Do bathtub faucets have flow restrictors? It sometimes depends on the faucet and the building. For the most part, the answer is, yes. 

Flow restrictors are part of the majority of faucets in a residential household. Flow restrictors regulate water pressure and water consumption.

Flow restrictors are super convenient if you want to save on your water bill and have a healthy water flow. However, when you’re struggling with low water pressure, these tools must be removed to fix the situation.

How to remove the flow restrictor from the bathtub faucet?

Removing the flow restrictor is a quick way to improve the water pressure. You’ll need a couple of tools including a towel, a rubber strap wrench, and a flathead screwdriver.

The process does require you to dig into your faucet. But it’s not as complicated as some DIY plumbing jobs. In fact, it should only take you a few minutes.

Some are inside the aerator, while others are installed separately from the aerator. The process is slightly different depending on the type of model that you have.

Once you have located the flow restrictor, all you’ll need to do is detach it.

Inspect the Faucet

You’ll need to look at your faucet and find out whether you have an aerator restrictor or a single restrictor.

If the restrictor is outside the aerator instead of inside it, you can then begin to remove it.

Use Your Wrench

You’ll use your wrench to twist the restrictor. You should have an adjustable wrench to fit the size. Using the wrench improperly might cause you to damage the faucet head, so be careful.

It’s a good idea to put a rubber band around the restrictor and then use the wrench to apply pressure. That will help prevent potential damage since the wrench won’t be sliding directly against the head of the faucet.

Rinse the Restrictor

After taking the restrictor out of the faucet, you’ll probably see some grime built up. The grime tends to be the result of minerals in the water. As time goes on, these minerals can create deposits that lead to clogs.

Rinsing the flow restrictor will help to remove this buildup and prevent potential clogs.

Now, if the restrictor is inside the aerator, you will need to use a little more effort to get it out.

Block the Drain

You will be working with small parts of the faucet that could fall down the drain. You should block your bathtub drain, so you won’t lose any pieces.

A piece of rubber can be used as a block, but a proper drain stopper is your best bet.

Unscrew Your Aerator

Now you can work with the faucet itself. You’ll unscrew your aerator, which is usually found at the end of your faucet. Unscrewing it can be done with your hands.

You might find that this process is a little time-consuming because of the mineral deposits surrounding the aerator. 

Before you use the wrench, you should put a rubber band over the aerator. This will help prevent the wrench from damaging the face by scratching it. 

Inspect Your Aerator

Now you can take a look at the aerator itself. When you turn it over, the flow restrictor should be inside. It usually looks like a flattened screen.

You can then use your fingers to take the flow restrictor out of the aerator. Some designs might be too small for you to insert your fingers. If that’s the case, use a flathead screwdriver to pop it out.

Go slow to avoid damaging your aerator.

Put the Aerator Back

Now you’ll screw the aerator back onto your faucet. Turn the water on to see whether the pressure is any better. Removing the flow restrictor should increase the water pressure.

Be careful not to screw the aerator on too tightly, as this can cause potential damage to the aerator or the faucet.

Now that the flow restrictor is removed, you should see an increase in water pressure.

What does a flow restrictor do?

A flow restrictor is a part of a faucet that reduces the flow of water. Most modern faucet designs have these built-in.

What are the benefits of flow restrictors in bathtub faucets?

The main benefit to the flow restrictor is that you save on your water bill. Because not as much water flows through the faucet, you aren’t wasting water when you shower.

However, sometimes a flow restrictor can cause your water pressure to be too low.

Are there negative side effects to removing the flow restrictor?

When you remove the flow restrictor, you will have higher water pressure. You will also have a higher water bill because of the increased flow of water. So it’s not a good idea to remove the restrictor unless you’re dealing with seriously low water pressure.

Final Thoughts on Bathtub Flow Restrictors

The faucets in your bathtub, showerhead and sink are all likely to have flow restrictors. These regulate your water usage to prevent waste.

You can remove the flow restrictor with a wrench and a screwdriver. This will increase the water pressure in your bathtub. The whole process only takes a few minutes. Just be careful not to make your water pressure too high.