Repairing a Faucet: How to Replace the Aerator

What You'll Need
Replacement aerator (Optional)

Repairing faucets can involve many different projects and tasks. One of these is replacing the aerator. The aerator is the small sieve-like object which screws over the spout of your faucet. If you are experiencing a lack of pressure, the problem could actually spring from a blocked aerator.

Repairing faucets is sometimes difficult because of the things water contains. Water isn't as simple as it might appear. It actually contains a lot of dissolved minerals, including limestone. Lime scale, which can quickly form on the inside of your tap, will restrict the flow of water. Replacing the aerator is actually very easy if you go about it in the right way.

Other symptoms of a damaged or blocked aerator might be a stream of water being directed in another direction from where you expect, or a strange spraying pattern.

Step 1 - Prepare to Start Repairing Faucets

First you will need to prepare the area where you'll be working. It's always a good idea to close the drain just in case any of the parts accidentally fall into the basin. Also find a towel you can use to wrap all of the parts you remove. This will make sure that you never lose anything, and it will also ensure that you can complete the job as quickly as possible.

Step 2 - Remove the Aerator

The aerator should be pretty easy to remove normally. Try to remove it with your hand because this is the easiest and safest way. If you can't remove the aerator in this way, you will need to use some pliers. Use cloth placed over the aerator to prevent yourself from scratching and damaging the faucet or the aerator.

Step 3 - Inspect and Clean the Aerator

The aerator will be made up of a number of different parts. Make sure that you take a mental note of where these go. Your attention is very important because you will need to reassemble the aerator eventually.

You might save the cost of a new part, and thereby reduce your total bill for your faucet repairs, by cleaning your existing aerator. If you notice any lime scale or rust between the layers of the aerator, you can clean this out with a brush. If you can't immediately remove some deposits, you can soak the parts in vinegar.

Step 4 - Buy a New Aerator (Optional)

If you cannot clean the old part or simply wish to buy new, you can purchase a new aerator which is compatible with your existing faucet. Most aerators can be screwed into the majority of different types of faucets. Read the instructions prior to installing the new part and make sure you assemble all of the components correctly.

Step 5 - Install the New Aerator

Now screw either the new or the original aerator back onto the faucet. Only use your hand to do this. Apply moderate pressure. You only want it hand-tightened so you can remove it when needed. These aerators are designed to be removable so that they can be cleaned. Ideally you should clean them every year or when you start to experience trouble.