How to Remove Flow Restrictor from a Shower Head

Most shower heads come with water or flow restrictors to help control how much water comes out at once. For most people, this is a good thing since the flow restrictor will help them save money on water and energy costs. However, others who live in areas with low water pressure often find that the flow restrictor means that they don’t get much water flowing from their shower heads at all.

Thankfully, it’s easy to remove the flow restrictor and get your shower back in working order! To complete this project, you’ll need:

  • Wrench
  • Rag
  • Paperclip
  • Teflon plumber’s tape

Step One

To start, you’ll need to detach the shower head from the shower arm pipe. Using a wrench, undo the connecting nut. You can use the rag at this stage to avoid damaging your nut if it’s plastic or you don’t want to scratch the metal.

Step Two

If the head has a shower screen, remove it.

Step Three

Take the paperclip and unbend it. Using the clip, pry out the shower head’s gasket or black O-ring. Take care while handling these parts so that you don’t damage them in the process.

Step Four

With the gasket and O-ring out, you can now take out the flow restrictor. In most shower heads, this part is a plastic disc that rests behind a star-shaped metal piece in the shower head. Once again, use the paper clip to hook underneath the restrictor and twist it up so you can remove it.

Step Five

With the flow restrictor out, you can reassemble the shower head. Put the gasket or O-ring in first, making sure it slides back into its seat. If you had a shower screen, return it into place as well.

Step Six

Before placing the shower head back on the arm, remove the plumber’s tape from the threaded end. With the old tape gone, wrap a new piece around the same place.

Step Seven

While holding the shower head in place, screw the nut back into place. Once again, you can use a rag to prevent any damage to the bolt as you use the wrench. When you next run the shower, you should have increased water flow from before.

Wrapping Up

Flow restrictors usually reduce the water flow to 2.5 gallons per minute. Without this part, you’ll have much higher water flow. Be aware that this will likely increase your water and energy bills, but it will help with any pressure issues.

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