When there is very low water pressure at a particular faucet, it is often really simple to solve.
At the faucet spout end, there is typically a fastened screen fitting called the aerator.
A lot of people are not familiar with this fitting and repeatedly call a plumber for a repair which is otherwise very easy.
Most times, simply cleaning the aerator is enough, but in some cases the aerator fitting may need to be replaced.
Either way, you will have to first take out the aerator.
Faucet Aerator Replacement: Removal by Hand
First try to detach the aerator by hand from the spout. This will work for most faucet aerators, as they have been threaded by hand.
Ensure that both your hands and the faucet are dry enough so as to enhance your grip.
If you cannot remove it by hand, you can try using pliers next.
If the aerator is not damaged and you intend to make use of it again, wrap masking tape or a rag round the aerator.
This will help to avoid scratching the metal surface.
Use the jaws of the pliers to grip the aerator, making sure that it doesn’t grip the faucet spout but the aerator only.
Unscrew the aerator from the spout by turning it counter-clockwise. If this is difficult, try to move the pliers round the aerator by a quarter-turn, and try to unscrew the aerator from this new position.
Faucet Aerator Replacement: Heat the Aerator
Applying heat gently on the aerator with the use of a hairdryer may faintly expand the metal, making it easier to loosen using pliers.
Even the use of a lit match close to the aerator may be enough to loosen it.
Take heed to apply only moderate heat, so as not to melt any rubber washers or plastic parts due to overheating the aerator.
Plastic fastened aerators may be used by cheaper faucets. Heat should never be used on plastics.
Use Penetrating Oil
If heat also doesn’t work, try to spray the threads with penetrating oil and let sit for some minutes.
Clean off oil from the aerator surface before you try to unscrew it so that the metal would be less slippery.
Cleaning and Reinstallation of the Aerator
The aerator’s metal screen may be blocked with hard water deposits or grit, and can be cleaned by hand or using a needle or pin to poke through the metal screen openings.
If any rust is noticed on the screen, then it has to be replaced. If lime mineral deposits are responsible for the clog, it should be soaked overnight in vinegar or an industrial product for lime removal, like Lime-Away.
During aerator installation or reinstallation, screw it tightly by hand initially.
Test the faucet to see if there are any leaks from the faucet aerator replacement. If so, use pliers to tighten the aerator a little bit more, ensuring the metal surface is protected using masking tape or a rag.
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