Perhaps the water pressure and flow rate seem to be less than stellar from your Pfister kitchen faucet. Upon some research online, you discover you can remove the flow restrictor from the tap to improve the water pressure. While this is true, it might simply require cleaning.
Here’s what you need to know about removing the aerator from a Pfister kitchen faucet.
What Is An Aerator?
The aerator in a kitchen faucet is a small component with multiple small holes. The design of the aerator helps reduce water flow by adding air to the water as it exits the faucet spout. Some faucets feature a flow restrictor in addition to the faucet, which helps reduce the flow even further in an effort to conserve water.
Where Is The Flow Restrictor In A Kitchen Faucet?
In most kitchen faucets, the flow restrictor is either in the faucet spout (usually behind the aerator) or on the end of the supply hose. Certain brands offer different flow restrictors for kitchen faucets, which usually further restrict the flow.
However, many homeowners decide to remove the flow restrictor to improve the water flow from their faucets. While this is doable in some kitchen faucets, other models feature a flow restrictor built into the spray head, making it inaccessible. The flow restrictor removal process varies by the model (sometimes between the kitchen and bathroom faucets as well), so check with the owner’s guide for instructions.
How Do I Remove The Water Restrictor In My Pfister Faucet?
According to most of the Pfister faucet diagrams, these faucets don’t have a readily removable water restrictor. However, Pfister’s website alludes to the aerator serving as its flow restrictor, as it claims adding the aerator to a faucet can save hundreds of gallons of water per year.
So, we’ll outline a few options for removing the aerator in your Pfister kitchen faucet. Each model varies slightly, so the instructions might be slightly different.
If you still have the maintenance guide that came with your faucet, you can find how to remove the aerator in your exact model. Or, if you know what type of faucet you have, find it on Pfister’s website and use the PDF version of the maintenance guide.
Here’s how to remove the aerator in a few of Pfister’s popular faucet models:
A few of Pfister’s kitchen faucets feature aerators that thread into the spout. For example, consider the Pfister Ladera Culinary Kitchen Faucet. You’ll simply need a coin to remove the aerator on this faucet.
Insert the coin’s edge into the groove in the center of the aerator. The aerator sits at the front of the spout end, so it’s easily accessible. Turn the aerator clockwise using the coin, then pull it straight out.
Once you remove the aerator, check for improved water flow. If the faucet functions better, you can leave the aerator out of the spout. Or, if you don’t notice a significant difference, you can always reinsert the aerator into the spout and thread it back into place.
Some of Pfister’s kitchen faucets feature a recessed aerator, which makes accessing it for removal a bit trickier. For example, let’s consider the Pfister Zanna Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet. To remove the aerator, you’ll need the aerator key that came with the faucet.
This key will make removal much more manageable. First, insert the aerator key into the faucet’s spout with the little prongs facing upward toward the faucet. Turn the spray face clockwise, then pull it straight down to remove it.
Once you remove the spray face, use your finger to pop the aerator out of the spray face. If you’d like, remove the aerator and small O-ring altogether, then reinstall the spray face by itself. Check for proper water flow. If the water flow is improved, you’ve solved your problem.
How Do I Increase Water Flow From My Pfister Faucet?
If your Pfister faucet is plagued by low water flow, it’s often one of three issues. Generally, the culprit is either mineral deposits, clogged inlet screens, or faulty cartridges. Here are a few potential solutions for increasing water flow from your Pfister faucet.
Check For Mineral Deposits
One of the most common culprits of reduced water flow in a faucet is mineral buildup. If you have hard water in your home, mineral deposits may begin to build up in the aerator, causing flow issues.
So, remove the aerator following the instructions above, then examine it for mineral buildup. If you find mineral buildup, use white vinegar as a soak to dissolve the deposits. Use an old toothbrush to scrub off the excess residue, then rinse the aerator with fresh water. Reinsert it into the faucet and secure it as necessary.
Clean The Inlet Screens
In some cases, the inlet screens that filter out debris from the water might become clogged. These inlet screens sit at the end of each supply line and are easily removable with a flathead screwdriver.
You need to turn off the water underneath your sink to check these screens. Once you turn off the water, turn on the tap to drain excess water from the lines. Then, place a towel underneath the supply lines and disconnect them from the hoses connected to your faucet.
Using a small flathead screwdriver, gently pry the inlet screen from each supply hose extending from the faucet. Rinse them under clean water to remove debris, and soak them in vinegar to remove mineral deposits.
Once you clean both screens, fit them back into the hoses connected to your faucet. Connect the hoses to the supply lines, then turn the water back on at the supply valves.
Remove The Aerator
If neither of the options above fixes the low water flow from your faucet, try removing the aerators altogether. In most cases, this will allow water to exit your tap more forcefully. So, if you prefer this, leave the aerator off altogether.
Replace The Cartridge
In some cases, the cartridge might be bad, so you’ll need to replace it. Pfister offers a solid product warranty, so check with customer service for available coverage on your faucet. Sometimes, they might send you a replacement part for free, so it doesn’t hurt to check.