If you are experiencing decreased or low water pressure in your faucets, it might be because the faucet aerator is clogged. Faucet aerators often need to be cleaned or replaced due to an excess of debris or calcium deposits that build up over time. Installing a new or cleaned aerator is an easy process that you can do yourself with very few tools.
The aerator has multiple functions, mainly filtering out debris that might move through the pipes, and preventing spraying or splashing. If you are looking to conserve water and save money, you can even find special “low flow” aerators that can help you cut down on the amount of water you are using without sacrificing water pressure.
To get started with your faucet aerator installation, you will first need to remove the existing aerator. Locate the area at the end of the faucet that looks like it is removable, usually indicated by a ring or indentation. Simply unscrew this portion of the faucet and a small piece will come off.
If the piece is on very tightly, you might need a little help loosening the aerator. Typically, a simple pair of pliers is all you will need. If you are wanting to reuse the aerator, be careful not to crush it. Hold onto the aerator and turn in a clockwise motion to loosen and remove the aerator.
Remove All Pieces
Not only will you need to unscrew and remove the existing aerator, but you will also need to remove the gasket. This is a small rubber piece that will likely stay inside the tip of the faucet after you pull the aerator out. Use the tip of your finger inside the faucet to pull it out. If this piece is not removed, your new aerator will not fit.
Your New Aerator
When purchasing a new faucet aerator, you will want to take your old aerator with you. There are some minor differences in the threading that indicate “male” or “female”, as well as different kinds of slots and grooves. You want the new aerator to match the existing so you have no problems with it working properly with your faucet. Take the old aerator with you and find one to match it.
Dry and Lubricate
Before you install the new aerator, dry off the tip of the faucet and apply a small amount of lubricant. You can use pump seal lubricant, or other non-hardening silicone based grease. This will help keep your new aerator in good condition and prevent the need to use pliers to remove the piece in the future.
You will put a small amount of the silicone grease on the new aerator before installing it as well. You will put the lubricant on the part of the aerator that will connect directly with the faucet.
Attach the New Aerator
After applying a small amount of your lubricant onto the aerator, you will simply screw it onto the faucet. There is no need to use pliers or tools, just tighten it as tight as you can with your hands.
To test how well your new faucet aerator works, turn on the water. The flow should be continuous and controlled, with no spraying or splashing. There should be no water leaking out of the connections as well. If you notice any leaking or problems with the spray, check to see that you connected the aerator straight and that it is tight enough.
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Posted July 22, 2014
by Gabriel Posternak.