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What is the Mesh Piece Inside the Shower Head?

Whether you are swapping out your shower head with a new one or perhaps even installing a new shower filter to rid your water of impurities, you may wonder what that small, metal mesh piece is inside the shower head.

It likely looks something like this:

mesh inside shower head

And if you pop it out, it looks something like this:

So, what is that mesh piece doing in there?

The mesh piece is an essential component of the shower head. It is there to help prevent hard water deposits from clogging up the shower head inside the unit. Water deposits include calcium, magnesium, lime scale, and even rust.

Will Removing the Mesh Piece Increase the Flow Rate?

Removing the mesh piece may temporarily increase the flow rate of the water – which can lead to a more pleasant showering experience. However, over time, the hard water deposits will build up inside the shower head without the mesh piece in place – and this can cause even more problems down the road – including a significantly decreased water flow rate and potentially irreversible damage to the shower head itself.

In short, removing the mesh piece from your shower head is not recommended.

Should You Clean the Mesh Piece Regularly?

It depends on the quality of the water coming into your home. If you have tough water or rely on well water, it is probably a good idea to clean the mesh piece regularly; we recommend starting once a year.

However, instead of having to dismantle the shower head every time you want to clean the mesh piece, there are easier ways. For example, you can purchase a shower head filter that attaches between your shower arm and head. This type of filter will have a small mesh piece inside that will catch the water deposits before they have a chance to enter your shower head.

Changing out the filters is much easier. Besides sediment, some shower filters also remove chlorine, rust, dirt, and other contaminants from your shower water – making it healthier for you to breathe and bathe while showering.

Related: Best High Pressure Shower Filter

Is This Metal Mesh The Same as a Flow Restrictor Valve?

The flow restrictor valve is a different piece behind the shower head. It controls the amount of water that flows through the shower head – usually 2.5 gallons per minute. 

Here’s what the flow restrictor valve looks like:

restrictor valve in shower head

Federal and state governments require that all shower heads have a flow restrictor valve to help conserve water.

You can read more about the flow restrictor valve and the EPA rules here.


We hope that this article has helped to clear up any confusion you may have had about the mesh piece inside your shower head. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us, and we’ll be happy to help. Thanks for reading!

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Mark Williams

Mark Williams is a renowned author and expert in the field of shower filters, with an extensive background in plumbing. With over 20 years of experience, Mark has dedicated his career to helping people improve their water quality and overall well-being by providing reliable and efficient shower filtration solutions.

Before embarking on his writing journey, Mark honed his skills as a certified plumber, working on numerous residential and commercial projects. His vast knowledge and experience in plumbing have given him a deep understanding of water filtration systems, making him a highly sought-after authority in the industry.

Mark's passion for water quality and filtration led him to pursue a successful writing career, focusing on shower filters. In his work, he shares valuable insights on the latest technology, installation techniques, and maintenance tips, empowering homeowners, contractors, and fellow industry professionals seeking advice on shower filtration systems.