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5 Steps On How To Remove Flow Restrictor From Bathroom Faucet

Although flow restrictors can save a lot of water, they can make faucets unusable. Luckily, you can remove them yourself without hiring a plumber! But to do that, you have to get familiar with some critical information.

How to remove the flow restrictor from the bathroom faucet skillfully? 

To begin, you’re going to need a screwdriver, plier, wrench, and a towel. Simply remove the faucet aerator to expose the restrictor. Grab your screwdriver so you can remove the restrictor afterward. When done, put the faucet aerator back in its place. Resume the water supply and check for any leakage. 

Anyways, that was just a short summary. We’ve explained the procedure and also discussed the pros and cons. 

Read along to gain more knowledge on restrictors and the necessary fixes. 

Should You Have a Flow Restrictor?

Before making a big decision, you should know about the consequences first. Because you don’t really want to learn the hard way, do you? 


There are a lot of advantages of flow restrictors. Let’s have a look at them. 

Low Water Bills 

According to the US EPA, restrictors can save up to 600-700 gallons of water. This is one household per year. 

In the USA, a family of four uses around 400 gallons of water per month. Such families pay a monthly bill of roughly 70.50$ depending on the state. 

Ultimately, flow restrictors can save around 150$ or more per year. You can also save a lot by using a flow-restricted showerhead

Environmental Benefits

Saving water can also reduce the cost of heating. Because you’ll be saving a lot of power as well. 

On top of that, less water usage will benefit the rivers and the bays. It’ll also reduce the sewage management cost, wastewater prices, and many more. 


Unfortunately, the flow restrictors have a couple of disadvantages. Let’s look at them below- 

Unsatisfactory Water Flow 

In some states, water flow can be less due to many reasons. A water-saving feature can worsen that flow even more. 

Flow restrictors generally reduce the water flow by a whopping 30%. That’s why if the initial water flow is slow, the faucets become unusable. 

Insufficient Water Pressure

Adding a flow restrictor will significantly reduce water pressure. They are to be blamed for the low water pressure.

For example, using a well as a water supply requires a lot of pressure. But it can alter that very easily. 

Sometimes, people still face low water pressure after well pump replacement. Flow restrictor is one of the reasons behind this. 

How Can You Remove the Flow Restrictor? 

So far we’ve discussed the ups and downs. It’s now up to you to come to a decision. If you’re still up for removal, read out the following mentioned steps one after the other. 

But before that, we’re going to need some tools- 

  • Flathead Screwdriver
  • Philips Screwdriver
  • Rubber-strap Wrench
  • Cloth
  • Plier (optional) 
  • Crescent Wrench (Optional) 
  • Allen Wrench (Optional) 

Manage these tools as soon as possible to get started! 

Step-1: Turn Off the Water Supply 

Before everything, you have to turn off the water supply. You won’t be able to control the water after opening the faucet. 

While you’re doing this, there’s something else to do as well. After you’ve shut down the water supply, there’s still some water remaining. 

Turn on the faucet and keep it on for a couple of seconds. This will drain all the remaining water in the pipeline. 

Plug the sink at the end to avoid losing any faucet parts or screws.

Step-2: Detach the Faucet Aerator 

A faucet aerator accumulates minerals and dirt over time. It helps you get cleaner water. It’s one of the major reasons behind reduced water pressure in bathroom sinks

Flow restrictors are usually located behind the aerator. That’s why we have to remove the faucet aerator first. 

There are actually various kinds of faucets and aerators. You can open almost all of them with your bare hands. Just rotate the aerator counter-clockwise and it’ll come out easily! 

But they can also be extremely hard to rotate sometimes. To make it really easy, use a rubber-strap wrench. 

But if you don’t have it near you, that’s absolutely fine. You have to improvise instead. Get a wrench/plier and a towel. 

Wrap the towel on the crescent wrench or the plier. This will prevent scratching of the faucet. Grab the aerator using either of them and apply some pressure. 

It will surely get loose this time! When you’re done, check for any mineral deposits on the aerator. 

If you see white substances, run some water through them. That’ll get rid of everything. 

Step-3: Remove the Flow Restrictor

Removing the faucet aerator will expose the flow restrictor right away. They are usually black or white in color and have small holes in them. 

That’s what restricts the flow! They can be taken off almost instantly with bare hands. But again, if you’re having a hard time pulling it out, use a plier. 

But not all the restrictors are the same! Some of them can be attached with a screw. 

For that, you’ll need either a Philip screwdriver or an Allen wrench. Flathead screwdrivers often prove to be useful as well. 

But the job might not always go smoothly. Since kitchen and bathroom faucets are often meddled with, screws can get stripped. Luckily, you can easily remove stripped screws from any faucet

Step-4: Reinstall the Aerator

After you’re done with flow restrictors, put everything back. Let’s start with the aerator first. 

Get the faucet aerator and this time rotate it clockwise. Bare hands are enough for this. But use the wrench and towel to tighten it one last time. 

A new aerator will be better if the old aerator is dirty after a cleanup. Because the water will tough the aerator before reaching you. 

But fear not, because we’ve made a small list about our top picks- 

Aerator 1
Aerator 2

You can now pick whichever you like and get started right away! 

Step-5: Check for Leakage

With the aerator installed, your job is almost done. But before calling it a day,  check for possible leakages. 

Leakage can cause mold inside or create water stains around the faucet. It ruins the overall look of the faucet. 

Turn the water supply on. Check if there’s any water coming out from sideways. If the aerator isn’t leaking any water, you can call it a success. 

If this didn’t fix the water flow, it’s likely to be something else. Don’t hesitate to call the nearest plumbing service for a detailed inspection. 


Question: Do all faucets have flow restrictors?

Answer: Faucets that have been manufactured after 1994 have flow restrictors in them. It was updated to save excessive water from being wasted. It’s a required feature in some states. 

Question: Why is my faucet water flow slow?

Answer: There are a variety of reasons behind a slow water flow. Clogging is quite common in most cases. Cleaning the mineral deposits from the aerator often solves the problem. 

Question: Why do I suddenly have no water?

Answer: It can occur due to a clogged aerator or a clogged cartridge. If either of these two gets blocked, the water flow will slow down. At one point, you won’t get any water. 

Final Words

That’s all we could provide on how to remove the flow restrictor from the bathroom faucet. Hopefully, we were able to explain everything and you found your questions answered. 

Last but not least, good luck and have a nice day!