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Removing Faucet Aerator: Tips and Techniques

Most people don't think about their faucet aerators, and many don't even know they exist at all. Although they're small, faucet aerators do a lot of work to conserve water and shape the stream that comes out of your faucet. Occasionally, you'll need to remove the aerators in order to clean, replace, or check for issues. With a little guidance, it's simple and easy to remove your faucet aerator.

Understanding Faucet Aerators

Before you can remove your aerator, it's best to have a good understanding about what they are and what they do.

What is a Faucet Aerator?

An aerator is a tiny screen that, in most cases, screws onto the end of your faucet spout. Its main purpose is to break up and add air to the stream of water that flows out of the faucet head. When it's in good working condition, an aerator can reduce the amount of water you use by up to 30%! 

There are many different types of faucet aerators that come in a variety of sizes. Some common types of aerators include:

    • Aerators with Housing - A faucet aerator with housing consists of three parts: housing, insert, and washer.
  • Aerators without Housing - Unlike aerators with housing, aerators with integrated thread consist of just one component: a plastic part with male thread.
  • Hidden Threaded Aerators - Aerators that thread directly (and disappear) into the faucet spout
  • Benefits of Having a Faucet Aerator

    A faucet aerator may be small, but it packs a mighty punch. Some major benefits of having one include:

    • Reduced water usage
    • Reduced energy costs
    • Less faucet noise
    • Better tasting water
    • Filtered debris
    • Reduced splashing 
    • Improved water stream (and perceived pressure)
    • Less soap needed for washing

    Tools and Preparation

    When an aerator is clogged with mineral deposits or needs to be replaced, you'll have to remove it. A few common tools can make the process easier. Before you begin, gather the following tools:

    • Adjustable wrench
    • Needle nosed Pliers
    • Soft cloth
    • Rubber band
    • Screwdriver

    Once you've got your supplies, make sure you turn off the faucet and drain any residual water. Place a small towel or cloth in the sink and over the drain to prevent dropped parts from falling and disappearing into the pipes below. 

    Identifying Your Faucet Aerator Threads

    So, where is the aerator and what does it look like? Your faucet's aerator is a tiny screen that's located right where the water comes out. There are two different types: externally threaded male aerators and internally threaded female aerators.. If the threads are on the inside, it's a female aerator, and if the aerator has external threads, it's a male aerator. This is important when purchasing a replacement for your faucet so you ensure you get the correct aerator.

    Once you've identified your aerator and its type, you'll need to remove it from the faucet.

    Step-by-Step Aerator Removal Guide

    Removing an aerator isn't difficult, but it may take some trial and error. First, try unscrewing the aerator by hand. Often, they're installed by hand and are not difficult to remove. If it's too tight, try using a set of pliers with a cloth. Grip the aerator tightly, but be careful not to damage the faucet.

    If your aerator is stuck due to calcification or other issues, you may need to take extra measures to remove it. First, apply heat on low with a hairdryer. Don't heat the faucet head too much or you risk melting tiny plastic parts inside. You can also spray a lubricant like WD-40 onto the faucet head in order to effectively remove the aerator. Most often, this is all you need to do to loosen things up.

    Replace Your Aerator With Quality Parts From Aerator.com Today

    Does your faucet need a new aerator? If so, check out our inventory at Aerator.com today. We offer OEM replacement aerators that are high-quality and long-lasting. Contact us to learn more about our products and to access helpful guides about keeping your faucets in working order. Our experts are happy to answer your questions and provide expert advice about the best products for your faucets.

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