallons per minute GPM.

This is dependent on the area you reside in, with several states, including California and Georgia, stating further regulated faucet flow rates, which must be lower than a GPM of 2.0.

To meet these regulations, both sink aerators and faucets are treated meticulously to ensure they perform at a rate of 1.5 gallons per minute GPM.

Final Thoughts

From testing the average flow rate to learning more about the additional faucet accessories you can invest in to better your device (be it a kitchen sink faucet or bathroom faucets) when choosing the perfect kitchen faucet, it’s important to research this piece of apparatus in depth.

Knowing the ins and outs of modern faucets will help you to pick a kitchen faucet complete with a water sense label, best suited to your needs, your home, your water usage, energy policy act, and your budget.


How does a kitchen faucet aerator work?

The aerator acts in the same manner as a sieve, setting apart the single water flow, creating numerous minuscule streams.

This in turn establishes air to the water’s flow, be it from kitchen sinks or showerheads. The flow is reduced as there is less space for the water to filter through. The result? You save water, which in turn ensures savings on your water bills.

Is a 1.5 GPM flow rate sufficient for a kitchen faucet? 

Federal American standard regulations recommend that all modern kitchen faucets should boast a maximum flow rate of 2.2 GPM. This is dependent on the state, with numerous areas, such as Georgia and California boasting further restricted flow rates of 2.0 GPM.

Quality faucets and sink aerators are trialed to perform at a rate of 1.5 GPM or less In order to meet these regulations.

How do you control water flow in a kitchen faucet?

Most homes, on average, use in the region of 20 gallons of water per person, per day. You can heighten the water flow by investing in a more substantial aerator and attaching it to your existing kitchen or shower faucet.

This results in providing the home with faster, free-flowing hot and cold water that won’t run out. This is a must-have investment if you live with a large family and use the sink or shower on a regular basis, be it to wash many hands or numerous dishes.

In this case (or any for that matter) a dribble just won’t do! It’s also imperative you have access to both hot and cold water at all times.

What is the average flow rate of a kitchen faucet?

All in all, the average kitchen faucet boasts a standard flow rate of 2.2 gallons per minute. Kitchen sinks differ from bathroom faucets, which tend to feature a more restrictive flow rate of 1.5 gallons per minute or in some cases, .5 gallons per minute.

Today’s tech-savvy faucets come complete with faucet aerators or faucet accessories, such as showerheads, an aerator screen, and nozzles in the shape of a screw-on tip, which can easily be attached to the faucet.

The faucet GPM must adhere to federal standards. For best results, pick a faucet that boasts a water flow rate between 1.5 GPM and 2.2 GPM with a WaterSense label.

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