Thursday, February 14, 2013

How to Maintain Your Faucet Aerator

Fig.1 Faucet
By Gary Boutin

Supplies and Tools:
Clear nail polish
Dish or hand soap 
Emory cloth 100-Grit 
Water from a sink faucet

Mrs. Han lived in a recently new complex in Fontana, California. The condominium complex was only four year old and she was surprised when she noticed black specks coming out of all the faucet in her home. Mrs. Han knew that the faucet aerator were compromised. 

This post shows the sixteen steps to cleaning a faucet aerator.

According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, the faucet aerator (tap aerator) is often found at the tip of modern indoor water faucets. Without an aerator, water usually flows out of a faucet as one big stream. An aerator spreads this stream into many little droplets. This helps save water and reduce splashing. 

Step 1: Fig.1 shows the chrome bathroom faucet. Fig.2 shows the faucet aerator needs to be cleaned or replaced.
Fig.2 Faucet 
Step 2: Fig.3 shows Channel Lock ® pliers, apply enough force to turn the aerator without scratching the exterior of the aerator. This is the only plumbing tool that is needed to remove and replace the cleaned up aerator.
Channel Lock ® pliers
Note: It takes practice, but with time you can add the pressure needed to work on shower heads, and many chrome items in the bathroom area. If the aerator is plastic do not use this tool, only use the Channel Lock pliers if the aerator is made of metal. 

Step 3: Fig.4 shows the aerator is loose from the faucet.
Use you finger
Step 4: Fig.5 shows the aerator is removed from the faucet.
Fig.5 Pulling
Step 5: Fig.6 shows a dirty aerator, it's full of small grains like sand.
Fig.6 Needs replacing
Step 6: Now with the aerator removed from the faucet, allow the faucet to run at full, meaning that both hot and cold water must turned on all the way. Fig.7 that the water is splashed all over the sink. This pictures shows the difference of when the aerator is not on the faucet. 
Fig.7 Without aerator
Step 7: Fig.8 shows the aerator has black flecks on the sides.
Fig.8 Screen
Step 8: Fig.9 the aerator screen is dirty.
Fig.9 Screen 
has mold
Step 9: Below is the aerator outside metal ring that have threads on the top and the bottom has an inside lip. Below the aerator can be saved but some work on both the cartridge and the ring need to be done. Follow the simple steps below and save a few dollars.
Chrome Body
Step 10: Fig.11 shows the tool needed to clean the aerator cartridge. Now obtain a new or used toothbrush and use the toothbrush and dish or hand soap to clean the cartridge screen and its sides. Remove the black flecks or dirt from the sides. Fig.12 shows the stream of water rinsing the cartridge under the sink faucet.
Fig.11 Cleaning Body
Fig.12 Cleaning
Step 11: Fig.13 shows the aerator screen is clean and ready for use, but the body or ring of the aerator is not in good order. Below are the steps needed to repair.
Step 12: Fig.14 shows Emory cloth 100-grit that will aid in removing the water scales.
Plastic cartridge
Fig.14 Sandpaper
Step 13: Emory cloth is like sandpaper, use the cloth sandpaper to remove the damage on the outside of the aerator ring. Fig.15 shows that the scales have been removed exposing the brass metal. Fig.16 below shows that the aerator ring is being dried before painting. Fig.17 shows the ring painted with clear nail polish, thus this will prevent any more damage to the outer ring.
Fig.15 Outer
Fig.16 Damaged
Now clean
Step 14: Fig.18 shows the new aerator placed inside the chrome ring ready to be placed on the tip of the faucet. 
Step 15: Fig.19 the faucet has not aerator and water is splashing all over the sink. 
Step 16: Fig.20 shows the cleaned aerator has the proper stream of water into the sink. Now Mrs. Han has all her vanity sink cleaned but the tub is giving her trouble. Check out the tub post for how to handle this problem. 
Fig.18 New 
Fig.19 Faucet
Fig.20 Faucet with 
new aerator

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1 comment:

  1. Once again - the pictures are worth a thousand words. Nice post