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Mineral deposits can block water flow

QuestionMy kitchen sink has dual sinks with a separate sprayer attachment. When the water is turned on, the sprayer doesn't have enough pressure to get much of anything wet. It used to shut off the faucet when the water was on full and the sprayer was depressed; now it only trickles out of the sprayer while the faucet continues to run at full. Any idea why this is happening?

AnswerA couple of things could be the cause. You need to isolate the problem. First remove the sprayer head from the hose, point the hose toward the drain, and turn on the water. If water comes out of the hose, the sprayer is probably clogged with mineral deposits. Soak the head in a mix of equal parts of CLR (available in home improvement stores) and hot water for about two minutes. Rinse in cold water and repeat as necessary. Reinstall the sprayer head and give it a try.

If water doesn't shoot out of the hose, then likely the diverter valve is clogged with mineral deposits or rust or simply worn out.

First turn off the water to the faucet and open the hot and cold faucets to drain out any water.

Next remove the faucet spout by removing the handle and, depending on the brand, the threaded knurled-edge escutcheon cap or retaining ring. Near the base and in the front, locate a small spring-loaded device sticking out from the faucet body. This is the diverter valve that senses a change in water pressure and sends the water to the spray nozzle when the trigger is pressed.

Pull the diverter valve and clean the area around both the valve and where it sits using a small brush dipped in vinegar. However, if you have gone so far as to remove the diverter valve, I recommend that you replace it with a new one. Before reinstallation, make sure the area is completely clean of any debris or deposits. Reassemble and good luck!

Copyright © 2003, 2006, & 2008 LAF/C.R.S., Inc. All rights reserved.
Question answered by Leon A. Frechette.

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