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How to increase shower head flow

Updated February 21, 2017

Mineral deposits and sediment can clog your pipes as well as the small openings in the shower head. Keeping your shower head clean can help reduce some of the build-up and sediment that causes the shower head to clog and reduce the flow of water. The National Energy Act requires that all shower heads come equipped with a restrictor that only allows 2.5 gallons of water to flow through the shower head per minute. Remove the restrictor from the shower head to increase the water flow if cleaning does not do the trick.

Wrap the teeth of tongue-and-groove pliers in masking tape. The tape helps protect the chrome on your shower head.

Grab the throat of the shower head with the pliers and turn the shower head counterclockwise. Look inside the throat of the shower head to find the screen. If your shower head has a screen, insert a slotted screwdriver underneath the rubber gasket inside the shower head throat and pull the gasket from the throat. Turn the shower head over onto your hand and let the screen fall from the shower head.

Clean the screen under running water. Replace the screen inside the shower head throat and replace the gasket to hold the screen.

Scrub the shower head face with a scrubber sponge to remove any mineral build-up on the surface. Mix equal amounts of white vinegar and water in a bowl, enough to cover the face of the shower head. Place the shower head in the bowl and allow it to soak for three to four hours or overnight.

Remove the shower head from the bowl, and scrub the surface with an old toothbrush. Rinse the shower head under clean water. Wrap thread seal tape around the threads on the shower supply pipe in the wall. Twist the shower head onto the pipe clockwise until tight.

Wrap the teeth of tongue and groove pliers in masking tape. Grab the throat of the shower head with the pliers and turn the shower head counterclockwise to remove it from the supply pipe on the wall.

Remove the rubber gasket from inside the throat of the shower head with a slotted screwdriver. Remove the screen from the throat of the shower head.

Locate your shower head's flow restrictor. It is a white or pink, hard plastic gasket. You may need to remove a round metal tab with your slotted screwdriver before you reach the restrictor.

Insert your slotted screwdriver into the flow restrictor and pull it from the shower head throat. Replace the screen and rubber gasket into the shower head throat.

Wrap thread seal tape around the shower supply pipe on the wall. Twist the shower head onto the pipe clockwise until tight.

Things You'll Need

  • Tongue and groove pliers
  • Masking tape
  • Slotted screwdriver
  • Scrubber sponge
  • Bowl
  • White vinegar
  • Thread seal tape
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About the Author

Cecilia Harsch has been writing professionally since 2009. She writes mainly home improvement, health and travel articles for various online publications. She has several years of experience in the home-improvement industry, focusing on gardening, and a background in group exercise instruction. Harsch received her Certified Nurses Assistant license in 2004. She attended Tarrant County College and studied English composition.