Category : Shower Head

Shower head flow restrictor look like & how to remove it

After buying a new shower head, we all noticed that the water flow is very low, but we wonder why the water flow is so low in the new shower head!

When you buy a shower head made in America, every shower head has a flow restrictor installed, so the water flow is low.

This shower restrictor is enforced by the U.S. Congress passing the Federal Energy Policy Act of 1992, which states that this law requires all American-made faucets and fixtures to be 2.5 GPM (Gallon Per Minute ) at 80 psi (pounds per square inch) minimum and restricts water flow, or 2.2 GPM at 60 psi.

So many of us have a question: What is this flow restrictor or flow limiter? And many of us also have the question: If I take it out of the shower head, is it illegal? I will answer all these in your mind in this article.

What is a Shower Head Flow Restrictor?

Yellow Color Shower head flow restrictor and another six color flow restrictor and written "shower head flow restrictor"

If you believe a flow restrictor resembles a water-saving shower head, understanding its appearance might help. It typically appears as a flat, round, plastic piece, often found in different colors, primarily yellow or blue.

Positioned at the rear of the shower head, it marks the point where water begins its flow, or in the case of flexible shower heads, where the hose connects.

Removing the water restrictor leads to a significant surge in water consumption, potentially resulting in higher water bills. Additionally, keeping a flow restrictor aligns with eco-friendly practices.

is it illegal to remove flow restrictor !

The one we think is illegal the most is the Federal Energy Policy Act of 1992, which but it’s the state rules that matter most when it comes to what’s allowed..

For example, removing a flow restrictor is considered completely illegal in California, while Texas, Georgia, and New York require you to keep your shower water at 2.5, 2.5, and 2.0 GPM (Gallons Per Minute), respectively. So, to keep your water flowing within the set limits, you’ll need a water flow limiter. But One noticeable thing is that these restrictions are more restricted in states or cities facing water scarcity or with larger populations.

To stay on the right side of the law, it’s smarter to be aware of the local regulations and plumbing codes in the state or populated city you’re in. That way, you can avoid any unintentional violations.

How To Remove a Flow Restrictor From a Shower Head

Flow restrictor remove from shower head any person and written beside "Remove Flow restrictor Shower Head" on Orange color with white front and logo "bathinhouse"

Here we will discuss about the common shower head, which is installed in every house, for this you need to gather these few things and tools first.

  1. Adjustable wrench,
  2. Needle-nose pliers,
  3. Flathead screwdriver,
  4. Teflon tape

First Step :- Shower head removal begins by using an adjustable wrench to loosen and remove the connector nut from the shower pipe.

Second Step :- When opening the shower head, you’ll discover a washer inside that secures a filter or screen. This component is typically designed to create a seal, preventing leaks. To remove the flow restrictor, take out the screen and washer, and delicately set them aside in a designated spot.

Third Step :- After removing the filter & screen, you’ll see the flow restrictor, which can be easily removed using a flat-head screwdriver.

Fourth Step :- Afterward, reposition the washer and screen inside the showerhead, pressing them firmly with your fingers for a secure fit. Reattach the shower head, tightening it securely with an adjustable wrench. Before securing it, apply Teflon tape to the connector nut. Finally, test the water speed to ensure it’s as desired.

Impact of Removing a Flow Restrictor on Water Usage and Pressure

Water Flow Increase:-

After removing the flow restrictor from the showerhead, your shower’s GPM will be much higher than before, giving you a more comfortable experience. However, be aware that your water bill will likely increase by the end of the month.

Increased Water Pressure:-

When you don’t use a flow regulator or flow limiter, the shower head will increase the water flow rate, consequently raising the pressure on your water pipeline system. This excessive pressure on the plumbing system can result in the formation of holes or fractures in the pipes, causing potential damage.

Wasted Water:-

Using more water from the shower head not only leads to wastage but also contributes to an increased carbon footprint, which is detrimental to the environment and can have a negative impact.

Conclusion of remove shower head flow restrictor

Not using a shower head flow restrictor is the main concern, but if you decide to remove the flow regulator or flow restrictor, all the procedures mentioned above have been discussed; I hope you’ve already read them.

Additionally, let’s delve into what a flow limiter looks like, the potential impact on daily life if removed, and, most importantly, the legal implications of using or removing flow restrictors.

These regulations depend on the specific state or city plumbing guidelines. Therefore, I advise that when undertaking such work, please familiarize yourself with the local laws before proceeding. This approach is beneficial for everyone involved. Thank you.

FAQ: How to Install and Remove a Shower Head Flow Restrictor

While there are many costings related to flow restrictors, the most important ones a person needs to know are discussed here.

Q1.Do All Showerheads Have Flow Restrictors?

Answer: Most showerheads have a flow regulator to help conserve water. Many showerheads also have an aerator, which is a small screen that breaks the water into tiny droplets. However, some showerheads do not have flow regulators or aerators. These showerheads typically have high flow rates and are designed for use in high-pressure systems.

Q2.What Does a Flow Restrictor Look Like?

Answer: A shower head flow regulator is a small, disc-shaped device that is installed on the shower head to help reduce water flow. Most shower head flow restrictors are made of plastic or brass and have a small hole in the centre that allows water to pass through. The size of the hole varies depending on the manufacturer but is usually between 3/8 and 1/2 inches in diameter.

9 thoughts on “Shower head flow restrictor look like & how to remove it”

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  4. Your article states that removing the flow restriction would result in higher pressure on the water system. The opposite is true. Increasing flow by removing a restriction will lower pressure on the water system from the highest pressure when there is no flow otherwise known as static pressure. That is physics. In any case there is no adverse affects to the water delivery system from the use or not of a flow limiter.


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