If you notice a steady drop in water pressure in your faucet, the cause is probably a clogged aerator. A faucet aerator is a part located at the tip of the spout. Most modern kitchen faucets, as well as bathroom faucets, are equipped with this feature. It mixes water and air, providing good water pressure, while also maintaining low water flow. So if you notice lowering water pressure, the solution is often very simple. Many owners that don’t know about this fitting at once call the plumber. However, it’s an easy repair that anyone can handle. So here are a few simple tips on how to remove a faucet aerator.
Step-By-Step Process On How To Remove an Aerator?
- Rag or piece of cloth
- Old toothbrush
Step 1 – Plug Your Sink
Faucet aerators comprise of several small parts, which include a rubber washer, casing and small screen. These parts are quite tiny and you don’t want to lose them down the drain in the removal process. So plug your undermount or topmount sink with a stopper or use a rag to cover the drain.
Step 2 – Remove the Aerator
Next, start removing the faucet aerator. First, try unscrewing with just your hands by turning it counterclockwise. In many cases, the aerator doesn’t sit that tightly and the force of the hands should be enough.
However, the collected mineral deposits can tighten the aerator connection and make it much more difficult to unscrew by hand. In such case, try removing the aerator with a pair of pliers. It gives a better grip of the screw section. So keeping the grip tight, turn the aerator screw.
If you will not be replacing the aerator, place a rag under the grip of the pliers or use masking tape. Also, don’t grip the aerator too tightly as the soft metal can easily bend. If this method also doesn’t work, try the steps below.
How To Remove a Faucet Aerator That Is Stuck?
- Next, try using rubber wrenches, they provide an even tighter grip than pliers. Moreover, they don’t slip off as easily. So use the wrench to grip the aerator and try tugging it in one direction. If it doesn’t work, do it in the opposite direction. Do a few tries and the aerator should budge. However, if this also doesn’t work, you might need to use one of the household items below.
- If an aerator hasn’t been cleaned in a long time, it might have a lot of debris and rust keeping it tight. So you might need to start by cleaning off that debris. White vinegar, for example, effectively removes all that. Just pour some white vinegar into a small bag, put over the spout and tie it tightly. Make sure that the aerator is submerged in the vinegar. Leave it soaking for a few hours to allow for all the debris to dissolve. Then, remove the bag, flush the faucet and try removing the aerator again.
- If none of the above methods have worked, try using WD-40, which is penetrating oil. Before applying it, make sure that you open a window to allow for proper ventilation. To use it, point the nozzle at the aerator screw and spray it for 3-5 seconds. Let it sit for a few minutes and then use pliers to remove the aerator.
After removing the aerator, disassemble it and clean it before assembling again.
In some cases, people choose to remove the aerator in order to increase the water flow if their household has very low water flow. However, before doing so, remember that the aerator has a few important functions.
First of all, it helps to conserve water and energy since it limits the water flow. It increases the perception of water pressure as it increases the speed of the water coming out of the spout. So it’s also often described as a pressure regulator. All manufacturers today install aerators into their faucets for water conservation purposes.
Faucets aerators also prevent splashing by reducing the volume of falling water and creating multiple mini streams within one main one. The reduced volume of water reduces the splash distance. The mini streams falling at the same time end up having the splash streams hitting each other. So this interference helps to reduce the main splashing effect.