Table of Contents
The Faucet’s Aerator
An aerator is a device at the end of the faucet that controls the stream of water coming out of the fixture.
The aerator mixes air and water together to create a nice and even flow. Without one, the water would just shoot out everywhere.
In the picture above you will see the 3 most common sizes of aerators, standard, junior and tom thumb.
An aerator has three major parts, washer, insert, and housing.
There are a couple of reasons why you may need to remove your faucet’s aerator.
Because aerators act as filters they will either wear out over time or the water’s spray pattern will lose it shape due to clogging caused by hard water mineral deposits.
What you’re after is a free-flowing faucet with a nice spray pattern.
But to get the spray pattern you want first you have to get the aerator off the faucet and they can be quite stubborn at times.
How To Remove A Faucet Aerator That Is Stuck
Step 1: Fill a plastic sandwich bag about 1/3 full with white warm vinegar and wrap it around the end of your faucet.
Step 2: Make sure the end of the faucet is completely submerged in the vinegar solution. The acid in the vinegar helps to break down the lime scale and mineral deposits in and around the aerator.
Step 3: Finally, secure the sandwich bag in place with a rubber band around the faucet and let it soak for at least an hour or longer.
Step 4: Remove the aerator by turning counter-clockwise. You should be able to turn the aerator by hand at this point. If not, use a pair of pliers to loosen the aerator. Before loosening, place a piece of cloth over the aerator to prevent the pliers from scratching the faucet’s finish.
Step 5: Turn on the water to wash out the faucet and turn off the water when finished. You may have to clean the faucet with a toothbrush or cloth before replacing or installing your new aerator.
Installing A Faucet Aerator
- To install an aerator on a faucet with inside (female threads) place two rubber washers on the inside of the aerator.
- Screw the aerator to the inside threads of the faucet (turn clockwise).
- To install an aerator on a faucet with outside (male threads) place one rubber washer on the inside of the aerator.
- Screw the aerator onto the outside threads of the faucet (turn clockwise).
- Occasionally remove the aerator and rinse the pieces to clean out any sediment buildup.