Flow restrictors reduce the water flow of your faucets to save water. However, these small barriers can hinder the flow too much, tempting you to remove them.
A Delta kitchen faucet with low flow can be annoying. After all, many kitchen chores are a lot easier with sufficient flow and pressure. The step-by-step guide below can help you remove your faucet’s flow restrictor and improve the flow of water.
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Instructions for Removing the Flow Restrictor
Before we get into the process, know that all of your sinks have flow restrictors for a reason. In fact, faucet manufacturers include flow resistors for most of their products to meet local and state plumbing guidelines. For this reason, we strongly discourage you from removing your faucet’s flow restrictor and not replacing it.
Close Every Valve
Make sure to turn off the cold and hot water valves under the sink. If you can’t find the valves, or they won’t shut off, you can turn off your property’s main valve instead. Doing so will completely turn off every water fixture. After turning off the water, turn on your kitchen faucet to drain any remaining water.
Open the Faucet Base
Look for the set screw at your faucet handle’s base and loosen it counterclockwise using an Allen wrench. If you don’t have one, Delta repair kits have every essential equipment needed for simple repairs and replacements. If a cap covers the screw, you can easily pry it off with a flat-head screwdriver.
Follow Safety Precautions
Your sink has a lot of small components that can easily get lost. Stick a rag into the sink drain to prevent any parts from falling into it.
The aerator is the small part on the faucet spout’s end. Cover it with masking tape before you begin with the flow restrictor removal. The tape prevents the aerator’s finish from getting stripped off as you remove it from your faucet.
Remove the Flow Restrictor
First, grab the aerator using slip joint pliers and loosen it counterclockwise. You can also turn it by hand, but it may be challenging for smaller or tighter restrictors. Once you’ve loosened it enough, continue to spin it by hand until it reaches the end of your faucet.
Afterward, you need to remove the aerator’s rubber washer, the small rubber fitting inside the aerator. Now, you can pull the flow restrictor out of the aerator (the flat washer-like component with one tiny hole in its center).
Instructions for Unclogging Your Water Lines and Flow Restrictor
In most cases, the flow restrictor itself isn’t the cause of your Delta kitchen faucet’s low water pressure. The fix is usually simple and doesn’t require you to remove the component altogether.
Flow restrictors are susceptible to clogging, especially when you don’t maintain them. Eventually, the debris accumulates and dramatically reduces the flow rate of your faucet. For this reason, regularly flushing your system helps lower the chances of water flow issues.
Follow the procedure below if you think that you’re faucet needs unclogging.
Remove the Aerator
Follow the instructions above to remove the aerator and check for any debris in the flow restrictor. If the restrictor is clean, your water lines might be the problem.
Flush the Debris
With the aerator removed, run hot and cold water (at least 15 seconds of each) to flush your water lines and faucet. Do take note that with the aerator off, a faster flow of water might cause splashing if you don’t turn it on slowly. This relatively easy process effectively clears out the dirt that might be present in your water lines. Larger debris or impure water may require multiple flushes.
Remove Larger Debris
Sometimes, the foreign material inside the water lines is too big to pass through your kitchen faucet. In this case, you need to remove every internal component (remember to turn off your water supply before doing this.) Turn the water back on and keep it running for at least half a minute. You can turn off the flow once the water becomes completely clear.
Replace the Flow Restrictor
Clean the restrictor with diluted vinegar, put it back into the aerator, and place the component into its housing. Screw it in a clockwise motion until it fits snugly. It only needs to be “hand-tight.”
After replacing the aerator, turn the water back on and see if the flow improves. If the water is clean, but the flow remains weak, you might need to replace the restrictor.
The Benefits of a Water Restrictor
Now that you know how to clean a water restrictor from a Delta kitchen faucet, why bother replacing it? As we’ve mentioned, water restrictors are there for a reason. By keeping them well-maintained, you can reap their full benefits, including:
- Saves Water: A regular tap with no aerators runs at five or six gallons each minute, while one with a restrictor only uses up half of that amount.
- Saves Energy: Restrictors don’t just save water, but they indirectly save energy, as well. It can also save more if you regularly use unheated water.
- Enhances Pressure: With a restrictor in place, your faucet’s water pressure becomes much higher without increasing your water consumption.
- Acts as a Filter: Restrictors, along with aerators, filter out tiny debris present in your water.
- Prevents Splash: Water splashing becomes less of an issue with a water restrictor and aerator in place.
If you’re having other issues with your sink, check out our blogs for a comprehensive repair guide. Mr. Kitchen Faucets’ goal is to provide easy-to-follow instructions that can help you spot and fix the source of your sink’s problems. Our guides include:
- How to fix gurgling kitchen sinks
- Fixing sinks where water keeps rising back up
- Fixing low hot water pressure in the kitchen
If you’re looking to replace your faucet entirely, consider reading through our reviews to help you make an informed purchase.