Return to the Plumbing Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Kohler shower water pressure/removing flow restrictor

Posted by mimi78 (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 23, 10 at 11:04

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.

Ive 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?

Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Kohler shower water pressure/removing flow restrictor

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,

Dan


 o
RE: Kohler shower water pressure/removing flow restrictor

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!


 o
RE: Kohler shower water pressure/removing flow restrictor

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.


 o
RE: Kohler shower water pressure/removing flow restrictor

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 didnt 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 didnt see a flow restrictor though, not sure if it was behind the screen but we couldnt 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 Im sure its just my own personal preference.

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

Thanks for the replies!


 o
RE: Kohler shower water pressure/removing flow restrictor

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.


 o
RE: Kohler shower water pressure/removing flow restrictor

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.


 o
RE: Kohler shower water pressure/removing flow restrictor

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.


 o
RE: Kohler shower water pressure/removing flow restrictor

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


 o
RE: Kohler shower water pressure/removing flow restrictor

"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).


 o
RE: Kohler shower water pressure/removing flow restrictor

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.


 o
RE: Kohler shower water pressure/removing flow restrictor

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.


 o
RE: Kohler shower water pressure/removing flow restrictor

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.


 o
RE: Kohler shower water pressure/removing flow restrictor

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.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Plumbing Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here