How To Remove Flow Restrictor From The Kitchen Faucet? 3 Powerful Ways

The flow restrictor is nothing but a filter or net that is attached to an aerator.

It has many holes that break the water stream into smaller streams and through which more air can enter and helps to perceive the required water pressure.

The flow restrictor prevents the water to splash out and gives the water stream a shape while coming out of the faucet sprout. It helps to produce a straight and evenly pressured stream.

But due to the minerals or any residue or debris present in the water or pipelines, this screen gets blocked and eventually reduces the water pressure.

So to get rid of this problem, we have to remove flow restrictor from the kitchen faucet and clean it and again put it back on the faucet.

How To Remove Flow Restrictor From The Kitchen Faucet

Now the question arises:

Table of Contents

How to Remove Flow Restrictor From The Kitchen Faucet?

The answer is simple, you don’t need any special plumbing tools to do that. Just turn the aerator counterclockwise direction and remove it. After that, just press at the center with your thumb, and the flow restrictor will come out. Remove the washer and again press a little bit, the screen will also come out. Clean it and again put it back (Refer the steps below). That’s it.

But if it’s not clear, then you can follow the step by step process that I have discussed below with pictures.

According to Federal and State Law, since 1994, the manufacturers have to add flow restrictor to the faucet to conserve water. Home Water Works conducted a survey and got that the average or the standard water flow for a kitchen faucet is 2.2 gallons per minute (GPM) without compromising its performance.

That’s why manufacturers put the aerator to conserve water without compromising your desired flow.

Now, follow the steps:

What You Will Need?

  1. Towel or Silicone Jar Lid (basically to hold the aerator).
  2. Adjustable Wrench or Pliers (only needed when you can’t open with your fingers).
  3. Screwdriver.

All the items mentioned here are not essential. It may require if your aerator got stuck and not opening with your fingers.

Step 1: Remove The Aerator

First, try to turn the aerator in a counterclockwise direction with your bare hand. In most of the cases, it gets removed. But if it is slippery or you can’t apply pressure then you can take the silicone jar lid or towel and try to remove it.

First, Try To Remove The Aerator With Fingers

If both the cases failed, then you take the adjustable wrench or pliers to remove the aerator. But keep in mind, don’t apply excess pressure, this might scratch your faucet or even break it.

So to keep the faucet safe, do one thing, wrap the aerator with any towel or cloth or plastic tubing whatever available and then grab with the wrench or plier to take off. Apply gentle pressure and your job will be done.

Important: What if my aerator is concealed (inside the faucet)? This case is applicable in the newer faucets or brands like a delta have this. So, to remove the aerator you have to use a special tool that can open it. No worry you can easily get on amazon or any nearby shop. If you want you can here at amazon. (There are four keys for all faucet sizes).

Step 2: Remove The Flow Restrictor

After you removed the aerator, you can see the dirt particles above the screen. First, remove the washer and clean the aerator in the running water. Before cleaning put a towel or cloth on the sink to block the holes so that it can prevent the loss of any screws or small items.


Now, push gently with your thumb at the center of the aerator and this will force the flow restrictor to come easily.

Flow Restrictors

You will notice there are two screens, below and above the restrictor where one is metallic and the other is some sort of plastic net. But remember the position of how it was placed because you have to put it back exactly in the same order.

Take a toothbrush and clean both the nets, aerator and also the faucet. If there is too much dirt or rust then you dip the parts in a vinegar solution for 2 hours. This will ease your cleaning process.

If you are not satisfied with the cleaning and want to make sure there is no dirt left inside the flow restrictor then you have to open it. 

To open the flow restrictor, take a screwdriver, and gently try to open the nets from the corners. But make sure you don’t break it and remember the order because it’s very important to put it back exactly in the same order.

You May Also Like: How To Remove Kitchen Faucet Without Basin Wrench?

After opening, you can clean it nicely and again attached the nets. I am not recommending this process as the parts are very delicate and you may end up breaking. When I tried this first time, I end up breaking and had to replace it with a new one. But eventually, I learned by trying and now I am not breaking it :-).

Step 3: Connect To The Faucet

After cleaning the aerator, flow restrictor, and all its parts, its time to attach it back. But before attaching, remove the towel or cloth that you have placed on the sink and run both the cold and hot water tap.

First, run the cold water tap for 15-20 secs and then the hot water tap for 15-20 secs. This will clear the debris or dirt that is present in the pipes. If you notice dirt or brown water coming out from the faucet then you run the water for more time until it becomes transparent.

After all this work, now you can attach the parts according to the position and connect the aerator to the faucet and run the water. You will notice the flow restrictor will work fine and you will get the required water pressure. That’s it !!!

You May Also Like: 6 Pull-Out Spray Kitchen Faucet Problems


1. How to Remove Flow Restrictor From Delta Kitchen Faucet?

Delta faucet mostly comes with a concealed aerator. So, to remove the flow restrictor from the delta kitchen faucet, first, try with your nail to open it. Then remove the restrictor, clean it, and again put it back.

If it is not removing with your nail then you have to get the right tool for that, which is easily available on the amazon. Check It out here.

You can check this video for reference:

2. Is it Difficult to Remove?

No, absolutely not. It is probably one of the most convenient and comfortable plumbing tasks that you can do it yourself.

3. Does The Flow Restrictor Easily Break?

It depends on how much pressure you are applying and also it’s quality matters. If its plastic, then be gentle and careful. If it is metal then also apply pressure gently. I have done so many times it does not break if you are careful.

You May Also Like: How To Unclog A Sink Clogged With Coffee Grounds?


Finally, you get your job done. Before removing a water flow restrictor, you may think that this will be tough but now you see, it is plausibly one of the easiest, convenient, and comfortable plumbing tasks that you can do it yourself. 

This DIY can save you money without much effort and also, you will learn a new skill. Not only kitchen faucet, but you can try this fix your bathroom faucet or any other faucet in your home. Because all the faucets follow the same principle and you can easily clean it. If you want to remove your faucet without basin wrench then check this article.

Please share your experience with us and do let us know if you have any problems. Also please don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family. This gives us motivation for writing more topics :-).


  1. G. M.
    • Katrina

Leave a Reply