How To Remove Flow Restrictor From Kitchen Faucet?

Removing the flow restrictor is very easy; you can get this done with just your fingers. In this article, I will show you various ways you can easily remove a flow restrictor from the kitchen faucet, plus other information you need to know about the flow restrictor to the kitchen faucet.

However, we must first look at what a flow restrictor is.

What is a Flow Restrictor?

The flow restrictor is simply a filter, which comes in the form of a net attached to an aerator. It consists of even small holes through which water quickly passes and through which more air can enter to provide the needed water pressure.

The flow restrictor functions as a preventive mechanism against the water splashing out, and it helps give the water stream a shape while sprouting out from the faucet. In essence, it helps to produce an even and straight pressured stream.

However, due to debris or residue in the water or pipelines, the flow restrictor that serves as the filter might get blocked, leading to a blockage that prevents water from flowing in and reducing the amount of air entering; thus calls for the removal of the flow restrictors.

You will have to remove the flow restrictor from the kitchen faucet, clean it and insert it back.

How To Remove Flow Restrictor From Kitchen Faucet?

It is an effortless technique that probably might need only your fingernails. No special plumbing tool is required only in severe cases. You only have to turn the aerator in an anticlockwise direction for the DIY approach and remove it. Next, just press the center with your thumb, and pull out the flow restrictor. To remove the washer, press a little bit harder, the screen will come out. After which, you can clean it and insert it back.

For a more elaborated explanation or the step-to-step procedure, follow the listed steps below.

What Do You Need to Remove Flow Restrictor From Kitchen Faucet

The below tools are however not very needed for a DIY approach. You may only need to use them if your aerator gets stuck and it isn’t opening with your fingernails.

  • Screwdriver
  • Damp Towel or Silicone Jar Lid (to hold the aerator).
  • Adjustable Wrench or Pliers (is to be used only the flow restrictor can’t be opened with your fingers).

The steps include:

Step 1: Remove the Aerator

Firstly, use your fingertips to turn the aerator anticlockwise. If it doesn’t remove, which it does in most cases, take the towel or silicone jar lid and try and remove it with it/ the latter might be needed if the aerator is slippery or enough pressure wasn’t enforced on it.

Bring in your adjustable wrench or pliers to remove the aerator if both cases didn’t work out. Do keep in mind that excessive pressure might cause a scratch on your faucet or break it in extreme cases, so do apply with caution.

To ensure the safety of the faucet, you can use the towel or plastic tubing to hold the aerator, then take the pliers or wrench to take it off. Ensure you apply gentle pressure.

 This step is also applicable to newer brands of faucets.

Step 2: Remove the Flow Restrictor

Next, after you have removed the aerator, is to remove the flow restrictor. When you are done with the former, debris or dirt may particles appear above the screen. So firstly go for the washer, remove it and place the aerator under running water. But before that, use a small cloth or towel to block the holes to prevent the loss of any screws or small items.

Doing this process, you may notice two screens; one is below the restrictor, while one is above and sometimes comes in the form of a plastic net. So remove it, do remember the position of how it was placed, so that in fixing it back, it will be at the correct position.

Next, use a toothbrush to clean the nets, aerator, and faucet. If the dirt or debris is too much, take them and place them in a vinegar solution for 2 hours. After which you can clean.

Next, use your thumb, gently press the aerator’s center, and carefully pull out the flow restrictor.  You can use a screwdriver under challenging cases where the flow restrictor is stubborn. In using a screwdriver, be careful not to break it.

After it is opened, clean it carefully and attach it to the nets. You are advised to apply serious caution in this step because the parts can easily break while cleaning, thereby causing your extra money trying to get a new one.

Step 3: Connect to the Faucet

After cleaning the aerator, flow restrictor, and all its parts, you have to attach it back to the faucet. But before you do that, remove the towel or piece of cloth you placed on the sink.  Next, run both the cold and hot water taps.

You will first run the cold water tap for 15-20 secs before running the hot water tap for the same amount of time (15-20 secs.) This helps clear the residue, dirt, or debris present in the pipes. When doing so, if you notice brown water or dirt coming out from the faucet, this indicates that they are much dirt and gave to continually run the water trough until the water becomes transparent.

After the water has become transparent, the next step is to attach the parts according to their position.  Connect the aerator to the faucet and rerun the water. If you notice that the flow restrictor is working fine and the water pressure is normal, it means you are done, and that’s all.

Frequent Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it Difficult to Remove a Flow Restrictor from Kitchen Faucet?

Removing the flow restrictor from the kitchen faucet is one of the easiest and most convenient plumbing tasks you can ever do by yourself.

How To Remove Flow Restrictor From Delta Kitchen Faucet

Most times, the Delta faucet comes with a concealed aerator. To remove the flow restrictor from a delta kitchen faucet, you can use your fingernails to open it. Next, remove the restrictor, clean it, and insert it back to its position.

If it is slippery and not removed with your nails, you can use a plier or screwdriver to do so.

How do you Remove a Low Flow From a Moen Kitchen Faucet?

One of the easiest ways to remove a low flow from a Moen kitchen faucet is to use a Moen flow restrictor removal to clean the debris or residue dirt that can restrict the flow. If the aerator is clogged, soak it overnight in vinegar to dissolve the scale and backflush it under running water.

Does the Flow Restrictor Break Easily

Sometimes it does, but it is highly dependent on the production material of the flow restrictor and the amount of pressure that is infused on it. If it is plastic, it means it can break easily, so you have to be gentle and careful. You also have to be careful when applying pressure if it is metal. In essence, if you are careful and mindful about the degree of pressure you infuse on it, it will break.

Where is Flow Restrictor in Kitchen Faucet?

The flow restrictor is a built-in visible mouth of the faucet that serves as a filter.

How Do You Adjust Faucet Flow?

If you want to adjust faucet flow, you increase or decrease the pressure to achieve that. To adjust the pressure, you have to fine-tune the shut-off valves. Also, you can try cleaning the aerator, rinsing the filter, or flushing down the water supply lines to ease the water flow rate. When you are done, your faucet should run like new.

Do all Kitchen Faucets have Flow Restrictors?

Since 1994, all kitchen faucets have been to have an inbuilt flow restrictor to serve as a preventive mechanism from debris or dirt entering the sink.

How Do You Remove the Flow Restrictor from a Vigo Kitchen Faucet?

First, twist the sprayer anticlockwise to remove the sprayer from the hose. The flow restrictor is located at the hose in a Vigo Kitchen Faucet. Next, remove the 1.8 GPM flow restrictor, then replace it with the 2.2 GPM flow restrictor. After which, you replace the sprayer by twisting it back to fitting be on top of the hose.


I hope you loved and found this article interesting. For more educative kitchen nuggets posts, do keep in touch with us.

Leave a Comment