Replacing an Aerator
Featured Image: KA221C20
Most kitchen and bathroom sinks feature aerators, which are small screen attachments on the tip of the spout to add air to the water as it flows out. This aeration makes it seem like more water is coming out, saving water without reducing the faucet’s usefulness for washing hands or dishes. Over time, aerators can easily clog due to minerals in the water, or even break altogether. After ordering a new aerator to fit a faucet, these are the steps to replacing it.
Take Off the Damaged Aerator
If a faucet has an aerator, it will be located at the very tip of the faucet spout. Try twisting the end of the spout by hand or with a pair of pliers wrapped with rags. Some sinks, especially kitchen sinks with pull-down spouts, may not feature replaceable aerators. Check the product manual or with the manufacturer when in doubt. Old and broken aerators with clogged screens cause water to come out slowly or to spray at odd angles. If the aerator can’t be removed, the faucet must be replaced.
Clean Out the Faucet
With the old aerator removed, turn the faucet on and run both the hot and cold lines. This allows any trapped sediment to flush out of the faucet and water lines. Put a screen or washcloth in the drain to catch the sediment so it doesn’t travel into the drainpipes and contribute to additional clogs. Badly clogged aerators can leave large chunks of mineral build-up behind, so try running an old toothbrush gently inside the faucet spout to ensure nothing is left to interfere with the fit of a new aerator. If there is any mineral build-up, carefully brush the threads on the spout.
Attach the New Aerator
Once the faucet is running clean and at full power, it’s time to install the aerator. If the faucet is still slow with no aerator on, there’s a problem further up the water supply. Replacement aerators should simply twist on much like the old one twisted off. Plumber’s tape is unnecessary unless it’s recommended by the manufacturer. With the new aerator in place, turn the taps on to confirm the new flow is strong and steady.