A water flow restrictor as the name suggests restricts the amount of water that comes out of the faucet. This is done in part to help conserve water resulting in less wasted water and lower water bills. Most sinks also have an aerator that is essentially a screen housing that prevents some debris from leaving the faucet and entering glasses, pitchers or other containers being filled with water. Removal of the restrictor may be needed to check for clogs in the restrictor or aerator, which can cause what seems like low water pressure.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Soft cloth or rag
Turn off the main water supply valve in your home or building. Often the valve is located in the basement.
Wipe and dry off the faucet especially around the tip of the faucet where the water flow comes out.
Look for a small seam going around the circumference of the faucet tip a few millimetres from the end of the tip. This is where the aerator connects to the faucet with the restrictor inside.
Grasp the tip just below the seam and turn the tip counter-clockwise until it starts to unscrew. If it does not unscrew try to go clockwise. Carefully unscrew the tip all of the way being sure not to allow any internal components to fall into the sink drain. There may be rubber washers, a filter screen, and a separate housing for the restrictor.
Inspect the removed aerator taking note of the placement of any components inside. Note that some models may have the restrictor connected directly to the aerator making the aerator appear longer in appearance. If there are any rubber washers or screen carefully remove them.
Turn the water supply valve back on and turn the kitchen faucet on. The water will flow out quickly and may splash. Allow the water run for a minute to clear out any small debris in the faucet. Turn the faucet down to a lower flow and grasp the aerator, restrictor, and screen and allow the water to freely pass through them on both sides to remove any debris.
Tips and warnings
- If the restrictor or aerator appears blocked and can not be cleaned you may need to replace it.
- Restrictors and aerators are used to conserve water by limiting water flow and preventing small debris from getting into your drinking water. Removing these components should be done only to clean them or temporarily increase water flow. Leaving the restrictor off will cause more water to flow leading to more water waste and higher water expenses.
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