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?

  • 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
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 21:06
  • I was googling what was causing my sink to do the same thing when I came across this thread. The water runs fine until I turn it on high. While I was reading the comments for a solution, my boyfriend took our pur water filter attachment off, and now the water runs fine.
    – user70014
    Commented May 23, 2017 at 15:49

6 Answers 6


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.

  • I do have copper pipes so rust shouldn't be causing it. I'll also try it without the aerator.
    – Niall C.
    Commented Jul 29, 2010 at 1:00
  • 2
    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.
    Commented Oct 12, 2010 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.


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.

  • 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
    Commented Apr 18, 2012 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.
    Commented Apr 19, 2012 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
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 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.

  • 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.
    Commented Nov 20, 2012 at 17:14

same problem - hot water kept slamming off only at kitchen sink. I tried shutting off main valve and draining all lines--did not work. cleaned aerator...clogged, but didn't help. took off cartridge and cleaned debris, but still same problem. I did notice lots of small white plastic/tape like pieces in cartridge, so i kept putting the cartridge back on and running water until it slammed off...2 seconds, and then taking off and cleaning. Finally a big piece of this white plastic (size of fingernail) came out. Everything working great now. not sure when next piece will work its way up, or what it is from, but i think this was the problem!


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.

  • I didn't have anything like that, but thanks for your answer.
    – Niall C.
    Commented Dec 18, 2013 at 18:57

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