Like all things in your home, your faucet and faucet aerator will need to be cleaned. While some homeowners might not know what exactly a faucet aerator is, they likely have at least one. Found screwed into the tip of most modern faucets, the aerator helps to prevent splashing, awkward side spray, and alters the stream to include a mixture of water and air. The addition of air will help to increase the perceived water pressure while conserving water and reducing energy costs.
Aerators are great, but they do need to be cleaned. Because most of them have wire netting to prevent sentiment from the pipes getting into your sink, they are vulnerable to mineral build up. When this happens, you’ll likely experience a noticeable drop in water pressure at that sink. Fortunately there’s an easy fix.
Step One. You’ll want to remove the aerator in order to clean it. Remember lefty loosey, righty tighty. You’ll want to turn it clockwise. If you can’t seem to get the aerator to turn with just your hand, you’ll want to used a padded pair of plyers or normal pliers but with a rag or some other buffer that’ll protect your aerator from scratches. Just adding an elastic band can make it easier to remove by hand. Most aerators have a screen or two and some washers. You’ll want to carefully remove all of these parts for cleaning.
Step Two. Rinse off all the larger pieces and use a toothpick or sewing needle to unclog any holes. You can disassemble the aerator if you want, but remember how it came apart so that you can put it back together later. If there is a mineral build up, don’t bother trying to scrub it away now. Let the affected pieces sit for a day or two in vinegar, that should dissolve and soften minerals making them easy to clean. Starting with warm vinegar will speed up the process, so microwave the vinegar for ten or twenty seconds in a microwave-safe bowl before adding the aerator. Do not microwave the aerator.
Step Three. Reassemble the aerator and screw it back into the faucet. If you have water spraying oddly, it’s likely not in tight enough. To tighten it further, you can again use a padded pair of plyers or normal pliers with a rag or other buffer.
That’s all there is to it! If cleaning your faucet aerator seems a bit complicated, the expert plumbers at Plumbing Paramedics can help you with this chore and all of your other plumbing needs. Call us today at (403) 452-2911.