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Community and Q&A

Full flow kitchen faucet

this_page_left_blank | Posted in General Questions on

Why are kitchen faucets almost ubiquitously low flow? It makes no sense. A shower, sure. A bathroom faucet, maybe that makes sense (not so sure, but the harm is minimal). But a kitchen faucet? It’s not going to affect how much I fill the sink, it’s literally just going to waste my time. What’s next, a low flow tub faucet?

Can anyone recommend a higher flow kitchen faucet, preferably a sink handle variety with an extension hose?

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  1. Expert Member


    My (very unscientific) observation is that Millennials and younger don't ever fill the kitchen sink. They rinse and wash dishes under a constant flow from the faucet. Maybe that's what's driving it? Sure makes filling pots slow though.

    1. Aedi | | #7

      I am flattered you think my generation has so much power. Unfortunately, I doubt this the case. My generation does not buy enough sinks to shape the market like that. Historically low incomes and home ownership rates and whatnot. The more likely driving factor is either regulations or that landlords often foot the water bill. I know for a fact the latter is the reason my landlord went low flow, and he only pays for the cold water.

      However, I think your observation on our dish washing habits is generally correct. Unlike all the old folks, we are more likely to understand how modern dishwashers work, and thus lightly rinse or scrape food off plates before loading them, saving significant amounts of both water and time. Unfortunately, many of us grew up with dishwashers and later find ourselves without, turning a good habit into a bad one.

      For what it is worth, if I ever manage to own a house, I'd aim for a low flow sink and a separate pot filler. That's the dream, anyway.

  2. this_page_left_blank | | #2

    Yes, filling pots is excruciating. Luckily, I installed a pot filler behind the cooktop.

    I can't imagine cleaning pots that way. Are you holding the pot in one hand and spraying dish soap on it continually as the water rinses it away?

    Funny story, when my in-laws renovated their house they installed an ultra low flow bathroom faucet. I measured at 0.5gpm. This effectively eliminated the possibility of hot water, as the delay time was over 2 minutes. They were quite pleased with the result, for some reason.

    1. Expert Member
      MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #4


      That solution won't work for houses out here in BC. Pot-fillers over stoves and legalized marijuana don't mix.

  3. Expert Member
    BILL WICHERS | | #3

    I think it’s just misguided and/or poorly thought out government regulations. Most of the water use in a kitchen faucet is likely going to be filling things like pots and jugs. If you need half a gallon of water, low flow doesn’t save anything, it just makes it take longer. Stupid.

    Usually you can remove the flow restrictors and make a “low flow” faucet into a full flow one. Look in the aerator and inside of any hose couplers that may be part of the faucet under the sink.


  4. Expert Member
    Michael Maines | | #5

    The flow restrictor on many faucets is just a rubber washer that you can drill out to a larger size. (But your plumber isn't supposed to.)

  5. Expert Member
    AKOS TOTH | | #6

    I ran into this when I got a kitchen faucet, the flow on it was only 1gpm making it useless.

    As Bill said, the problem is typically the aerator, this is a little metal/plastic screw insert at the tip of the faucet. With most modern faucets, you'll have to DIY a special tool to screw it out. Once out, these will have a restrictor disc of some kind in there, mine had a plastic one, I just machined the orifice in it larger. Now it happily flows 2.5gpm. I tried without the aerator but you don't get any velocity, not great for rinsing things.

    It is a pain that most manufacturers don't state the flow rate on the specs. Low flow kitchen faucets just don't make sense.

  6. Jon_R | | #8

    Of course one can use the valve to reduce flow on a high flow faucet. But the resulting velocity is low. Perhaps they need faucets with a dual head that automatically resets back to low flow.

  7. olddogtrainer | | #9

    Look at real commercial kitchen faucets (not what consumer sites call "commercial"). These are generally all metal, high-flow, and made to stand up to abuse. If you want true high flow, a 3/4" inlet, full flow faucet is usually rated around 37 gpm @ 80 psi.

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