There are many reasons why you may be looking to increase the water flow coming from your faucet. Whether it’s a chronic problem that you’re looking to solve, or a new reduction in water flow that needs addressing; you want to know how to remove water saver from bathroom faucet to get some better water pressure and increased flow.
How To Remove Water Saver From Bathroom Faucet
Water savers, or ‘flow restrictors’ as they’re also known, have been mandatory on all faucets sold since about the mid-1990’s. The goal of a water saver is to restrict the water flow to save water and reduce waste. It’s a worthy goal in this time of environmental awareness and commitment to taking better care of the earth.
Sometimes, however, the water flow is restricted too much and the function of the faucet itself is impeded. That’s when more action is needed. But wait! It may well be that removing the water saver is the solution you need but there might just be another solution that will solve your problem without resorting to free flowing water.
What Is a Water Saver?
A ‘water saver’ is a device installed in faucet heads by manufacturers designed to restrict the flow of water through that faucet. They are typically a white plastic disc with holes in it; essentially partially blocking the passage of water. Water is restricted, but can still pass, with the result being a stream of water that may be reduced in volume but that is still more than adequate.
Benefits of Using a Water Saver in Faucets
The Environmental Protection Agency recommends the use of a water saver to help households save in excess of 700 gallons of water a year. In addition to the power saved to not have to heat that water annually, this savings is not only a personal household benefit, but also a benefit to the environment.
The 30% reduction in water is not meant to impede that ability to use the water. In fact, the goal is so that users don’t even notice that the water is restricted. The flow should remain strong enough to serve any purpose that it had previously.
Reasons to Remove Water Saver From Bathroom Faucet
The primary reason to remove the water saver from a faucet is because the water flow has become too restricted and the amount of water flowing from the faucet is not adequate. The cause of this is often not the water saver itself but outside forces:
- Inadequate water pressure. If the water pressure at the faucet is too low, the water saver will further reduce the pressure resulting in lower than desired water flow.
- Low initial water flow. In the same manner, the water flow to the faucet must also be adequate. Water savers typically reduce water flow by 30%; a significant reduction if the water flow is low to begin with. Low water flow might be a problem in rural areas or for those who are using a water well for water delivery.
Alternatives to Removing Water Saver from Bathroom Faucet
If the reasons for removing the water saver are not the two above then there might be benefit in looking for an alternative to removing the device from the faucet. Flow restrictors are designed, after all, to help the environment and we should do all we can to maintain that goal if we can.
- Clean the water saver. It may be plugged by dirt and debris that has collected over time. Or it may be restricted by mineral build up – especially if the water in your area is hard or mineral-heavy. This will require something stronger than elbow grease; simply soak the water saver in vinegar overnight to dissolve the mineral deposit.
- Increase the size of the holes in the flow restrictor. It’s also possible to increase the size of the hole(s) in the water saver. Use a knife, or screwdriver, or awl to make the holes a little bit bigger and let more water through. This is best done little by little so that you can get the benefit of more water, but still maintain the savings also.
- Replace the water saver. If the flow restrictor is too dirty and/or you can’t increase the hole size, another option is to replace it. Luckily water savers are inexpensive and readily available.
- Try a different version of water saver. The last thing to try is a different version of water saver. Perhaps the one installed is not compatible with the faucet; ensure you find one that is!
Steps to Remove Water Saver From Bathroom Faucet
If none of the above solutions work, the next step is to simply remove the water saver from the faucet to allow the water to flow freely.
- Plug the sink. This is the best way to ensure that no little pieces suddenly get loose and make their way down the drain.
- Unscrew the aerator from the end of the faucet. It’s likely you can do this by hand (remember Lefty Loosey, Righty Tighty – unscrew the aerator by turning it to the left), but you may need the help of a small wrench if it is very tight. Use a cloth, or rubber band, between the faucet and the wrench to avoid scratching the faucet.
- Identify and remove the flow restrictor. It should be just inside the aerator and can be easily removed either by hand, or with the help of a small screwdriver.
- Replace the aerator. While you may not want to have the flow restrictor in place any longer, it’s important to still maintain the aerator. It does just what it’s named for; it aerates the water flow allowing it to disperse better and makes the water flow quieter also.