Kohler shower water pressure/removing flow restrictor

mimi78June 23, 2010

I posted this in the Bathrooms forum also but then I thought that someone here might also be able to help. We recently completed a full renovation of our master bath, the frameless glass shower doors were installed last week and we were able to take our first showers yesterday. But the joy of finally having a working master bath was diminished by the water pressure from the shower. I have very thick shoulder length hair and the pressure was hardly enough to rinse the shampoo out. We don't have any water pressure issues in the other bathroom or anywhere else in our house, so this is a total surprise to us.

IÂve read online about removing the flow restrictor from shower heads, does anyone have experience with this that they can share? We have a Kohler Kelston showerhead, model number K-T13492-4. I have also read that it could be a restrictor in the Kohler RiteTemp pressure-balancing valve. Does anyone know anything about this and if its possible to remove a restrictor there?


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

1-800-4-KOHLER will answer all your questions. Some heads have a tab you can pull out where it screws to the shower arm. Others you have to drill out. Not sure on the valve having a restrictor.

Take Care,


    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 12:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks! I did just call and they werent really able to help. They told me to measure the amount of water coming out per minute with a bucket, and if it's about 2 gallons there is nothing they can do except help me find a new shower head. Frustrating!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 9:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

So... did you do that?

Thant was my question also. Is the issue that there is a malfunction such as a clogged valve or shower head or is it that it's not delivering as much water or pressure as you would like.

That question can be answered by measuring the water delivered in a minute. If it's not ~2 gpm, then you have a problem.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 5:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It turned out to be both. We ended up taking the shower head off over the weekend, and there was some gunk all stuck in the screen. It didnÂt even occur to us that that could be a possibility because all the plumbing was replaced, but I guess they stirred up some stuff from somewhere else in the renovation. We didnÂt see a flow restrictor though, not sure if it was behind the screen but we couldnÂt see a way to remove the screen without damaging it so we just left it. Once we cleaned all the gunk out it worked much better, but still not up to our standards. I totally forgot to do the bucket test though, because at this point IÂm sure itÂs just my own personal preference.

We didnÂt really pick this showerhead though, just used the one that matched the style we picked, so weÂve now decided that weÂre going to look for something else. Maybe the Kohler Forte multifunction, but not sure yet.

Thanks for the replies!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 11:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Please, before you replace it... try the bucket test.

All showerheads are limited to 2.5 gpm. Besides, if there's a problem, you want to find it now - while your plumber is still engaged with the job.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 5:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Why are you sticking with a Kohler where you might not again be able to remove the restrictor? Pick a brand where the manufacturer confirms on the phone that you can remove it in the shower head. I doubt you can remove any restrictor in Kohler's.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 10:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

some time ago big brother passed a law that forbid the sale of shower heads that could deliver more than 2 1/2 gal per minut. most manufacturers just put an extra disk in thier assembly with a small hole in it. This restricted flow to the legal limit if you had the highest water pressure commonly available in homes. If you had lower water pressure, tough luck.

If manufacturers "Design a showerhead to be convertable to high flow, or advertise or advise customers how to make their showerheads high flow" then they could be considered in violation of this law. I would not count on the manufacturers giving advice on how to modify their shower heads.

Regardless of the law, most showerheads continue to be made so that they can be easily modified. Just take it apart carefully and look for the smallest hole in the flow path. Some can just be removed and some will have to be drilled out.

One additional note: in order to parialy compensate for the low flow rate, the actualy nozzels that the water sprays out of are sometimes made smaller to produce a high velocity very fine stream of water. This is supposed to give the illusion of higher flow rates. I had to drill out some of these jets to 1/16" to get a reasonable flow rate without the water drilling holes through me. This may not be necessary on all showerheads.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 11:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Has anyone used Speakman showerheads? Is so, what model?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 5:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"They told me to measure the amount of water coming out per minute with a bucket, and if it's about 2 gallons there is nothing they can do except help me find a new shower head."

They are not going to tell you how to remove the REQUIRED restrictor for fear of governess penalties.

They have been making them harder to remove to try and limit everyone from pulling them out.

The old plastic washer with a hole ones were a joke.

You are not going to find anything without the restrictor since it is required to limit the flow (even in places with more than adequate water supplies).

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 10:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It is true that they are required and that a manufacturer isn't going to tell you how to remove it.

They are also commons sense... dumping more than 2.5 gpm of hot water down the drain is just stupid.

test it to be sure it's working at 2 gpm or better. Find a head that gives you a different spray pattern if you don't like the one that you have.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 9:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Some, if not all, of the new shower valves have restrictions built into them. You could remove the restrictor in the shower head only to be impeded by the restrictor in the valve. I believe the pair of Moens I purchased a while back are like this.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 6:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Some posters on this forum don't realize that well pumps are sometimes inadequate for providing adequate pressure to the bathroom on an upper floor and far away. The restricter that is supposed to lower pressure to 2.5 gpm then lowers it much further, leaving one shivering under a trickle. Removing the restricter does not lead to eco-sin! What I need to know is whether a Moen Posi-temp valve is inherently restricted and cannot be modified, so that taking out the hand held shower restricter won't do me any good. I just had a remodel and I shiver in a truly beautiful bathroom.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 7:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Unscrew the shower head. Remove the funnel shaped screen. You will now see a green plastic plug with a black rubber o-ring inserted in it. Use a dental pick or knife to remove the rubber o-ring. Clean and re-install the screen. This should effectively increase the flow to the shower head.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 9:24PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Does reverse osmosis water corrode copper plumbing? The answer ..
The answer is YES. I did a very unscientific study...
Garden Hose iced over
Ok, I know I was stupid. I'm new to home ownership...
Fire Sprinkler
Purchasing a home with an indoor fire sprinkler system....
Warm water mornings on cold line for 30 secs....
We have been living in a home built in 2011 (in Canada)...
Can we bypass old hot water heater?
Any reason we can't bypass and then remove this old...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™