How to Remove Flow Restrictor from Kitchen Faucet

Flow restrictors are basically on kitchen faucets with the main purpose of reducing water wastages by controlling the water level coming from the hose. They are small in size for easier installation on the faucets and disk-shaped to regulate the water flow effectively.

Some faucets come already incorporated with flow restrictors while others are installed with such later on.

What Necessitates Flow Restrictors Removal?

There comes a time when the water flowing from your kitchen faucet is too slow due to low pressure. This may cause time-wasting in performing kitchen chores thus the need to remove the flow restrictors.

When this happens, the flow restrictors are likely to be crowded with a mineral content that besides jamming the water flow corrodes your faucet interiors. To restore the right water pressure, it is advised you remove the flow restrictors from your kitchen faucet and give them a thorough cleaning.

Removing Flow Restrictors from Pulldown Kitchen Faucets

There are no special plumbing tools needed to accomplish this task therefore you are capable of doing it at home all by yourself. All you need is to be procedural to ensure no leaks or damages occur after you remove the flow restrictors and fix your faucet back.

Follow these simple steps to guide you when removing flow restrictors from your pull-down faucet.

  • Begin by pulling out the spout then clamp the faucet hose to prevent it from retracting.
  • Using a pair of pliers, grip the collar which is at the end of the hose, and carefully unscrew the spray head.
  • Locate the faucet aerator. This may be installed inside the collar or in the spray head based on the model of your kitchen faucet.
  • Gently and with much care, use a flat head screwdriver to remove the aerator. Failure to exercise care may lead to damaging the screen and affect its functionality.
  • Proceed to locate the flow restrictor inside the cavity of the faucet. It is a plastic perforated disk. Mostly, it is visibly attached to the collar of your faucet and in some cases, it is found in the faucet head. Remove it carefully as well. Poking the flow restrictors will alter the pressure regulation in your faucet so make sure to handle them carefully.
  • Clean it with fresh water by back flushing it to remove any accumulated debris and scale that reduce the water pressure. In case it is clogged to the extent it is not easy to clean, soak it for a while in vinegar.

Run high-pressure water from a bathroom faucet and remove the soaked flow restrictors. This will remove most if not all mineral deposits. A thorough rinse will leave your flow restrictors clean and functional again.

  • Replace the flow restrictor as well as the aerator and screw back the faucet head. Check to see the pressure is restored to normal. At this stage, make sure to check for leaks to know any misfit during the connection.
  • You may discard the flow restrictors if they are worn out and replace the aerator alone. This will restore pressure to normal but may lead to much water loss. Getting a new flow restrictor will save water wastage and restore normal pressure.

Removing Flow Restrictors from Pullout Kitchen Faucets

The procedure is similar to that of the pull-down kitchen faucets only that much effort and work is needed. Removing flow restrictors from pull-out kitchen faucets is much easier since you can disconnect the faucet head from the hose much quickly.

Once you disconnect the two, locate the flow restrictors and the aerators and remove them carefully. Clean them separately as the aerator is very sensitive to the scale coming from the flow restrictors. The holes on the aerator are so tiny that particles from the scale coming from the flow restrictors can clog it and hind its functionality.

Implications of Removing Flow Restrictors

Even though the removal of flow restrictors restores water pressure to normal, there are other implications attached. Failure to regulate the water pressure results in water loss. When doing your dishes at the sink and your faucet has its flow restrictors removed, you are likely to waste much water beyond the basic required to clean your dishes.

Water wastage comes with high bills therefore flow restrictors prove economically viable to have in your kitchen faucets. Flow restrictors on showerheads besides controlling water wastage provide a good showering experience under controlled pressure.

Removal of flow restrictors in showerheads may make the showering experience unpleasant due to uncontrolled pressure.

Maintenance of Flow Restrictors

Flow restrictors are prone to clogging with mineral deposits from water. These minerals corrode and wear out the flow restrictors with time besides reducing normal pressure for the water flowing through them.

Subsequently, the flow restrictors become obsolete over time and may need complete replacement. However, frequent cleaning with fresh water and vinegar will make your flow restrictors last longer.

Most experts recommend replacing the flow restrictors consequently with the reverse osmosis (RO) membrane. This membrane is reduced in efficiency with time as material clog and forms layers inside the faucet. The result is low pressure for the water coming from your faucet.

Do All Faucets Have Flow Restrictors?

As a conservation measure, all the faucets produced in recent times have flow restrictors installed in their make. Most come already build-in and form part of the faucet head or the collar.

Those without are fixed through the installation of appropriate flow restrictors during plumbing. This ensures compliance and saves the users water wastage and high water bills.


Flow restrictors need frequent maintenance to reduce water loss and ensure water flows at normal pressure. The procedure is an easy DIY that does not require special plumbing tools. Once you locate the aerator and the flow restrictors, you can clean and replace them to keep your faucet water flowing at normal pressure.

Whether in a pull-down or pull-out faucets, the flow restrictors are prone to clogging thus need maintenance. You, therefore, need to know how to remove the flow restrictors from the kitchen faucet for maintenance. Don’t forget to check out our latest review on Ways to Remove Kitchen Faucet Without a Basin Wrench.

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