An active shower head with the text "Flow Restrictor?" transposed above the image

With the current trend toward energy efficiency and water conservation, knowing what features are standard in modern shower heads is essential. 

Of course, they come loaded with many outstanding features worth considering. But, in that vein, as you look to improve your water conservation, one thing that you cannot afford to ignore is a flow restrictor.

If you have a new home or recently purchased a shower head, you may wonder if flow restrictors are present in all new units. Get ready to dive into the world of eco-friendly showers and find the perfect fit for your bathroom!

Do All New Shower Heads Have Flow Restrictors?

Not all new shower heads come with flow restrictors. While many brands focus on water and energy efficiency, it’s not a universal feature. So, before you make a purchase, it’s a good idea to check the specifications and ensure they fit your needs.

Do not fret yet; this post will assist you in discovering the ideal shower head that saves you money and helps the environment.

Understanding What Flow Restrictors Are and How They Work

Flow restrictors are small devices that limit the amount of water that flows through your shower head. How are they important?

Several different types of flow restrictors.
Courtesy of Amazon

Restrictors help conserve water and energy by reducing the water flow, saving you money on your monthly bills. And the best part? You won’t even notice a difference in your shower experience. So it’s a win-win situation!

Are Shower Head Flow Restrictors Energy-Efficient?

Flow restrictors are an energy-efficient option as they help control the amount of water flowing out of the head. Hence, by allowing just the right amount of water, they reduce the strain on the unit and conserve energy. 

How does this happen? 

Here’s an in-depth elaboration:

When you shower, the water that flows through the shower head needs heating to a specific temperature. 

A homeowner in a shower holds her hand under the showerhead to test the water temperature

If the water flow is too high, the heating system has to work harder to heat the water, using more energy and taking longer. This expenditure can lead to higher energy bills and unnecessary waste of energy. 

So how do flow restrictors improve energy efficiency? 

  • First, by installing a restrictor in your shower head, you can control the water flow, reducing the amount that needs to be heated. This add-on means your heating system doesn’t have to work as hard, saving energy and reducing energy bills.
  • In addition to saving energy, flow restrictors also help conserve water. You can save hundreds of gallons each year by reducing the flow of water. This measure not only helps conserve water but also reduces the stress on your plumbing system and can help you avoid costly repairs.

Benefits of Installing a Shower Head with a Flow Restrictor

Apart from restrictors being energy efficient and water-saving, there are other benefits of installing a shower head with one.

Reduced Environmental Impact

Using less water will help conserve water resources and reduce your carbon footprint. This consideration is becoming more important as water scarcity becomes an increasingly pressing issue worldwide.

Even Water Distribution

The flow restrictor will ensure that the water is distributed evenly and consistently, so you won’t have to deal with sudden fluctuations in water pressure.

Multiple Flow Speeds

With a flow reducer, a variety of flow rates are available to choose from, including 14, 10, 12, 8, 10, and 5 L/min. This variability allows you to customize your shower experience to your liking.

Different Types of Flow Restrictors: Which One is Right for You?

When it comes to shower heads with restrictors, there are a few different types to choose from.

The most common types of flow reducers include:

Fixed Flow Restrictors

These units are built into the shower head and cannot be adjusted. Therefore, they provide a consistent flow rate that you cannot change. Examples of shower heads with this type of restrictor include Kohler Water and Delta Faucet’s 2-Spray H2Okinetic.

A spurting Delta Faucet 2-Spray H2Okinetic Shower Head in a tile shower
The Delta Faucet 2-Spray H2Okinetic. Courtesy of Amazon.

Adjustable Flow Restrictors

This variety gives you more control over your shower experience, allowing you to customize it to your liking. Examples include Hansgrohe Adjustable and Speakman Anystream.

Removable Flow Restrictors

These can be removed from the shower head if you need more water flow. Examples of this type include G-Promise and Hammerhead.

Shopping for a New Shower Head: Key Features to Look For

When shopping for a new shower head, there are a few vital qualities you should look for to ensure you get the best experience possible. 

Here are some things to perpend:

Flow Rate

You want to ensure the flow rate is suitable for your needs. For example, some shower heads have adjustable flow restrictors that allow you to customize the flow rate, while others have a fixed flow rate you can’t change.

Spray Pattern

There are many different spray patterns, including rainshower, massage, and mist. Consider your preferences and what spray pattern will provide you with the best shower experience.

A dripping shower head mounted on a tiled wall


Shower heads come in different sizes, so you want to choose one that fits your space. You don’t want a shower head that is too small or too large for your shower.


Shower heads come in various materials, including plastic, metal, and glass. Consider the look you’re going for and choose a build that complements your bathroom decor.


Ponder how easy the shower head will be to install. Ideally, the best one should be a kind you can install yourself. 

How to Install a Shower Head with a Flow Restrictor

Here’s how you can install a shower head with a restrictor:

  • First, assemble the tools and materials you require for this exercise. You’ll need a wrench, plumbers tape, and the new shower head and flow restrictor.
  • Before you begin, turn off the water to your shower.
  • Remove the old shower head—use the wrench to loosen it and remove it from the shower arm.
Closeup on hands using a wrench to remove a shower head
Courtesy of Fortis BC
  • Wrap the shower arm threads with plumbers tape to ensure a tight seal.
  • Screw the flow restrictor onto the shower arm, ensuring it’s tight.
  • Screw the new shower head onto the restrictor, and tighten it.
  • Turn the water back on and test the shower to ensure everything works properly.

Bottom Line

While not all new shower heads come equipped with flow restrictors, they are critical in promoting energy efficiency and water savings. With the current drive towards a greener future, it’s never been more important to consider the impact of our daily activities on the environment. 

Investing in a shower head with a restrictor not only helps reduce water waste but also contributes to a more sustainable future for generations to come.

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