In many places, water service is very expensive. For that reason, many people do whatever it takes to reduce water consumption. A common method is to use shower heads with flow restrictors. These gadgets consume a small percentage of water compared to regular shower heads.
However, when the water pressure is too low, using flow restrictors is a real nightmare. If you don’t have time to waste, having one of these in your shower isn’t so convenient.
Fortunately, you don’t need to replace your old shower head to fix the problem. You only need to follow a series of steps to increase the water pressure. Today, we’ll show you how to remove flow restrictor from a shower head.
Removing Flow Restrictors from Shower Heads – All the Steps
Tools and materials
- Teflon tape
- Needle nose pliers
- Dry cloth
- Pipe wrench
Fixed shower head
1. First of all, wrap the shower arm and the connecting nut of the shower head with a dry cloth. This will prevent scratches on the surface when using the wrench.
2. After that, turn the connecting nut counterclockwise using the wrench. If the shower head doesn’t move, you’ll have to apply rust remover around the nut. Wait at least 30 minutes for the product to take effect.
- After removing the shower head, locate the flow restrictor inside. It’s the black rubber washer inside the connecting nut. Tap the bottom of the shower head with your hands to move the filtering screen. Then, remove it with needle nose pliers. Finally, remove the flow restrictor with a flat screwdriver.
3. After that, wrap the thread of the shower arm with Teflon tape. Do it clockwise so that the Teflon tape doesn’t peel off when installing the shower head.
4. Finally, install the shower head by turning clockwise. Then, wrap the connecting nut with a dry cloth and apply extra pressure with the wrench.
Handheld shower head
- First of all, check out the user manual or the official website of the product. There you’ll find some blueprints that will indicate you the location of the flow restrictor.
- Wrap the connecting nut of the shower head with a dry cloth. Then turn the nut counterclockwise using a wrench. Be careful to not break the hose attached to the shower head.
- After removing the shower head, locate the flow restrictor. Usually, it’s located inside a holder or at the bottom end of the shower head.
- If the restrictor is at the bottom end, you’ll needle nose pliers to remove the filtering screen. Then, use a flat screwdriver to remove the restrictor.
- If the restrictor is inside a holder, remove the holder after unscrewing the shower head. Then, use a flat screwdriver to separate the flow restrictor from the filtering screen.
- After that, put the filtering screen in place, applying pressure with your finger.
- Wrap the shower arm with Teflon tape clockwise. This will prevent the tape from peeling off during installation.
- Finally, attach the shower head to the free end of the hose. Then, rotate clockwise using your hand. Wrap the connecting nut with a dry cloth and apply extra pressure with a wrench.
Moen shower head
- Wrap the shower head and the connecting nut with a dry cloth. Then, grab the nut with a pair of Channelocks. Rotate counterclockwise to remove the shower head. Apply rust remover on the thread if necessary.
- Disengage the retaining latches that hold the plastic cap of the shower head in place. Then, remove the plastic cap. You can use your bare hands to unscrew the cap if it’s loose.
- After removing the cap, you’ll find a filter screen. Use needle nose pliers to remove it. Then, remove the flow restrictor with a flat screwdriver.
- Wrap the thread of the shower arm with Teflon tape clockwise. Apply enough Teflon tape to prevent water leaks.
- Finally, screw the shower head on the shower arm. Turn the water on and verify there are no water leaks.
Precautions to Take
- Before uninstalling the shower head, make sure to turn the water off. If possible, cut the supply of the entire bathroom. This will prevent a disaster if you accidentally break a pipe.
- Make sure to take a look at the user manual before installing or uninstalling the shower head. The procedure may vary for some shower head models.
- If the connecting nut doesn’t move, don’t apply too much force with the wrench. If you see that the thread is rusty, apply rust remover and wait 30 minutes. Then try removing the shower head. In this case you can also use silicone spray as a lubricant.
- Be careful when using the screwdriver. Its tip could cause serious damage to the connecting nut when trying to remove the flow restrictor.
- If you notice any water leak after installing the shower head, apply more Teflon tape on the shower arm to solve the problem.
- If you notice a build-up of limescale, rust or mud inside the shower arm, use a hard bristle brush to clean it. For best results, soak the shower head in vinegar overnight.
Certainly, flow restrictors are necessary in places with too much water pressure. They also help you pay less on water bills. However, in other places they aren’t necessary.
If water flow on your shower is too weak, you should verify if there’s a flow restrictor inside your shower head. If you find one, follow the tips in this article to remove it. Before you start, make sure you have all the necessary tools and materials at hand.
Q. 1: Do all shower heads have flow restrictors?
A. Not all. However, most new models do. The National Energy Act obliges all manufacturers of shower heads to install removable flow restrictors in their products. These rubber washers are designed to restrict flow to a maximum of 2.5 gal/min.