How to remove flow restrictor from shower head

Published On: March 13, 20200 Comments on How to remove flow restrictor from shower headTags: , , Last Updated: February 11, 20245.3 min read

Before heading out for the important office meeting, you have to get ready for a quick shower. You just can not wait for the sweet drizzle of the shower to bath you in good 15-20 minutes. Your office pick up car is honking, your wife is knocking and you yourself are panicking. What’s worse? The water restrictor on shower head is getting on your nerves.

How to remove flow restrictor from shower head

Don’t worry just follow the following simple steps below.

What is water restrictor in shower heads for?

They are also known as flow restrictors. It usually has a plastic body which is flat and circular. The centre is metallic and usually star shaped. They can have different colors such as white, black, red, pink or green.

Installment site:

The installment site is where you fix the metallic shower under the seal, washer or screen. You can easily remove them with the help of pliers.


You can find  a luxurious variety of shower heads in the sanitary and washroom accessories stores. They have huge functional and structural variations. You can get various sizes, designs and modules. Basic types of water restrictor shower heads are:

  • Delta
  • Moen
  • Embedded shower head
  • Waterpik shower heads etc.

Causes for removal:

  • Poor water pressure in the respective area
  • Rusty water head with blocked pores
  • Poor water shower flow frustrates you


  • Cover the extra parts with a clean and dry rag to avoid any damage or scratches.
  • Make sure to close the taps tightly and properly to avoid any cloth wetting etc.
  • If the shower is constantly dribbling due to any damage or technical fault it is better to close the main water supply before all steps completed.
  • Always protect the threads (under the shower head) with the plumbers’ tape. This helps to avoid the rusting of the threads and hence will cause leakage problems in future.


Before you finally start, you need to gather the following tools within your arm’s length.

How to remove flow restrictor from shower head:

How to remove flow restrictor from shower head - flow restrictor

Removing from a shower head with embedded restrictor:

  • Remove the Shower head from the wall:

The shower arm is holding the shower head with the help of connector nut. Infact, guides you more on how to remove flow from shower head. You can loosen these nuts with the adjustable wrench. Hold the shower head with your other hand to avoid its falling down once it is loosened enough to be removed.

  • Remove the Restrictor:

Usually the embedded restrictor is protected at top with a seal and a mesh filter. Remove both of them with the help of needle nose pliers. Now the flow restrictor is visible and you can take it out with a flat screwdriver.

  • Fix the head back:

Fix the washer and seal by pushing it back at its place. Now seal the linear groove between arm and head with the teflon tape. Once done you can now fix the connector nut back.

Removing from a shower not fixed or hand held

  1. In such showers, restrictor is usually at two meeting points either where the handle meets the shower or where the handle meets the flexible tube. You may take help from the manufacturer’s manual or you can also check it online at the product brands website.
  2. If the restrictor is at handle tube junction, gently rotate the connector nuts with pliers anti clockwise. This removes the handle from tubing and restrictor is exposed with seal and mesh.
  3. If it is at the junction of handle and head. Move the nuts clockwise with pliers to move them apart. Now remove the seal, mesh and finally the restrictor with flat head screwdriver.
  4. After that put the removed parts back to their holdings sealed with tape and tighten the screws.

Moen showers:

  1. Remove the aluminum shower head from the shower pipe.
  2. Be very vigilant in removing the rubber or ring gasket. Don not use any tools since it is fragile so you better use your hand.
  3. Locate the flow restrictor in the neck of the shower gently.
  4. Put the screen back then tightly assemble the ring in its place. Secure all junctions with Teflon tape and screwdriver on their respective sites.

Dealing with a waterpik shower head

  1. It is separated from the shower head pipe. You will use a crescent wrench according to its shape.
  2. In between the head and arm of the shower, there is a rubber washer. You need to remove the washer to expose the restrictor. Loosen it with a Phillips screwdriver from all the sides before you finally take it out through the star shaped hole.
  3. Return back the washer and rubber gasket back on its place. Reassemble all the parts with crescent wrench keeping the precautions in mind.

Delta shower head restrictor removal

  1. Carefully following the previous steps. Remove the shower head from the pipe. Take out the washer from the coupler with the help of needle nose pliers.
  2. Its restrictor is usually a non-transparent nylon one. You need to remove the restrictor and place the rest of the parts back int heir places carefully.

Water control settings in modern shower heads

Talking about the modern setting, the shower heads are coming with options of flow regulators with pulsating or rain massage, power rain, or mist etc. Some companies are even using the air turbo changing technology for water pressure or flow regulation. Some designs have water-saving on/off buttons while there are other manufacturers which have launched the water control system with laser-controlled water flow and pressure. Improving water pressure in general helps if removing the flow regulator doesn’t. It all depends on your personal preferences and budget as to which option you go for.


The shower restrictor hampers the free flow of water which can be used both ways. If you want to increase the flow you can remove it and enjoy the shower pressure. On the contrary, if you want to keep the utility bills under check and contribute your role towards water saving and build up a healthy environment. You not only do it yourself but also convince others to learn to enjoy the water restrictor shower heads flow.

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