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How to Locate the Water Restrictor in a Kitchen Faucet

Damon Koch

Modern kitchen faucets consist of a flow restrictor that limits the amount of water used by the faucet. In many countries around the world, including the United States, lower flow rates are mandated by law.

Modern kitchen faucets consist of a flow restrictor, as mandated by law.

A flow restrictor in a kitchen faucet is a simple device constructed of a round plastic disc with small holes that allow the water to pass through at a lower rate. From time to time the disc may become clogged with mineral deposits and other debris, so you'll need to remove and clean it.

  1. Examine the end of the kitchen faucet spout. If you see a disc consisting of small holes, you have located the restrictor. If you don't see the disc, then the restrictor is part of the aerator that must be removed.

  2. Cover the jaws of slip-joint pliers with painter's tape to protect the finish on the aerator.

  3. Grab the aerator with the pliers and turn counterclockwise until it's loose enough to remove completely by hand. Grasp only the aerator, not the faucet spout, with the pliers.

  4. Pull apart the pieces of the aerator and lay them out on the countertop. The flow restrictor disc should be between a rubber washer and the screen.