RogerBW's Blog

High-flow tap insert 20 April 2018

We have some very nice ceramic-washer taps. But they come with inserts that produce back-pressure and restrict flow, with the aim of shaping the water into a steady stream. Taking them out gives a very ragged flow. To the 3D printer!

This is the standard insert. (One from the bath tap, one from the kitchen tap; not quite the same measurements.)

One vernier caliper and OpenSCAD later, I have a design for an outer shell which ought to fit into the tap.

Then it's a matter of making up some hydrodynamics, or more to the point thinking of something that might work and seeing if it helps.

One print later...

Yup, it works rather better than before, while not seriously cutting the flow.

With no insert: a ragged stream and a relatively small cleared area on the bottom of the sink, indicating a low flow rate.

With insert: a clearer stream and a rather larger cleared area (the cold tap is full on in both cases).

Nozzle design is evidently a Black Art, but this seems like a good start.


  1. Posted by Michael Cule at 11:59am on 20 April 2018

    You have just threatened the livelihood of an entire micro-profession of tap nozzle designers and manufacturers.

    They will be after you...

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 12:05pm on 20 April 2018

    You can buy them on Amazon (the sizes of the two weren't exactly the same, but probably close enough) – but those are the flashy aerator type, rather than simply maximising water flow which was what we were after.

  3. Posted by Owen Smith at 06:53pm on 20 April 2018

    What was wrong with the original ones in the taps? You don't say.

    If that is full flow you must have low water pressure. Before I fitted my water softener it used to be if I turned on the kitchen cold tap full I would get drenched with the splash back and have to change my shirt. Mains pressure was well above (by a factor of more than 3 I believe) what the water softener was specificied for, so I fitted a 22mm pressure reducing valve in the incoming pipe. Flow is still great, and I don't get splashed any more.

    I originally fitted a 15mm pressure reducing valve. This reduced flow quite a lot, so I changed it for the 22mm one. This may be the root of your problem if a pressure reducing valve was fitted for your softener.

  4. Posted by Chris Bell at 10:59am on 21 April 2018

    What he wrote was that the taps "come with inserts that produce back-pressure and restrict flow, with the aim of shaping the water into a steady stream".

    You say "if I turned on the kitchen cold tap full I would get drenched with the splash back and have to change my shirt" -- your problem was clearly quite different, indeed opposite.

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