How To Remove The Flow Restrictor From A Kitchen Faucet?

Clean water is not present in abundant quantities as it was back in time. This is why the government has passed legislation on flow restrictors in the kitchen, bathroom, or any place they may be present.

A small circular shaped barrier with the number of holes ranging from 10-30, along with multiple layers of support, is called a flow restrictor.

The amount of water flowing through the tap can be controlled by turning the valve in either direction. This helps in regulating water pressure, which advocates saving water as per the purpose of using the sink.

A part of the faucet, known as the aerator, is used to limit water consumption. Keep reading to understand the methodology and master the art of removing a flow restrictor from a kitchen faucet.

Steps To Remove The Flow Restrictor From A Kitchen Faucet

removing flow restrictor from kitchen faucet

There can be 100 hundred reasons why a person wants to get rid of their flow restrictor. Maybe they are tired of the slow flow of water, leading to a longer time spent washing dishes or filling a cup of water.

Probably, they require faster water flow because the specific sink is used only for dishwashing purposes, whether in schools, canteens, restaurants, or offices.

Equipment required to perform the operation of removing the flow restrictor would be a strong cloth, plier or wrench, and a flat-head screwdriver.

  • Step 1

Put a cloth or some water-resistant material on the drain so that small parts do not get flushed down. Depending on the type of faucet you have installed, the method used to remove the faucet aerator can vary.

Some of them can simply be detached by turning in a clockwise direction. Whereas, some may require to use a piece of equipment (a rubber-strap wrench) to twist the aerator and separate it from the faucet. There are called concealed aerators.

  • Step 2

Once the aerator is separated from the faucet housing, place all the underlying parts in order on the table. Turn on the faucet and let all the dirt and foreign particles get cleaned up as you are anyway opening the faucet system.

Right behind the aerator, there will be an aerator screen with dozens of holes drilled into it; this is the mechanism that helps users make a choice about the pressure of incoming water flow from their kitchen or bathroom faucet.

Slowly put the tap on, such that the flow of water is not too harsh (as the aerator head is now removed and water rushes down through the entire diameter of the faucet opening).

Use the water to clean the aerator body and the delicate aerator screen. In case this is not sufficient for cleaning your aerator parts, then dip the parts into a bowl of vinegar for 1-3 hours.

  • Step 3

Ensure that no debris and external particles are lingering on the detached aerator parts. Now, flush the faucet and its internal lining with cold and warm water for about 30 seconds each.

This lets you test the flow of water and also gives you another chance to decide if this vacant aerator faucet is a suitable choice or not.

The bottom line being the whole point of step 3 is to clean the interiors of the pipe/tap of dirty debris and dust particles. This also helps in studying whether any rusting has occurred and the entire pipeline needs to be cleaned or reinstalled. Just be careful of getting splashed, as, without the aerator, water will flow with a 10 times higher force.

Remember – The flow restrictor that you are attempting to remove is the aerator screen, which is situated behind the aerator head. This must be removed in step 1 itself and anyhow before reaching step 3 to successfully replace the kitchen faucet.

  • Step 4

This is the final step and involves reattaching and reassembling the aerator head to the face of the faucet. From the table, pick up only the aerator head and make sure that there are no underlying parts hidden behind it. Because some manufacturers attach 2-3 flow restrictors (aerator screen) that help in more options with regards to the desired flow of water – this is an important step.

Position the aerator head back to the aerator housing section on the face of the faucet and use a flat-head screwdriver or wrench to twist it in a counter-clockwise direction until it is tightly fitted. You would only have to use equipment to tighten the aerator head if it is a concealed aerator.

Otherwise, even hand tightening would do the job. Finally, you can turn on the faucet to see if you succeeded in your little project. If not, then just reopen the aerator and confirm whether the aerator screen (flow restrictor) was left back on the faucet opening or behind the aerator head.

Warning – Be aware of what comes through your faucet as due to the absence of a flow restrictor – dust particles and debris can also flow out. This, when consumed, can cause severe infections inside the digestive tracts and even lead to gastrointestinal problems or death.

Tip – Most old school faucets have a female thread fitting, which is not hard to detach. Simply use your fingers and turn the aerator in a clockwise direction. In case it seems hard to remove because it is jammed, wrap a cloth around the aerator (to avoid damage and loss of aesthetics) and use a plier to unscrew the aerator head.

Whereas, if it is a modern-day faucet, expect to have a male threaded fitting. This is also known as a cache aerator and needs much more application of force while separating it from the faucet.

Put your finger inside the aerator and twist in a counter-clockwise direction to loosen it. Or else use an aerator removal key which can be easily purchased at a hardware store. Now, watch the video to recap the entire steps:

Last Words

Depending on the brand of the faucet, there can be different methods and specialized equipment to perform operations as such. This is why you should read the product manual before deciding to work on your kitchen or bathroom faucet.

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