Q: Several spots in our plumbing system began to leak over the last year, so we had to replace some of the galvanized pipe. Last night I changed another section that went upstairs to my kitchen sink, but after I turned the water back on we lost a lot of water pressure in the faucet. Just 6 feet over in the bathtub, the faucet works fine. Why would the sink tap be low on pressure?
A: Almost any time that old galvanized pipes are disturbed, old mineral scale that is inside the pipe will dislodge. Some of the debris flakes off in tiny fragments that look like a translucent yellow or white sand, which ultimately gets caught in the aerator screens of a faucet. Usually the solution is to remove the screens and rinse them off. In a worst case scenario you may have faucets or shower heads with cartridge-type valves, and the debris may be clogging the ports in the valve cartridges. In such a case, the faucet assembly should be disassembled and cleaned thoroughly.