Imagine, you turn on the faucet and water gushes out like a waterfall! You will certainly not appreciate that. Here is where aerators come into picture. These devices evenly distribute the water flow and water then comes out in the form of droplets. These are an efficient way of saving water and also reduce splashing.
The amount of water passing through them is controlled and measured using the unit, 'gallons per minute (GPM).' Such devices are also an efficient way of reducing your utility bills.
These devices can be easily installed in taps to regulate the water consumption. The aerator mixes air with the water and distributes it evenly. Many devices distribute this water in a single stream through one hole. However nowadays, new and modified versions of them have many holes and water passes through them.
If you have faucet installations which are more than a decade old, then you need an aerator for the same. These are ideally installed at the tip of faucets and reduce the flow of water considerably, almost to 2, 1.5, or even 1 gallon per minute. This is of course at normal pressure.
Depending on the kind of water flow you expect, you could choose the respective device. The popular sizes available are 0.5, 1, 1.5, and 2.2 GPM that save water. Those varying from 2.5 to 5 gallons per minute are also available.
Depending on your needs and the place you want to install them, the size will vary. Kitchen faucet installations will require a higher flow, as dish washing and filling water in a pot or jug requires that. 2.2 GPM aerators are recommended for the same.
If you have water that is hard or has a lot of precipitation, clogging would be common. Your concern then would be to repair the faucet in order to unclog it. Doing so involves simple rinsing. However, you need to know how to remove them first. The job is not as complicated as fixing dripping faucets.
- You will require a pair of pliers and some tape.
- Wrap the tape around the jaws of the pliers. This will protect your faucet from being scratched.
- Unscrew the device that is present at its tip and is marked distinctly.
- The aerator consists of many parts that have to be removed and cleaned for which you need to be familiar with it.
The parts consist of the following, starting from the tip:
- Aerator body
- Outer housing
- Flow restrictor
Points to Remember
Before you go to the hardware store to purchase this device, there are a few points to bear in mind.
- Though a small device, shopping for it can be quite taxing if you have not done it before. Always remember to carry a prototype with you.
- The size of your faucet must match with your device because manufacturers often make those faucets which can only accommodate aerators of that particular brand. Therefore, you must identify if this is the case with your faucet as well.
- In the market, you will find single or double-swivel aerators. Stationary ones are available to choose those with a bubble stream or straight flow.
- Certain devices are available with shut-off valves and some have an extra attachment for water filters. You may even find those which do not get clogged due to sedimentation known as anti-clog aerators.
With so much choice available, you are bound to get confused. So, before you make a choice, make sure you are choosing the right one. Browse through all the options available and also be absolutely sure of your requirement. If you don't have faucet aerators installed, it's probably the best idea to do so right away and save up on your utility bills.