How to: Clean Faucet Aerators

Posted: 9/23/2011

Using a faucet aerator can reduce your water usage by as much as 30 percent, and as it is not very expensive, it can be a money-saving investment. However, constricted or foul-tasting water may indicate the aerators in your faucets are clogged and dirty. Routine inspection of these small filters can be done by homeowners and will help to produce cleaner, healthier water.

Before you call a plumber, please check your aerators to see if they are clogged. An aerator is the small mesh screen that mixes air and water on the way out of the spout. Often when water is shut off for long periods of time, the sediment from the aged pipes will clog your aerator. This is an easy fix that you as a unit owner can do and, again, save the expense of having a plumber visit your unit.

Instructions for checking your aerators are as follows:

  1. Using tape-wrapped pliers, unscrew the aerator from the spout.
  2. Disassemble the aerator, taking care to note the exact order of parts. Replace the washer if it is worn or cracked.
  3. Remove any particularly large solid pieces using a toothpick, and also chip away at any mineral deposits lying on the screen.
  4. Soak the screen and aerator disks in vinegar for an hour or more, and scrub them with a small brush. Turn on the faucet to flush sediment from the spout.
  5. Reassemble the aerator and thread the assembly back onto the spout. Tighten it one-quarter turn with pliers, being careful not to over-tighten.
If you complete these steps and the water pressure is still low, call RMS, who will refer you to a plumber.