Why Does My Kitchen Faucet Pulsate? (Explained & solved)

Do you have a problem with your kitchen faucet recently? That means, Is your kitchen faucet pulsating rather than it should be still and steady.

Let’s find out why your kitchen faucet pulsates and how you can fix it.

Why Does My Kitchen Faucet Pulsate?

If your kitchen faucet is pulsating that means there is a lack of air pressure in the water tank. Basically, the air pressure is needed in the water tank for compression. If there is not enough pressure, water fills the tank too much which leads to surging water in pipelines. As a result, your kitchen faucet pulsates.

Now let’s understand how it works in the standard tank and bladder pressure tank.

In the case of a standard tank, the water is stored with air inside the tank. As time passes, the air gets absorbed through the water molecules.

If the air gets reduced in supply, the tank air pressure becomes unbalanced. Reducing pressure means the air will not able to compress the water. Hence the water surges and fills up the tank.

So when you turn on your faucet, it starts pulsating because there is not enough air pushing water through the pipeline.

In the case of a bladder-pressure tank, the air and water never meet. So if a leak arises due to long-term usage, the air pressure becomes unstable. And the same problem occurs with your faucet and it starts pulsating.

What Causes a Kitchen Faucet To Pulsate?

Here we had mentioned the main reasons for pulsating kitchen faucets.

Too Much Water In The Water Tank

When there is too much water in the water tank, air pressure cannot be compressed properly. As a result, the water from your kitchen faucet will pulsate rather than flow continuously.

Note – Basically, the electric pressure switch and the internal air bladder are the two components that control the air pressure. If they are not working properly, the faucet continues to pulsate.

Water Tank Doesn’t Have Enough Air Pressure

There are various reasons why your tank doesn’t have enough air pressure. Firstly, the air pressure could be misaligned with your water tank.

Secondly, the pressure gauge has been fixed in the wrong way or water levels may be too high. All these reasons lead to water surging due to which your faucet is pulsating.

Build-up Of Dirt And Debris In The Pipes

Due to normal wear and tear or extreme weather conditions, the pipe can be exposed to outdoor components like dirt and debris. These build-ups can lead to a decrease in water pressure.

Surging Of Water In The Pipelines

Due to leaks or cracks, the pipelines could be facing water surging. Hence, this could be the reason your kitchen faucet is pulsating.

There Could Be Leaks In Any Part Of The Plumbing System

Leaks in any part of the plumbing system can cause your water pressure to go down. Make sure to check the leaks around your plumbing fixtures.

Valve Is Shutting Down Too Quickly

If you have any valve, whether it is a supply valve, water-reducing valve, or check valve. Instant closing and opening will cause a surging of water.

So it needs to be done slowly because if the valve is closed and opened too quickly the water will rush out too fast.

Pre-Charge On A Pressure Tank Is Not Suitable

The pressure switch and pre-charge need to work together for your tank to function properly. If it is not working, water surging is unavoidable.

Pipe Connected To The Faucet Is Loosened

The other common issue could be that the pipe connected to the underside of your faucet is loose. The kitchen faucet is pulsing due to a loose and misaligned grip. You can easily fix this problem by just tightening the pipe.

Pressure Switch Is Malfunctioning

A corroded pressure switch might cause a malfunction. This is a significant issue, as this part is responsible for monitoring the pressure. Any malfunctioning in the pressure switch can lead to water surging.

Valve Has A Loose Washer

Your kitchen faucet can pulsate due to a loose washer. Basically, the washer is connected to the nut of the valve. It is flattering ring steel that fits with the nut and bolt.

It is used to prevent screws from getting loose. Hence, if the washer is loose, then the whole connection is loose.

Faucet Diverter Is Causing A Pressure Surge

The function of the diverter is to switch from hot to cold water or vice versa. They do this by using pressure difference.

A pressure surge can happen if there is a sudden stop in water flow. And this might be a reason your faucet is pulsating.

Pump Is Short-Cycling

If you notice short cycling in the pump, then it can cause clogging in the faucet. It only happens if the starting/stopping pressure is reached.

How To Fix A Pulsating Kitchen Faucet

Now we will learn how to fix a pulsating kitchen faucet. So, let’s get into it.

Take Early Action

Always remember you should never take anything lightly. If you notice water flow is pulsating then take early action. Keeping it unfixed can cause water surging problems with your entire plumbing fixture down the line.

Check The Air Pressure In The Tank

The air pressure inside the water tank can be the reason your faucet is pulsating. The First step you need to do is turn off the electricity connection of the water pump system.

Then drain the water from both the tank as well as the pump. Now you need to remove the bladder valve cap which you will see on the top or base of the tank.

To check the tank’s internal pressure, you need to remove the valve cap and place a pressure gauge into it. Pressure gauges (also known as tire gauges) read the tank air pressure by using a piston.

If the pressure is too low, you need to add some air. If the pressure is too high, you need to release some of it.

If the empty tank has a normal range of pressure (2PSI below the lowest number on your pressure switch), you can conclude that air pressure is not the issue.

Pressure Switch Should Be Checked

You need to properly check the pressure switch may be some parts of your pressure switch get corroded, worn out, clogged, etc. You need to remove it from the tank to examine it.

Sometimes the problem can be easily solved with some cleaning. If cleaning doesn’t work, you might need a replacement.

Tighten The Pipe Connected To The Kitchen Faucet

At last, you need to check the pipe or hose which is connected to the faucet. If it’s not tight, it might be the issue. To fix the issue, you need to tighten it back.

If Nothing works, Call A Professional

After doing all the hard work if nothing works, it’s better to call an expert. There is only much you can do as a DIY lover.

Now leave this task to a professional because you don’t want to damage something which is irreparable and expensive.

What Are The Causes Of Surging Water Pressure?

Waterlogged Tank

If the water is provided by a well, the problem could be a clogged tank. If your tank is waterlogged, the air will not able to compress properly. This can lead to water surging.

You may observe that the motor pump is switching on and off by itself without any usage of water. To fix this issue you need to drain your water tank.

Leakage In Pipes

Check the water line that enters your house as well as the line going away from your house. Because leakage in the pipelines can cause surging of water pressure.

Maybe this could be less surging or unnoticeable, but if water cannot go through a broken line, other pipelines will face a massive flow as surging.

Issue In Water Heater

Your water heater could be a reason for a sudden surge in water pressure. When a heater is empty, a valve opens and allows the tank to fill up again.

While the tank is filling, the water pressure will temporarily drop and then surge back to full pressure.

Automated Sprinkler System

If you have an automated sprinkler system, you will notice a water surge due to the system shutting down at the end of the cycle.

This type of large system requires a lot of pressure to feed the lines, and someone using water inside the house will notice the pressure drop at first, and when the sprinkler lines become inactive the water pressure back up to normal.

Setting the sprinkler system to operate in smaller areas rather than watering the entire lawn at once could be the best solution.

Fast Closing And Opening Of Valve

The fast closing and opening of valves change the water flow too immediately. This can lead to surging water pressure.

Why Does My Water Pressure Keep Fluctuating?

Water pressure can fluctuate for many reasons. Here are some common reasons why your water pressure keeps fluctuating.

Air Trapped In Pipelines

When the air gets trapped in the pipe, it can cause fluctuation in water pressure because the air and water will move through the pipes.

Trapped air in pipes causes the water flow to stop and start which leads to fluctuation.

Air can easily enter the pipe through a leaking suction line, damage tank bladders, a faulty pump, or leaks in the pipeline. So make sure to check all these things.

Pressure Regulating Valve Malfunction

The pressure regulating valve is designed to control and stable the main water pressure that enters the home plumbing system.

They are usually installed to prevent the main water pressure that being too high.

But, if the pressure regulating valve fails to work or malfunctions, water pressure may immediately increase or fluctuate between too high or too low.

You can check the pressure regulating valve by lifting and lowering the test lever.

Clogged Or Outdated Pipes

If the plumbing system in your house or main supply lines is many decades old, chances are they may be clogged and filled with debris. A leaked or clogged pipe can cause fluctuation in water pressure.

If you find any leaks or issues in your plumbing system, it’s necessary to inspect it and replace it as soon as possible.

Because a small leak can cause serious damage, on the other hand, a burst pipe can cause flooding and costly renovation. If there is any issue with your main supply, it’s better to call a local water authority.

Municipal Water Supply Issues

If there is an issue with your municipal water supply, your home supply will be affected too. Any leaks or damage in the main supply line will pass on to your house supply too.

If you’re bothered about the fluctuation in water pressure caused by municipal lines, call the city authorities about the water supply issue.

High Water Usage On Same Line

If there is high water usage on the same line, such as neighbors filling the pool or using water for landscaping can cause fluctuation in your water pressure.

Due to high usage, the pressure will go up and down. Keep in touch with your neighbor’s water usage to understand how your supply is affected.

How Can I Stop My Water Pressure Dropping?

You can stop the water pressure from dropping in the following ways.

  • Monitor the air pressure in the water tank.
  • Install the thermostatic valve in place of the pressure-balancing valve so hot and cold water don’t mix
  • Make sure the diverters are up to date.
  • Check the appliances that use high water pressure and what is the usage time.
  • Inspect the water line, maybe they are used by too many peoples and what rush hours are.
  • Keep an eye for leaks in the pipeline.


If you notice the water from your kitchen faucet pulsating, then you need to fix the problem as soon as possible because delaying the problem will cause premature pump failure. After fixing all the issues and it still pulsates, you should call an expert to resolve the problem.