Flow restrictors or water savers are devices inside the bathroom faucet that are used to regulate and limit the flow of water from the faucet so as to reduce water consumption. This can then help save water to help the environment while also reducing your water bills to a significant extent.
However, in some cases, the water pressure might be too low, which might require you to disconnect the flow restrictor and the faucet.
Let us look at how you can do this.
Gather Your Tools
First, gather the tools that you will require to separate the flow restrictor. Since this is actually quite a simple process, there are not too many tools that you will need. You can simply use a screwdriver and an adjustable wrench to help you out.
Keep a towel handy for cleaning up and drying.
Identify the Model
Once you have gathered the tools, you will then need to figure out which model or type of flow restrictor your faucet uses. This will either be a unitary flow restrictor that is separate from the aerator or it will be one that is installed in the aerator.
For both these types of flow restrictors, the method of removing it from the faucet will slightly differ. Let us take a look at how it works for both.
Single Flow Restrictor
If you have identified that your faucet has a single or unitary flow restrictor, the process is quite simple. You only need to disconnect the restrictor from the head of the faucet. Go through the following steps to figure out how to separate it from the faucet.
Twist It Out
To disconnect the flow restrictor, you must first twist out the head of the faucet. Make sure you utilize a movable wrench to do this and position it well so that you can easily twist it out.
You must ensure that you protect the head of the faucet with a rubber band (or anything else) to prevent causing any impairment to the surface.
After you have established this protection, simply use the wrench and twist it out. Once the head is out, you can simply disconnect the flow restrictor from the faucet.
After removing the flow restrictor, examine it properly and see if there is any clogged-up material or minerals on it. It is quite possible that this clog is causing reduced water pressure.
Rinse out the materials and clean the restrictor thoroughly. If you want, you can reinstall it to check if the water pressure has improved. Then, all you need to do is close up the faucet head again.
If you find that the water pressure has not changed that much even after cleaning, then you can keep the flow restrictor out or replace it entirely. In fact, replacing it might help you conserve water and save money on water bills as well.
Aerator Flow Restrictor
If you realize that the flow restrictor is present in the aerator, you might need to add a few more steps to the process of removing it from the faucet. Don’t worry, it’s not too complicated! Go through the following steps to figure it out.
Plug the Drain
First of all, you should plug the drain because there will be several small pieces in the aerator that may fall into the drain and cause it to clog up. Use any kind of object that will cover the drain up completely. It would be even better if you can use a drain blocker that you can simply plug over it.
Unscrew the Aerator
After this, figure out where the aerator is. It should mostly be towards one end of the faucet.
You can simply use your own hands to unscrew the aerator by twisting it towards the left. However, if that doesn’t work, use an adjustable wrench to detach it. This might be more helpful, especially if there are mineral build-ups in the aerator.
Make sure you attach a rubber band to the aerator before using the wrench to prevent any damages such as scratches to the surface.
Find and Remove the Restrictor
Once you unscrew the aerator, you will need to locate where the flow restrictor is. Examine the aerator thoroughly so that you can find it without any hassle. You can then remove it using either your fingers or a small screwdriver.
If you are using a screwdriver, make sure it is flat enough so that when you use it to push the restrictor from one end, the other end should come out easily. You can then remove it completely and carefully.
Once it is out, you can rinse and clean it with water to get rid of the obstructing material and minerals. After washing it, dry it out thoroughly.
Screw It Back
You can choose to put the flow restrictor back in the aerator to check if the water pressure has improved a bit after cleaning it out. If it still doesn’t work, however, you can simply keep it out and screw the aerator shut without it.
Once you have screwed it in again, test it out and see if the water pressure has improved. With the flow restrictor out, you will be able to notice that the water is flowing much more freely.
If you want to save on your water consumption and bill, you can replace the existing flow restrictor with a new one.
You now know the exact method to disconnect the flow restrictor from your bathroom faucet.
Through this guide, we have listed down the steps involved in removing both, a single flow restrictor as well as an aerator flow restrictor.
If you don’t want to get rid of it completely, you can simply clean it up and place it back in or replace it. It is also possible to make the holes in the restrictor a bit bigger if you want to improve the water pressure.
So, now that you know the process, all you need to do is follow the steps and successfully remove it from the faucet.