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How to Properly Remove Flow Restrictors from Kitchen Taps

kitchen tapsMany kitchen taps have flow restrictors installed at the end of the tap head to conserve water. Flow restrictors can function independently, but in some cases, these are installed with aerators. It is generally considered a bad idea to permanently remove a flow restrictor, as it causes your water bill to significantly rise, among other things. However, you might wish to know how, in case replacing it may be necessary. One situation when flow restrictors need to be removed is in the event that mildew and calcium deposits build up on them.

Here are the steps involved in the removal of the flow restrictor:

Removing Flow Restrictors without Aerators

  • Check the tap and find out if the flow restrictor was installed by itself or if it comes with the aerator. If it was installed on its own, removing it should be easy.
  • Get a thick rubber band and attach it to the flow restrictor. Twist it in a gentle, but firm manner using a pair of pliers. Doing this prevents the finish from marring while still allowing for a good grip.
  • With the right brush, scrub clean the flow restrictor or toss it away. In case you find stubborn deposits, soak the restrictor in white vinegar for some time.
  • Wrap the threads with plumbing tape and screw the flow restrictor back in place or screw in the new one.

Removing Flow Restrictors with Aerators

  • Check for the best way to take out the aerator. There are a few which you can screw off in the same manner described above. Others might be secured with a rubber stopper or rubber tube, and you can take these off by wetting them and applying soap. High end-models might have tamper-proof apparatus, and such models can only be removed using a plumber’s key. Call manufacturers or obtain a plumbing key which works for the tap.
  • Carefully take out aerator pieces one at a time and lay these in a single line along the counter top. When the aerator is clear of the tap, it must be able to come out easily.
  • In the line of parts, find the flow restrictor. The flow restrictor is the disk with holes, and this usually lies between a tiny screen and a rubber washer.
  • Gently scrub the restrictor with a brush or soak it in white vinegar. If beyond repair, have it replaced with a brand new restrictor.
  • Put back aerator parts one by one and place it back on the tap. You can screw it back to position or by sliding back the tube into place.
  • Run water for a time to make sure that flow problems are absent.
  • If you do find a problem, whether it has to do with flow or something else, your best bet is to contact a plumber who can sort it out for you. The plumbing company you can count on has insurance, licenses, the best equipment, and the best people to operate these equipment.


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