If you are having trouble with low flow from your bathroom faucet or kitchen faucet, you are not alone. With use it is not unusual for faucet aerators to become clogged and restrict the flow of the faucet. Fortunately, this is an easy repair!
What is an aerator? An aerator is the screen attached to the end of a faucet spout that creates a direct and controlled stream of water for better use at the fixture by adding air to the water stream. Almost all faucets have a removable aerator that can be cleaned or replaced if it is not providing proper flow.
An aerator can become clogged by debris that come through the water lines, especially after construction. They can also clog up with use over time as mineral deposits from hard water form on the water outlet.
Removing an aerator is fairly easy. They can often be removed by turning them in a clockwise direction by hand. If they do not move when twisted by hand, pliers or channel locks can be used to remove them, but care must be used not to scratch the finish.
Once removed an aerator can be cleaned by removing any debris that have collected on the internal screen. If mineral deposits are the problem, the aerator can be soaked in vinegar and scrubbed clean. If these efforts fail, the aerator should be replaced. To reinstall the aerator, simply twist in a counterclockwise direction until tight.
Most aerators are of a common size and thread. Replacement aerators can be purchased at plumbing suppliers or hardware stores for a few dollars. Some aerators are recessed in the faucet and may require a special tool or key to be removed and replaced.
If you replace the aerator and still have problems with low flow from the faucet, there may be other restrictions in the faucet, supply tubes or valves, or even the main line of the house.
Feel free to give us a call at Jerry’s Plumbing Repair if you are in need of assistance with increasing flow to your faucets!