The Flow
April 14, 2024 10:47 AM   Subscribe

I bought this faucet at an estate sale for $20. The flow is low. (Now I know why it was $20). What do you suppose is wrong?
posted by falsedmitri to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
I can't see the photo, but have you checked to see if either the screen in the aerator is clogged, or if there is a low-flow gasket installed?
posted by Dip Flash at 10:56 AM on April 14 [2 favorites]

I assume that push button on the nozzle switches from spray to solid stream, and I bet it’s worn out inside so that it doesn’t fully switch to either, and so is partially blocking both.

Could also be a piece of gasket at a pinch point since it had to be dismounted to be sold and an existing gasket could easily have fragmented in the process.

Nice faucet, by the way; I would have wanted that one, too.
posted by jamjam at 11:44 AM on April 14 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Additional Info:
If I take off (unscrew) the "head" the flow is still low
posted by falsedmitri at 12:00 PM on April 14

Best answer: If it works at all like the similar one we have installed, you can simply unscrew the entire bulbous end of the faucet (the "spray head assembly"). With that off you can immediately determine if there is a full stream coming out of the hose (and thus the problem is within the sprayer attachment) or the stream is still blocked, which indicates the problem somewhere upstream. You might also be able to disassemble the spray head assembly a little more, perhaps by removing the aerator, and see if any problems can be seen within.

Next easy thing would be to remove the cartridge and just inspect it (and everything you can see with the cartridge removed) visually for plugs. You can also turn the water on with the cartridge removed and make sure water is able to reach that point successfully (obviously this will spray water everywhere so be prepared).

You could also replace the cartridge (though you should be able to tell if it needs replacement by inspecting it visually, once it is removed). It looks to be part # RP03001. That should be available at your local plumbing or home improvement store or online etc.

Finally, here is the manual for that part #, which has installation instructions, replacement part #s, and a troubleshooting section.
posted by flug at 12:02 PM on April 14 [4 favorites]

If the faucet has been used I would suspect calcium buildup. If you can straighten out the tube and look through it at a light it should be pretty obvious.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 12:23 PM on April 14 [1 favorite]

I think we have the exact same faucet, and that nozzle head is definitely a replacement that isn't a match for the original. IIRC, we had a nozzle problem and the company sent us a free new one?

However, the flow still being low without the nozzle on makes me think of mineral buildup via hard water. So I'd search for that type of solution as well.
posted by BlahLaLa at 1:28 PM on April 14 [1 favorite]

I don't know if you want to throw more money at this, but we had this exact problem with our bathroom faucet due to hard water and a plumber was able to clean out all of the buildup easily. There may be options involving vinegar on the internet that you could try for soaking parts before calling a plumber too.
posted by past unusual at 2:34 PM on April 14

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