How to Remove a Shower Flow Restrictor

Flow restrictors in faucets and shower heads save money by reducing the amount of flowing water. Often these devices clog with sediment resulting in low water pressure. Removing a shower flow restrictor from the shower head is slightly different than removing one from the faucet. Most shower heads use a semi-permanent flow restrictor. To remove the flow restrictor in a shower head requires breaking the flow restrictor.

Wrap masking tape around the shower head connection where the shower head attaches to the shower arm. Turn the shower head connection nut counterclockwise with an adjustable wrench, while holding the shower arm near the wall with one hand. Remove the shower head.

Pull the rubber washer out of the shower head neck with a pair of needle nose pliers. The flow restrictor is below the washer.

Place the tip of a Phillips screwdriver over the centre of the flow restrictor. Tap the screwdriver handle with a hammer to punch a small hole in the centre of the restrictor. Angle the screwdriver slightly to pry the restrictor out of the shower head while removing the screwdriver.

Pull any remaining pieces of the restrictor out of the shower head with the needle nose pliers. Place the washer back inside the shower head.

Wrap plumber's tape around the threads of the shower arm. Thread the shower head onto the arm until it is tight. Tighten the shower head another 3/4 turn with the adjustable wrench. Remove the masking tape from the shower head connection.


Older shower heads use a restrictor that is removable. Simply pry these out with a Phillips-head screwdriver.

Things You'll Need

  • Masking tape
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Hammer
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About the Author

Kenneth Crawford is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience. His work has appeared in both print and online publications, including "The American Chronicle." Crawford holds an associate degree in business administration from Commonwealth College.