What Faucet Sputtering Means & How to Fix It

Nobody wants their shower or dishwashing session to be interrupted by a sputtering faucet! This is not only annoying, but it could symbolize a larger problem with your plumbing system.

To keep things running smoothly and prevent any unexpected issues, it's important to understand the steps to determine the underlying cause and get things flowing consistently again with plumbing repair from a professional plumber like Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Wilmington and Brunswick County!

What Causes Sputtering Water Lines?

Sputtering water and faucets could mean one of two things:

  • There's a problem with the faucet itself
  • There's air somewhere in the pipes

While both are possible, it's important to know. After all, low-pressure plumbing can signify something more serious, such as a leak deep in your system – something you may not even be aware of!

How to Check for Faucet Problems

The first step is to check the faucet itself. Take a look at the fixture and make sure everything looks right. Check for:

  • Mineral Buildup – Calcium deposits, often called limescale, can accumulate in the faucet head and restrict water flow. Cleaning the faucet can help remove this buildup.
  • Damaged O-Rings – O-rings are rubber gaskets that stop water from leaking out of the faucet head. If these O-rings are damaged or worn, they won't create a proper seal and water can escape.
  • Loose Components – If the faucet head is loose, it could be the reason why the water is sputtering. Tighten all parts of the faucet until they're snug and see if things are solved.

Above all, consider the age of your faucet. Anything that's been in your home longer than 20 years could benefit from an upgrade!

How to Check for Air in Pipes

If the shower or sink faucet looks okay, but your water pressure continues to sputter, it's likely due to air in your pipes. Here are some things you can do to see if there's air in your plumbing:

  • Listen for Noises – Have you noticed a hissing or popping noise radiating from your faucet or plumbing? Chances are, it's air traveling around and out of your plumbing.
  • Look at Water Quality – If your hot water is cloudy and sputtering, it's likely another sign that air bubbles have entered your plumbing.
  • Inspect for Leaks – It's also possible that a slow leak is affecting the water pressure. Whether from pipe corrosion or tree root intrusion, look for any signs of water damage or leaks.

If you notice any issues during your inspection, don’t wait for the problem to go away on its own: it won’t. Turn to a qualified plumber as soon as possible instead. This will help get a full plumbing inspection to locate the source of the air, put a stop to more air finding a way into your plumbing system, and make sure any air trapped in your system is removed.

What Causes Air in Pipes?

Air in pipes can be caused by several different things, such as:

  • Main Water Line Being Off – If you've just come home from a vacation and turned your water line back on, you'll likely notice sputtering. This is normal!
  • Neighborhood Plumbing Work – If work is being done on the plumbing of homes nearby, it can cause air to seep through your pipes.
  • Poor Hose Connections – From the dishwasher to the sink, connections that aren't properly tightened can cause air to enter the plumbing via the teensiest hole.

If you're worried that air may still be trapped in your plumbing even after the water runs for a few minutes, work is done, or connections are fixed, seek a solution. Letting air sit in your plumbing can cause damage like corrosion and rust over time and require costly repairs.

How to Fix Air in Pipes

Many times, the air found in your plumbing can be removed by running the cold water taps in your home simultaneously until the sputtering stops.

If this doesn't work, or you are dealing with sputtering water pressure throughout your home, there's a good chance that damaged plumbing is to blame. In this case, you'll want to reach out to a local plumbing company. Plumbers have the right tools and expertise to locate air pockets in the pipes and help you find a solution.

Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Wilmington and Brunswick County is Here to Fix Your Water Pressure & Quality issues

At Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Wilmington and Brunswick County, our team will inspect your system for any leaks or pipe damage, identify the source of air in your plumbing system, and offer reliable solutions to fix it. Along with our reliable fixes for your sputtering shower or kitchen sink, we offer:

If you're dealing with sputtering water pressure, don't hesitate to contact Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Wilmington and Brunswick County today. We look forward to helping you get the water flowing smoothly again. Be sure to explore our local customer reviews to see what others are saying about the quality of our plumbing repairs in Wilmington!

Contact us online for a free plumbing service estimate in Wilmington, NC!

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