As per the policy driven by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, any showerhead model will include a flow restrictor. The manufacturer Delta also comes with a variety of showerhead models including handheld versions. Flow Restrictors regulate the water flow rate from handheld shower heads, ensuring that it does not exceed 2.5 gallons of water per minute. With this feature installed, you can cut down on your utility bills. This is advantageous; however, at times the limited flow rate can be a hindrance to a relaxing bath. This problem becomes critical in areas of low water pressure. In some cases, the low water flow rate may be because of mineral build up in the water flow restrictor. Though Delta doesn’t recommend removing flow restrictor from its showerheads, you can still have it removed so as to achieve an increased flow rate. This can be done at the expense of your utility bills. However, it is recommended not to remove the flow restrictor permanently. This article deals with the delta handheld shower flow restrictor removal and describes it in several simple steps.
Table of Contents
What are Flow Restrictors?
As said earlier, flow restrictors are used to reduce the water flow from showerheads so that water is not wasted. They will let you save on your utility bills. In most cases, they are made of plastic and have a flat, disk shape with small holes which converts the water stream into smaller streams thereby reducing the flow rate. It acts like a filter which can be removed or replaced with ease.
Removal of Flow Restrictor from Delta Handheld Shower
With right tools you can ease up the removal process. If these tools are easily accessible, then you can save time. Let us see the list of tools involved in the removal of flow restrictor from a Delta Handheld Shower. You may need:
- Adjustable wrench
- Rag or towel
- Flat head screwdriver
- Paper clips
- Needle nose pliers
- Teflon tape/ plumbers tape
- Ensure that you have the correct tools and that they are easily accessible.
- Turn off the water supply to the shower tap. Or else you can also turn off the main supply which will further ensure that you do not end up with a mess later on.
- Parts of the shower if damaged can make the reinstallation procedure difficult. So it is better to take care of the same and proceed accordingly. Threads on the showerhead if damaged can make it impossible to adjust the showerhead. O rings need to be handled with care or else they can easily be damaged. Also, make sure that the shower hardware remains properly fixed on the wall throughout the entire process. Be careful with small parts as they can get lost.
- Getting someone to help you in the process can be a good idea. You will have somebody to check on your safety. You can also have easy access to the parts and also hand over the parts that you remove to safe hands. Having someone to help you will let you do the work with more care and safety.
If you have the right tools and you have taken necessary precautions, then you are good to proceed further with the removal of flow restrictor from the Delta handheld shower.
How to Remove Flow Restrictor from a Delta Handheld Shower?
Follow the below mentioned steps with proper care for achieving the desired results. If not sue on your own, it is better to take professional help.
Locating the Location of the Flow Restrictor
Based on the shower design, the location of the flow restrictor may vary. However, with handheld showers, the options can be narrowed to these three locations. They are:
- At the edge of the shower head handle
- Behind the shower head, or
- Inside the bottom or the top end of the hose
You can have a clear idea about the location of the flow restrictor by going through the user manual. Or else, you can inspect the handheld shower head thoroughly, focussing mainly on the three locations mentioned above. This will let you identify the location with ease.
Removing The Flow Restrictor
Once you have identified the location of the flow restrictor, you may proceed with the actual work that is removing it. Based on the location where the flow restrictor is present, there can be slight variations in the removal procedure. If the flow restrictor is present:
At the Edge of the Delta Shower Head Handle:
- Start by protecting the showerhead connector nut using a piece of rag or towel. You can use an adjustable plier to hold the covered nuts in place and then rotate the showerhead counterclockwise which will let you remove the shower head handle from the tube. Sometimes, showerhead removal can get difficult in case if there is rust in the showerhead thread. In such cases, you can try lubricating the showerhead thread with silicone gel or apply a rust remover and leave it for some time before proceeding with the removal of the showerhead.
- Now once the showerhead is removed, you can look at the edge of the shower head handle for the shower screen. Remove the shower screen by gently tapping on the shower head. You may also try using a needle-nose plier to remove the same.
- Removing the shower screen will reveal the rubber O ring gasket. The O ring can get easily damaged and hence it is better to make use of a paper clip or needle nose plier to gently remove it.
- Now as you proceed, you may see the flow restrictor inside the plastic ring which needs to be removed. Try twisting and pulling out the flow restrictor with the help of a paper clip, a needle-nose plier or a screwdriver.
Behind The Shower Head
- In this case, too, you need to start off by protecting the connector nut using a piece of cloth or a towel. Now you need to hold the covered nuts in place using adjustable pliers and rotate counterclockwise so as to remove the showerhead from the showerhead handle.
- If a shower screen is present, then you can remove it by gently tapping on the showerhead. If it gets difficult, you may use needle-nose pliers to remove the shower screen.
- O ring if present can be gently removed by using the same needle-nose plier or paperclip.
- Now once you have access to the flow restrictor, you can remove it by twisting and pulling it out. For this, you can make use of any handy tool like a needle-nose plier, screwdriver or a paperclip.
Inside the Bottom End or the Top End of the Hose:
- In this case, you can start by detaching the hose from the base of the Delta handheld showerhead by rotating it in a counterclockwise direction.
- Next up, you can look for the water flow restrictor either at the top or at the bottom of the hose.
- Once the flow restrictor gets located, you can make use of a paperclip, needle-nose plier or a screwdriver, whichever is handy to remove the same.
Reinstalling the parts
You may complete the procedure by reinstalling the components in the reverse order.
- Firstly, return the O-ring in the same spot from where you removed it. If required, you can make use of a paper clip or needle nose pliers. In case the O ring is damaged, you can replace it with a newer one.
- The next step would be to return the shower screen. You need to clean the shower screen for any dirt, stain or build up deposited in it and rinse it under running water before returning the same. You can have a more thorough cleaning by soaking the shower screen in a diluted vinegar mixture. For sealing the screen in place, you can try lubricating it with silicone grease.
- The next step would be to reattach the shower head. Before proceeding with this, you need to clean the showerhead off any dirt. For achieving this, you need to place the shower head in a diluted vinegar solution overnight and clean off the dirt. Also, remove the old plumber tape wrapped around the shower arm threads, clean the threads using a damp cloth or towel and scrub off the dirt from the grooves using an old toothbrush. Once this is done, you can wrap the new plumber’s tape around the shower arm threads in the clockwise direction to give enough seal to the showerhead. Next up, you can reattach the showerhead by screwing it in a clockwise direction. You can make use of a wrench for a tight seal.
- Finally, you can turn on the water and see the improvement in the flow of the water. As the water pressure increases you need to be careful about water usage. You should never waste water. In case of leaks, you need to detach the showerhead again, use more tape on the shower head arm and tighten the seal.