Faucet aerators serve an important function in your home plumbing system. They’re very simple. But aggravating when they don’t work. As plumbers, they’re a pet peeve. It drives me nuts when I see a low kitchen faucet water flow or a crooked bathroom sink faucet stream. But what are they. And what do faucet aerators do?
What is a Faucet Aerator?
A faucet aerator is the threaded fitting on the tip of a faucet spout. If your kitchen faucet has a pull-out or pull-down sprayer it may be inside the sprayer. But it’s the last thing the water touches before leaving the faucet. And it really does serve an important purpose. It also needs regular maintenance.
What do Faucet Aerators do?
Faucet aerators are a marvel of engineering. Partly because of their simplicity. And also because of how many functions they actually serve. A few of those are discussed below.
Aerators in Faucets Conserve Water
Federal guidelines mandate that the maximum flow rate of a kitchen faucet or bathroom faucet be 2.2 gallons per minute (gpm). This is based upon a home water pressure of 60 pounds per square inch (psi). Many faucets today restrict it even further. A shower valve is probably where you are most aware of it.
They also Soften the Faucet Water Stream
Aerators also prevent water from splashing on you when you put something in the stream. It makes washing your hands or dishes much less messy. The bubbles in the water softens the stream.
Aerators Give the Appearance of Greater Water Flow
Nobody enjoys less water coming out of their faucets. Restricting the faucet water flow doesn’t have to leave you with an unsatisfied feeling. With the injected air in the faucets stream you’re left with the impression of more water flow.
Aerators Clean Debris from Faucet Water
As highly filtered and chemically enhanced as city drinking water is, it still has some debris. Sand particles from recent water service repairs can get in the pipes. And the pipes themselves can be very old and have chunks of rusty iron or copper shavings in them. The faucet aerator screens filter all this out.
Maintenance of Faucet Aerators
When I took my master plumbing test it was grueling. The first question on the test had nothing to do with the proper sizing of a water piping system or correct gas pipe fittings. It asked what the first thing was a person should check when there’s a faucet water flow restriction. The answer was the aerator. It’s the quickest thing to check. The simplest solution. And the most likely culprit. Aerators get clogged with water debris, rubber from plumbing seals upstream even construction materials. Removing the aerators and either cleaning or replacing them can save a visit from the plumber. A popular brand is Danco.
Faucet Repair in Lees Summit
Aerators in faucets are a pretty simple task. I wouldn’t hire a plumber for that. But if you find that you need a new kitchen faucet installation or have a leaking shower valve that needs repair call us. Advocate Master Plumbing will send a local master plumber to your home to address any home plumbing repair or installation you need.