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Sometimes when I'm running water from my kitchen faucet, it will cut out for no apparent reason. It doesn't seem to matter if I'm running hot or cold water (or a mixture), but does seem to happen more often if I'm running the faucet fully open.

I can usually fix it by closing and opening the faucet a couple of times. If that doesn't work, pulling the trigger on the -- separate -- pull-out spray nozzle often does it, and if that doesn't work, just turning it off and leaving it for a while will do it.

What is causing this behavior and what can I do to prevent it from occurring in the future?

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The diverter valve on my 2 handle sink faucet keeps clicking shut shutting off the water. some hammer blows seem to free it, but it seals off again when water starts to flow. – user49109 Feb 12 at 21:06
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I may be way off base here but have you tried removing the aerator on the faucet and letting it run on both hot and cold fully open (separately)? It's possible that the aerator could be clogging up and causing pressure buildup.

If you do not have copper pipes then it's possible that the buildup would be caused by rusting or oxidization in the pipes. Full pressure should knock it loose I think.

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I do have copper pipes so rust shouldn't be causing it. I'll also try it without the aerator. – Niall C. Jul 29 '10 at 1:00
I cleaned out the aerator, and it's definitely happening much less frequently now than before; I've only seen it a couple of times in a couple of months, instead of a few times a week. – Niall C. Oct 12 '10 at 1:16

The valve that diverts the water to the spray nozzle may be (partially) clogged or defective. Or the valve on your spray nozzle.

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I had the same problem. The hose that connects the water supply, where the on off valve is to the faucet has a valve inside that shuts the water off in the case where a hose would burst causing a flood. Scratched my head for a while before I figured that out. Replaced the hose problem solved.

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Hi Terry, welcome to the site. All of your posts include your name at the bottom of them, so it is not necessary to sign your posts. – Steven Apr 18 '12 at 13:11
I just had a look under my sink and the hoses look like what I'd expect. Do the hoses you have look different than valveless ones? – Niall C. Apr 19 '12 at 1:02
An anti flood hose wouldn't describe the OP symptoms since it would remain shutoff when the sprayer was used. Personally, I've only seen the anti flood hoses for ice makers and washing machine lines because they cutoff based on the water flow and a sink is going to have a high flow that would trigger nuisance cutoffs. These hoses can be identified by an extra 1" solid device between the hose and threads near the shutoff valve. Resetting them may require shutting off the water and disconnecting them to release the pressure difference. – BMitch Oct 22 '15 at 3:38

Cleaning the valve (aerator) that Joe Philllips recommended was a great trick. If your faucet also has spray hose, you may need to clean (or replace) the diverter.

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Hi @mookie, welcome to the site. Cleaning the aerator mostly fixed the problem for me, enough that I can live with it. Thanks. – Niall C. Nov 20 '12 at 17:14

Similar problem: All other water faucets work fine, so I took off the kitchen sink aerator to figure out what it was. Water flowed out the sink without the aerator on, then I felt like an idiot, because the aerator was equipped with a separate on/off lever. Saved myself some embarrassment in front of a plumber.

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I didn't have anything like that, but thanks for your answer. – Niall C. Dec 18 '13 at 18:57

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