Plumbing in the Home/Kitchen Sink


QUESTION: I am having a plumbing issue I am hoping you can diagnose and provide a fix for. When we turn the water on from the faucet in our kitchen sink, the water pulsates as though it is pushing air out every few seconds. I have checked all of our other sinks in the house, and only the kitchen sink is doing this, so I believe it to be a localized issue. When the water from the kitchen faucet is pulsating, I can hear the water lines beneath the sink making a sort of “kinking” sound.

Any idea on what is causing this and how I can fix it? I appreciate your time and help on this. Thank-you.

ANSWER: Hi Mike,
The only thing I can think of that might cause this is a faulty diverter for the spray handle. Kitchen faucets with sprayers have a diverter built in that senses water flow when the spray is used. It diverts the water flow to the spray and is supposed to stop the flow to the spout.  Over time, these can get limed up with mineral/hard water scale and clogged with debris which causes them to malfunction.  They can get into a "loop" or cycling condition that causes the water flow to stop and start rapidly when they do not close fully.

These diverters are not always easy to find or access. I would suggest contacting the manufacturer's customer service department and asking about this issue.

Good Luck,

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank-you for the great response Dana. I think you are right on the mark. Last night I noticed some water leaking out from the sprayer accessory while the water was pulsating out of the faucet. I used the sprayer to relieve the pressure, and the pulsating of the water was greatly diminished, almost completely in fact. I could not explain this until now with your suggestion of a faulty diverter on the sprayer.

Is this a serious or minor issue? I'm just curious as to the urgency in which in needs to be repaired. Also, would it be best to get a whole new faucet or just replace the diverter for the sprayer? Thanks again.

The pulsing water has a lot of kinetic energy which is getting delivered to the piping system.  That is never a good thing.  It can work strapping loose and may even damage the piping if severe enough.
As mentioned, finding and fixing/replacing the diverter can be tricky. The manufacturer might be helpful.  Sometimes just replacing the faucet is the easiest way.  Your call.

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Dana Bostick


Pretty much any residential plumbing questions. For "item specific" details such as a specific model of fixture, I will need to research and there may not be any useful information available. Note: I live and work in Southern California. We do not, as a rule, use hot water or steam heating systems, oil fired boilers or private water wells so my knowledge in those areas is pretty limited. There are others here on AllExerts that can probably answer those questions better.


Retired, Licensed General Contractor with Plumbing license. Active Home Inspector, Litigation Consultant and Infrared Thermographer, Online Marketing specialist.

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