Faucet aerator - what is it and how does it work?

Aerator is a small device installed on the edge of a faucet. It not only reduces costs of water usage, but also makes using a sink, shower or bathtub far more convenient. In the article below you can learn everything about aerators, how to use them and which faucet aerator is best to choose. The main reason why you should buy an aerator is saving your money. This small device reduces the amount of water you use, along with the water bills, water heating as well as sewerage charges.

Table of contents

  1. What is an aerator? What does an aerator do?
  2. Choosing the best faucet aerator
  3. How to clean faucet aerator?
  4. How to remove recessed faucet aerator?



What is an aerator? What does an aerator do?

Aerator, or flow regulator consist mainly of a small sieve. Its holes aerate water flowing through the faucet and divide the main stream into several smaller ones. This small device reduces water usage up to 60%. It is worth to keep in mind that reducing the stream does not affect the usual comfort of using the tap. In many situations water flow reduction is even desirable, for instance when washing the dishes. Faucet aerator not only saves you money - it also protects the environment. The natural resources are very limited, therefore conserving the water in your house helps to protect the Earth, preventing water shortage.

Choosing the best faucet aerator

When choosing the right aerator, one should pay attention to certain parametres. The most important issue is the installation place of the aerator. Faucet aerators are typically used in:

  • sinks,
  • wash basins,
  • bathtubs,
  • showers.

A sink aerator should reduce the water flow by 6 litres per minute. Double function aerator that alters the strength of the water stream might be even a better solution. It is particularly useful in kitchen faucets, in which you use water either to rinse or to fill the dishes.

Aerator for wash basin should reduce the water flow to 2-3 litres per minute. It should be enough for usual hand or face washing.

There are also aerators intended to use in a shower head. It is very useful if you like taking long showers. Manufacturers also offer bathtub aerators. Bathtub aerator should allow for a stronger water flow, otherwise filling the tub with water would take too long.



One of the most important issues is the size of faucet aerator. It should match the thread of the faucet. M24, M22, M28, M16 are standard sizes of faucet threads. There are two types of aerators, depending on the method of installation:

  • external thread - called recessed or cache aerator, hidden inside the faucet,
  • internal thread - placed on the tip of the faucet.

A new aerator should be made of metal. This small device is in a constant contact with water, chemicals and dirt. Metal used in faucet aerators is non-corrosive, resistant to damage and high temperature. It is easy to keep clean, which is important, as clogged aerator might be a serious problem.

How to clean faucet aerator?

Many homeowners do not even know that their faucets contain aerators. Recessed, or cache aerator is hidden inside the tap. If the water pressure suddenly became very low, the problem is probably a clogged aerator. Instead of calling a plumber, you can clean your faucet yourself. The most tricky part here is removing the device.

How to remove recessed faucet aerator?

Removing an aerator might be a problematic issue. Fortunately, there are several methods that can help you clean your faucet aerator in no time.

  • Using pliers - this method should work in most cases. If the aerator cannot be removed by hand, simply grab it with pliers and unscrew it.
  • Rubber wrench - a tool of this type has a better grip than a wrench. Use it to unscrew the faucet aerator. It should budge after a few moves.
  • Vinegar - if you suspect that the faucet aerator is stuck because of corrosion or limescale, use the power of vinegar. Pour it into a plastic bag or a rubber glove. Carefully place it onto the tap so that the aerator is completely covered with vinegar. Secure the bag onto the faucet e.g. with a rubber band. Leave it for a few hours. The acid should dissolve the corrosion or scale and the aerator should be easy to remove with pliers or rubber wrench.

What is a faucet aerator?

A faucet aerator is a small element installed inside or outside the faucet. It helps to reduce water usage and the bills. Faucet aerator also makes using a sink, washbasin or shower far more convenient.

How to remove sink aerator?

Usually you can remove a sink aerator with your own hands. If it’s not possible, you can try other methods - using tools such as pliers or rubber wrench. You can also try to loosen the screw with the use of vinegar.

How to use an aerator?

After installing the aerator you don’t need to do anything out of the ordinary - use your faucet as usual. Remember to choose the right aerator for the intended purpose, as each type reduces the water flow differently.

How to clean aerator?

After removing aerator from the faucet, disassemble it and clean with a brush. Then reassemble all the elements and put it back onto the faucet.

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