What Is the Ideal Flow Rate For A Kitchen Faucet?

If you want to solve many problems associated with poor efficiency in your home, low water pressure, high water bills, etc., understanding flow rates is crucial. Flow rate is an important aspect of every water fixture in your home, but it is especially significant for your kitchen sink faucet. 

In many homes, the kitchen is the center of activity – cooking, cleaning, prepping, etc. To accomplish most of these tasks, you will need water. Therefore, you need a reasonable flow rate. When the flow rate is too low, it takes longer to fill sinks and clean buckets. However, there is much more to this topic than a slow water fill rate, so continue reading.

The Terms You Need To Know

To begin, let’s take a look at a few of the terms and acronyms we will use throughout this article. As we proceed through the information, the definitions will prove helpful if you’re not familiar with these terms. Below is a list of what you need to know:

  • GPM: gallons per minute (measures water flow in gallons per minute)
  • PSI: pounds per square inch (measures water pressure in pounds per square inch)
  • Aerator: A device that restricts the flow of water and incorporates air

What is the ideal flow rate for a kitchen faucet?

A faucet’s flow rate is exactly what it sounds like: it measures how fast water flows from the tap. When looking for a new kitchen or bathroom faucet, you’ll see a number followed by GPM. This tells you the faucet’s flow rate.

The ideal flow rate for a kitchen faucet is between 1.0 and 2.0 GPM. The optimal flow rate for your home depends on your specific needs. Others find that 1.0 GPM is enough for their needs, while others need a higher flow rate that creeps up on the maximum.

What Is The Average Flow Rate For A Kitchen Tap?

Most kitchen taps have a flow rate between 1.0 and 1.5 GPM. According to Federal Standards, kitchen faucets are limited to 2.2 GPM flow rate. There are state-specific restrictions on flow rates, such as those in Georgia and California.

California’s current flow rate restrictions have gradually decreased over the years, finally reaching a maximum flow rate of 1.8 GPM in 2010. California’s restrictions vary by type of faucet, but bathroom faucets are limited to 1.2 gallons per minute.

Most kitchen faucets have a flow rate well below the maximum, with the most common options being 0.08, 1.0, 1.2, and 1.5 GPM.

A 1.5 GPM Kitchen Faucet Is Enough?

best delta touch faucet

In most homes, 1.5 GPM is sufficient for a kitchen faucet. Many people confuse the pressure of water with the flow rate, so think of it this way. This flow rate provides plenty of “pressure” without drawing the same amount of water as a 2.2 GPM faucet.

With a flow rate between 0.08 and 1.5 GPM, you won’t notice any reduction in “water pressure,” so any option is likely to suit your home. If you find that a 1.0 GPM faucet does the job, installing that instead of a 1.5 or 2.2 GPM faucet can help lower your water bill.

The difference in gallons per minute between a 1.2 GPM and 1.5 GPM faucet is fairly small, so most people don’t notice it. You’d get 1.5 gallons of water per minute instead of 1.2.


How To Measure The Flow Rate Of A Faucet

You can easily measure a kitchen faucet’s flow rate with the right materials if you have an unknown flow rate. All you need is:

  • A container large enough to hold one gallon of water
  • A cup for measuring
  • Stopwatch

Begin by placing the container under the faucet. Be sure it doesn’t fall over while you fill it. As soon as your stopwatch is ready, open the tap and start the stopwatch simultaneously.

Make sure you open the faucet and start the stopwatch at the same time, as any variation can affect your results. When measuring maximum flow, you should open the faucet fully. This includes the hot and cold handles if the faucet has them. In order to open both handles and start the stopwatch simultaneously, you may need an extra hand.

Let the faucet run for ten seconds. Stop the stopwatch and the faucet at the same time. After both are off, use your measuring cups to see how much water is in the container.

You’ll need to convert the measured amount of water to gallons, then multiply it by six. That’ll give you the GPM.

Is It Possible To Reduce The Flow Rate Of My Faucet?

It is certainly possible to reduce the flow rate of your kitchen faucet. When the flow rate is too high, you end up wasting excess water. There are a few ways to reduce the flow rate.

You can purchase flow restrictors for your kitchen faucet. The aerator can lower the flow rate of water by restricting the water flow. There are different sizes of aerators to suit your needs. Almost all faucets now feature an aerator to regulate water flow and add air to the water.

Waternymph NSF Certified Dual-function 2-Flow Kitchen Sink Aerator

NSF Certified Faucet Aerator, CUPC Certification 360° Swivel Kitchen Sink AeratorThe Waternymph NSF Certified Dual-function 2-Flow Kitchen Sink Aerator looks gorgeous anywhere it is used. There are two different flows you can enjoy: a soft bubble stream that sprays 1.8GPM and a strong spray that also sprays 1.8GPM.

With the 360° rotating and swiveling super sprayer, you will be able to use your hose inside of your sink. Make sure that you clean out any gunk or leftovers that may have trickled into your sink. You can install this on your kitchen taps, bathroom faucets, and lavatory faucets.

You will save up to 70% of energy and water by using this instead of standard bubblers. It features a simple design that is easy to install. Sizes are available in different choices.

Key Features:

  • Saves between 30% and 70% on energy and water
  • Two flows
  • Rotates 360 degrees


There is also the option of buying an entirely new faucet. If you have an older faucet, the flow rate may be higher. By reducing the flow rate of your faucet or buying a new faucet with a lower flow rate, you can save on water bills. It’s a win-win all around: you save water, which in turn reduces your water bill and helps the environment.

Leave a Reply