Do I Have a Clogged Aerator?

So, it’s time to face facts. You’ve barely got any water pressure, and your water bill is through the roof! Your head might be spinning, what’s a homeowner to do? Well, here’s one simple fix: Clean your aerator!

What Is an Aerator?

The aerator is the small, mesh screen that you might have noticed over the head of your sink’s faucet. They are designed to reduce the amount of water flowing from your faucet while still making it appear that more water is coming out than there really is. Aerators are crucial equipment in any home aiming to reduce energy and water bills. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that if you install aerators in every faucet in your home, it could save as much as 700 gallons of water per year!

How Does an Aerator Work?

When working as intended, aerators reduce the flow rate of water coming from a faucet by forcing it to exit through small openings instead of exiting in one strong stream—as you might be familiar seeing with an ordinary garden hose

Think, for instance, of how many holes your showerhead has—each one makes a small stream that allows you to regulate the amount and speed of water coming out. It’s the same basic concept!

Aerators indeed get the same job done, albeit on a much smaller scale (and without the customization options). Unfortunately, an aerator won’t be able to do its job at all if hard water deposits have blocked some of the streams, so be sure to keep up with your aerator screen to make sure that the water can still flow through it properly! Or else you’ll never see those bills come down.

How to Clean Your Aerator

It’s simple! This 3-step process will help you clean the aerator and boost your water pressure to the max:

  1. Remove the aerator – Most of the time, you can do this by hand (especially with small enough fingers!), but if you find you need a set of pliers, don’t forget to wrap the faucet in a rag to prevent unsightly scratches! You might be able to buff some of them out, but better safe than sorry.
  2. Rinse the mesh screen – Hold both sides of the aerator under running water, preferably warm. Then, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently scrub stubborn buildup from both sides of the aerator. This will keep the screen from being damaged, but will flick off any hard-to-remove sediment.
  3. Soak it in vinegar – If the minerals are particularly stubborn, it may need to be soaked in a bowl of white vinegar for several hours, ideally while you sleep. When you get up the next morning, do steps one and two to fully clean the aerator screen.

Place the washer back into place, reattach all other pieces of your faucet, and you’re good to go. These are just one simple way to cut down on the energy you’re using at home. If you’re looking for someone who can make the most out of your money, contact Conyers Plumbing. Our professional plumbers can help you find more efficient ways to spend less on plumbing and air conditioning repairs.