Why Does My Shower Have Low Water Pressure?

Hey and welcome to DIY Plumbing Guide. Today’s article is about why does my shower have low water pressure now? We will check the basics like if the shower head is blocked up or if you have a burst pipe causing low water pressure. We will also explain if need be how to remove the water restrictor in the shower head as well.

Process Of Elimination is The Key

There are a few reasons why a shower can become low in water flow or even to the point have no water flow at all. Below is a list of the possibilities of what can cause low water pressure and they are

  •  Debris in the water
  • Mineral deposit build-up
  • Low pressure to the house
  • Water valves
  • Water leaks

First step is to identifying what is causing the problem in the first place. If you have good water flow through out the rest of the house bar the shower then you can take having a water leak, burst pipe or valve off the list. When you are checking the water flow make sure you test where there is no restrictor or aerator on it. As this maybe be blocked to if you have debris in the line.

Most Common Causes

Most common cause of having low water flow in a shower is things in the water line. These things can range from say if you have old iron pipe that is getting past there use by date and rust is falling off it and causing things to block up. Could be from some certain algae in the water. It looks a little like fine sawdust. Sometime the plastic pipe inside the water heater disintegrates and pieces of plastic go through the lines Sometime the water department is working on their pipe maybe from a burst pipe as such gravel can get into the house and plug up the fixtures.

Another thing that can cause the shower to block up is mineral deposit build-ups. These build-ups can clog up faucets and shower heads preventing full water flow coming out of them. If you think this is what you have you can try cleaning out the faucet heads and shower heads in your home to see if that help the low water flow.

Shower Head Water Restrictor

All new shower heads have a water restrictor in them. This water restrictor or water saver device also called limits the water flow through the shower head to 2.5 gallons a minute. This restrictor is the cause of a lot of shower head blocking up and causing the shower to have low flow rate. Anything that is in the water line can get court in the restrictor and over time just keeps building up till the water stops. You do have 2 options here if this does happen to you. Remove the restrictor, clean the old restrictor or replace the restrictor.

If you remove the restrictor and not replace it then you eliminate the shower head from being a water saving device. This is where you will have to make up your own mind in what to do there.

How to Remove A Water Restrictor In A Shower Head

  1. Remove the shower head from it’s location
  2. look in the end that you just unscrewed and you should see the restrictor. Most shower restrictors are located in this position as there is also a filter there to stop debris getting into the head it self.
  3. Using pliers grab hold of the restrictor and remove by pulling out. Now there are few different styles of restictors as well. Some are plastic and others are brass. Either way remove and then clean it under water removing any debries then re install it opposite way you removed it.
  4. If you not going to replace the restrictor back in then remove it the best way you can. Wont matter if it breaks just don’t leave any in the shower arm.
  5. Reinstall the shower head back to it’s location then test for leaks and operation.

Check out this video on how to remove the restrictor ENJOY…


Hope we have made bit more sense now on what can cause a shower head to lose its flow. If you have just one of those homes that no matter what you do you will never have high water pressure. You may live out of town, run on a gravity feed set up or pressure pump system. Either way there is a shower head out there can change your low flow shower into a high pressure luxurious shower that you have always wanted. Thanks fall calling in and checking us out.

Check out this article on the best shower head for low water flow