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How to Remove the Flow Restrictor From a Delta Kitchen Faucet

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We use our kitchen faucets for many of our daily chores, so it is understandably frustrating if your water pressure becomes lower than normal.

While there are many possible causes for low water pressure, one may be an issue with your flow restrictor. Flow restrictors reduce your water flow as a means of conserving water. Therefore, when they become clogged or faulty, this can cause you to experience lower pressure than usual.

If you’re looking for advice on removing your flow restrictor to clean it or take it out completely, then read on for step-by-step instructions and plenty of information to help you!

Why Does My Delta Kitchen Faucet Have Low Pressure?

If you notice that your kitchen faucets are experiencing abnormally low water pressure, it may be because the flow restrictors are clogged, resulting in a reduced water flow rate.

A low flow can be particularly annoying as you rely on your kitchen faucets a lot throughout the day, whether you’re cleaning or washing up.

Why Do You Need Flow Restrictors?

Flow restrictors are useful as they reduce the flow of the water to save water and, in turn, money and energy. Flow restrictors work by protecting your appliances from high pressure and potentially damaging water surges by regulating the water flow. This can preserve your pipes and appliances as high pressure can lead to costly leaky or burst pipes.

That being said, flow restrictors can be aggravating in areas where the water pressure is already low as they reduce the pressure further. For these reasons, you may be considering removing your flow restrictors to enjoy better use of your faucets.

Do All Delta Faucets Have Flow Restrictors?

All US faucets sold since 1994 are required by law to have flow restrictors installed to conserve water. Therefore this applies to all Delta faucets as the flow restrictor is built into them. However, it can be removed if, for whatever reason, you need to.

Read more: Delta kitchen faucet review

Tools You’ll Need to Remove the Water Flow Restrictor

You can remove a flow restrictor from home with relative ease; there is no need to enlist the help of a plumber.

To remove your water flow restrictor, you will need to be pre-equipped with the necessary tools to perform the job at home. Therefore, make sure you have the following on hand:

  • A towel
  • A rag
  • An Allen key
  • An adjustable wrench
  • A pair of pliers
  • A flat head screwdriver
  • Masking tape

How to Remove the Flow Restrictor From a Delta Kitchen Faucet

Before we delve into removing the flow restrictor from a Delta faucet, it is worth noting that removing them completely is not recommended as water-saving features are ultimately installed for a reason.

1. Shut off the hot and cold water supply

The first and foremost thing to do is turn off the water supply. To do this, simply get under your sink and turn off the valves; there should be one for hot and one for cold.

If, for whatever reason, you are struggling to find the valves or they aren’t there, you can also cut off the water through the master valve, which is typically located in a basement or cellar, or on a wall outside near your utilities.

Once you have shut off the water, turn on your kitchen faucet to let any remaining water flow out of the pipes.

2. Cover the drain and protect the sink

Your sink contains many small components that can easily be lost, so stick a rag into the drain to catch any pieces that may come out.

At the bottom of your faucet, you will find a screw holding it in place. Use an Allen key to unscrew it and place it somewhere safe. You may find that the screw has a cap covering it, which should easily be removed using a flat head screwdriver.

3. Remove the faucet aerator

Before getting to the flow restrictor, you will need to remove the faucet aerator. This is located at the end of the faucet’s spout and controls the shape of the water flow.

You should cover the aerator with masking tape before removing it. The reason for this is that the removal process can damage its finish, so wrapping some masking tape around it can help protect it.

To remove the aerator, first, wrap it in the towel. Then get a hold of it with some pliers and turn it in a counterclockwise direction. Be careful with the pressure here, as you do not want to damage the kitchen faucet.

You can, in theory, do this step by hand, but it can pose more of a challenge for stubborn aerators. Loosen it until you can take it off.

Read more: How to remove a recessed faucet aerator

4. Remove the flow restrictor

To access the flow restrictor, look inside the aerator and you should see a small rubber washer, which you need to remove. You may notice that you need to clean your aerator, which is worthwhile doing at this step.

The flow restrictor itself is typically made from plastic and is flat and round with a holey centerpiece.

Depending on your faucet and components, you can use your thumb to gently pop the restrictor out from the center of the aerator. Or you can use a screwdriver to gently remove it from its connections. Finally, if necessary, you can use a wrench to remove the flow restrictor from the kitchen faucet.

It is recommended that you also clean the flow restrictor with diluted vinegar if you reconnect it. If your water restrictor is clean, but you continue to experience a low flow rate, it could be a problem with the water lines instead.

5. Reconnect and reassemble the faucet

Now the flow restrictor has been removed, it is time to put the faucet back together! Remove the rag and collect any components from the sink drain.

To flush out the faucet and clear any debris, turn on your water and slowly run both the hot and cold faucets for 15 to 20 seconds. It is important to do this slowly as the water will flow more aggressively with the aerator off.

Check to make sure the water is running clear as it may still be filtering out debris.

If you decide to replace the flow restrictor, after cleaning it, screw it back into the aerator with a clockwise motion until it is secure but not overtightened. Next, replace the rubber washer and fit the aerator back into its original place.

Here’s everything you need to know about how to tighten kitchen faucets.

Now, test the water flow for around a minute to see if the pressure has improved. If you replaced the flow restrictor, but the pressure is still low, you may need a new restrictor.

Additionally, if you did not replace the flow restrictor and notice the pressure is still low, it may mean there’s an issue with your waterlines or a larger piece of debris is stuck.

Here’s the best ways to clean your kitchen faucet.


Is removing the flow restrictor illegal?

While it is law in the US for faucets to have flow restrictors installed, this only applies to the manufacturers. For customers, this is not the case.

Remember, the purpose of a flow restrictor is to save water. Therefore, if you remove it, be aware that you will be using more water – which will cost more money.

Why else might I have low water pressure?

Although the flow restrictor may be causing lower pressure, it is not always the cause. More often than not, low pressure is the result of a blockage or low water pressure in the area. Therefore, consult your neighbors first as they may be experiencing low water pressure, meaning it could be a water supplier issue.

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