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Faucet Aerators


Technology Snapshot & Benefits:

Faucet aerators are a simple, inexpensive way to reduce water usage without decreasing faucet pressure.  Aerators are small screened cylinders that screw onto your existing faucet.  When the water flows through them, it is mixed with air from the gaps in the screen.  This helps maintain a high, consistent water pressure without letting as much water through.  Bathroom faucets without aerators use between two and four gallons of water per minute while faucets with aerators typically use less than one gallon per minute.  Similarly, adding an aerator to your kitchen faucet can help decrease water flow from 3-5 gpm to 1.5 gpm.  Some kitchen aerators even come with swivel heads to help maintain full kitchen functionality. 


If you already have an aerator on your faucet, check its flow rate (this should be printed or engraved on the side).  If the flow rate is greater than 2.75 gpm, replace it with a more efficient model.


Estimated Cost Savings:

Faucet aerators typically cost less than $10 and can be purchased at your local home improvement store.  There are no installation costs as they simply screw on to the faucet and can easily be done without professional help.  Installing aerators can help decrease daily per capita faucet water use by at least 13%, saving substantial money on water utility bills.  They can also decrease hot water use by almost 11%, saving not only on water use but on water heating as well.  This ends up saving about 1,700 gallons of household water use per year, 1,300 of which are hot water. (H2OUSE). 


Installation (Getting It Done):

Before purchasing a faucet aerator, run your hand along the inside of your faucet to feel for threads.  If you faucet does not have threads, an aerator will not be able to screw on to it.  Once you confirm that you do have threads, visit your local home improvement store to purchase an aerator.


To ensure a tight seal, place a layer of white pipe tape on the threading of the aerator and put a rubber washer inside of the faucet.  Then simply screw on the aerator until it stops.  Turn on your water to test for leaks.  If there is one, tighten the aerator using a wrench until leaks stop. 


It is important to remember to clean your aerators on a regular basis, especially if you experience a decrease in water pressure.  Unscrew the aerator from the faucet and clean the screen thoroughly before replacing to maintain maximum functionality.  Watch the short video below for more information on how to keep your aerators clean.


Videos on This Topic:


How to Clean a Faucet Aerator (1:39) - Ron Hazelton - It is important to keep your faucet aerator clean to ensure its proper function.  Find out how to clean your aerator quickly and easily in this short video.


Save Water: How to Install a Low-Flow Faucet Aerator (1:20) - Save Water America - In this video, get a simple demonstration and how-to for installing a low-flow aerator on your faucet.


More Information on This Topic:


Earth Easy - Low Flow Aerators and Showerheads


EPA - Water Sense Label - Bathroom Sink Faucets and Accessories


H2OUSE - Faucet Water Savings


Lower My Energy Bill - Faucet Aerators


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