Fast moving water is best
February 7, 2014 9:46 AM   Subscribe

So, apparently some manufactorers make it so that you can easily remove the flow restrictor from a lot of shower heads, increasing the flow so that it has good pressure.... Uh, which ones? Our current showerhead looks god awful but my husband won't let me replace it unless I ensure it will be as high pressure as our current crap one.

First, yes I know exactly why those flow restrictors are there. I know about wasting water and the environment etc. We take short showers and are very environmentally conscious. I beg you, spare the environmental lecture.

The issue here is that the old/current showerhead looks absolutely terrible and I can't stand it anymore. It is an old TingleKing, but is yellowed and stained and just disgusting looking despite repeated attempts at cleaning. I want to get a new one that looks nicer and has different settings. My husband is fine with that, but ONLY if the new shower has good pressure like the junk TingleKing.

No, I don't want to get a new TingleKing.
No, I don't believe you that any low-flow showerheads are able to be high pressure enough to satisfy.
No, I don't want to pay an arm and a leg. ($50ish or less is preferable)

I just want to know which showerheads have easily removable flow restrictors (I don't want to have to drill to open the flow up), which one will give us the best result. Best case it would be easily found at our local HomeDepot. Our well is artesian and has incredible pressure and flow. Lets make the most of that.

NOTE: I really like removeable hand-held types, but I worry that even with the flow restrictor removed the long hose would reduce the pressure...?
posted by PuppetMcSockerson to Home & Garden (14 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I purchased several Waterpiks a few years ago, and they had flow regulators that are easily removable. It seems that newer ones require you to use a pair of pliers to reach into the shower head to pull it out.
posted by palionex at 9:55 AM on February 7, 2014

For example on googling, this waterpik requires the following to remove the flow regulator: link.
posted by palionex at 9:58 AM on February 7, 2014

We were in the same situation. Nursed that old shower head for almost 20 years! When we replaced we got one of those extra-large diameter shower heads (like 8 or 9 inches?) and are so happy. PLENTY of water at good pressure, no need to ever even use the optional wand. Maybe shower head technology has improved some. Although we did pay about $80. Still.
posted by probably not that Karen Blair at 10:03 AM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have the Waterpik that palionex links to, and even without the regulator removed, it has great water pressure. Would recommend.
posted by another zebra at 10:14 AM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

Just in case you haven't tried it and in case it's worth a shot: have you tried the white vinegar in a plastic bag technique for cleaning the old showerhead? You fill a plastic bag with white vinegar, slip it over the showerhead and fix it in place with rubber bands (or whatever) and then leave it overnight. Give it a good scrub with a brush dipped in white vinegar the next day. It's amazing what apparently baked-on crud that will remove.
posted by yoink at 10:14 AM on February 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

This Delta gets good reviews on amazon, the first two comments describe how to remove the flow restrictors.
posted by cosmac at 10:20 AM on February 7, 2014

I have this Waterpik, which was about $20, and removing the flow restrictor took about five seconds. I believe I used needlenose pliers, but smaller fingers than mine might be able to get it out without tools.
posted by timetoevolve at 10:48 AM on February 7, 2014

I have always had superior results from low-end showerheads from the hardware store. The flow inhibitor is easy to remove.
I buy 2 or 3 at a time and use them in hotel rooms as well (just take along a small wrench to make it easy, and don't forget to switch back).
They aren't super-elegant, but they're perfectly presentable. Give it a try. 10 bucks.
posted by LonnieK at 10:55 AM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

Check out this website:

In my previous home I had the "large ultimate". Taking out the flow restrictor is easy (instructions included). Felt like a fire hose!
posted by Mr. X at 11:11 AM on February 7, 2014

I have the "Perfect" shower head from the website Mr. X mentioned. I bought it with the full intention of removing the flow restrictor (which is easy), but found that I didn't even need to. YMMV of course, but it seems like a good option what with the purposely-easy-to-remove restrictor.
posted by Juffo-Wup at 11:34 AM on February 7, 2014

I just (within the last week during a Woot deal) got this one and it is amazing. I left the flow restricter in and you would never know.
posted by blackkar at 11:49 AM on February 7, 2014

We have Speakman Anystream S-2252s in both our bathrooms. Bought ours at HD, though the websites says online only, but with free delivery to HD store, so... Not cheap, but they're awesome, haven't needed to take out the flow restrictor at all, but we happen to have good water pressure. (We also have seriously mineral-ey hard water, and I clean them with vinegar regularly.)

Here's a suitably vague eHow on how to remove a Speakman flow restrictor, and a blog post that quotes an interesting "carefully-worded" bit from some Speakman / Restoration Hardware literature:
Flow Restrictor Instructions:
The flow restrictor device limits the amount of flow in your showerhead to 2.5 gallons per minute. The small orifices may become clogged with scale and other minerals found in potable water. If it is necessary to remove the flow restrictor, remove the showerhead from the shower arm and unscrew the ball joint coupling nut from on top of showerhead. Push out the flow control from the small hole in the backside of the swivel ball. Clean the flow control as necessary. Upon reassembly, make sure the flow control is fully inserted and all threaded connections are tightened down before using.

WOOT! This is what you want: Flow Restrictor Removal. (PDF)
posted by mon-ma-tron at 12:09 PM on February 7, 2014

I have one of these Waterpic showerheads and it was pretty easy to remove the flow limiter using some needle-nose pliers. I don't recall if the instructions said how, but my recollection is that the limiter was in the assembly that connected the hose to the tap.

I tried the Delta shower head that cosmac mentions (or a similar unit) and as far as I could tell it requires a fair amount more effort and tools than I was willing to put up with, so I returned it for the Waterpic.
posted by Aleyn at 1:41 PM on February 7, 2014

An exahustive review of showerheads at the sweet home
posted by defcom1 at 11:34 AM on February 8, 2014

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