Is your morning shower lacking power? Do you feel like the water pressure is weaker than you’d like? If you have a Moen shower head, a little plastic device called a flow restrictor is likely to blame.
While flow restrictors help conserve water, they can reduce the water pressure in your shower. The good news is that with a few simple tools and steps, you can remove the flow restrictor in your Moen shower head and regain the pressure and intensity you’ve been missing.
What is a Flow Restrictor?
A flow restrictor is a small plastic piece inside a shower head that limits the amount of water that comes out. Its purpose is to conserve water in accordance with laws set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
In 2005, the EPA mandated that all new shower heads must restrict water flow to less than 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm). Flow restrictors reduce the flow to meet this requirement. Most shower heads contain these water-saving devices, including popular brands like Moen.
Symptoms of a Flow Restrictor
How can you tell if your Moen shower head contains a flow restrictor? Here are some common signs:
- Low water pressure
- Weak stream of water
- Long time needed to rinse out shampoo and conditioner
- Inability to run multiple shower heads at once
If your Moen shower exhibits these symptoms, the flow restrictor is likely reducing your water pressure and flow.
Confirm Your Moen Shower Contains a Flow Restrictor
To confirm that a flow restrictor is installed in your Moen shower head, you need to locate it within the shower head assembly. Start by detaching the shower head from the pipe to expose the inside parts.
Inside, you will see a plastic disc with small holes that sits in the path of the water. This round or oval-shaped disc is the flow restrictor. Locating it will verify that your shower head contains this water-saving component.
Consider Your Options
Before removing your Moen flow restrictor, consider ways to improve shower pressure while keeping it intact. This will allow you to maintain the water conservation benefits.
Some options to try before removing the flow restrictor include:
- Clean any clogged nozzles or mineral buildup
- Replace old shower heads with new, higher efficiency models
- Adjust any valves that limit water supply to the shower
If none of these provide adequate pressure, removing the flow restrictor may be your best solution. But keep in mind this permanently disables the water saving function. Weigh the pros and cons before making your decision.
How to Remove the Moen Flow Restrictor
Removing the flow restrictor from a Moen shower head can be done with a few simple tools and steps:
- Adjustable wrench
- Replacement cartridge (optional)
Follow these instructions carefully when removing your Moen shower head flow restrictor:
- Turn off water supply to shower and detach shower head
- Use wrench to disassemble shower head housing
- Locate the flow restrictor inside
- Use pliers to remove the flow restrictor
- Clean out any debris from housing
- Replace cartridge if needed
- Reassemble shower head
- Reattach shower head to pipe
- Turn on water supply and test pressure
Take care not to damage any internal parts when removing the restrictor. Also be aware that removal permanently eliminates the water-saving limits.
Results of Removing the Restrictor
Once removed, you should notice the following changes:
- Increased water pressure and flow
- Ability to rinse out hair conditioner faster
- More intense overall shower experience
With the flow restrictor gone, the shower head output will return to full capacity. Be prepared for significant increases in water volume and pressure.
However, water conservation will be disabled. Keep this in mind if water usage is a concern for you.
Consider Reinstalling a Restrictor
If you change your mind after removing the flow restrictor, you have a few options to reinstate water savings:
- Purchase replacement flow restrictor inserts to limit water volume
- Install an adjustable flow control valve to customize pressure
- Replace shower head with one containing a compliant flow restrictor
Moen incorporates flow restrictors on many shower head models to meet conservation regulations. But they balance water savings with pressure through thoughtful engineering.
Additional benefits of Moen’s flow restrictor designs include:
- Environmentally friendly without sacrificing performance
- Compatible across Moen’s shower systems
- Long-lasting durability and consistency
- Easy for consumers to install and replace
- Customizable flow settings on models like Eco-Performance
Removing the flow restrictor in a Moen shower head boosts your water pressure and shower power. But weigh the benefits of better flow against permanently disabling water conservation.
Consider ways to improve pressure while keeping the flow restrictor intact. Or explore options to reinstate water savings after removal. With some thoughtful planning, you can achieve the shower experience you desire while maintaining eco-friendly use.