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Learning some plumbing basics can help you resolve issues as and when they arise, as well as helping to save you money on costly plumber call-out charges, repairs, and parts.
Regularly maintained fixtures and components will not only work more efficiently, but they will also last longer.
One way to get better performance from your faucet is by learning more about aerators. This article will give you the essential information you need about aerators, their maintenance, and the faucet aerator sizes available to buy.
Faucet Aerators Explained
The first thing you should know is what an aerator is and the job it performs.
What is a faucet aerator?
A faucet aerator is a small fixture that fits into the end of your faucet. Its primary objective is to mix air into the water in order to regulate the flow.
What is a faucet aerator used for?
A faucet aerator can be used to improve the water pressure and reduce wastage. The aerator adds air by forcing the water flow through a small mesh screen.
This works like a sieve and transforms a single water flow into multiple streams surrounded by air. Different flow rate aerators are available depending on your preference.
Benefits Of Faucet Aerators
Faucet aerators can be very beneficial to maintaining an optimal water flow rate as well as helping homes become more environmentally friendly.
Using an aerator to mix air with your water stream will minimize water consumption without sacrificing performance. You will be able to use considerably less water, making for a more efficient household. And, you can start saving money on your water bill and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time.
You can also improve water pressure with an aerator. As the water is mixed with the air, it adds volume. As it passes through the mixer and screen, this concentrates the area the water has to pass through, resulting in higher water pressure. The result of this is a strong stream of aerated water.
Types Of Faucet Aerator
Choosing the type of aerator you need will be dependent on the faucet spout and where the threading is. If the faucet has threads on the outside, it will require a female aerator that houses its threads on the inside. If the faucet has its threads on the inside, it will need a male aerator that has its threads on the outside.
Apart from where the threading is located, there are no differences in how male and female aerators work.
The Different Sizes Of Faucet Aerator
There are typically two sizes for male and female aerators. These are;
- Regular male threaded which is 15/15″
- Regular female threaded which is 55/64″
- Junior male threaded which is 13/15″
- Junior female which is 3/4″
There is a smaller size which is not as common that is known as a “Tom Thumb” aerator. This is metric and M18x1 for male and M16x1 for female threaded aerators.
How To Determine What Size You Need
Determining what size aerator you will need is not too difficult. The first thing you will have to do is remove the aerator. There are two types of aerators, one being recessed and the other being an external aerator.
Here are some of our detailed removal guides with step by steps…
When you have removed your aerator, you will be able to measure it or dig through your loose change for a quarter, nickel, and dime. Regular-sized aerators are roughly the size of a quarter, junior-sized aerators are approximately the size of a nickel, and “Tom Thumb” sized aerators are roughly the size of a dime.
Now that you know the size, you just need to check the threading on the aerator. Male aerators have their threading on the outside, and if the threading is on the inside, you will need a female aerator.
How do I choose the correct aerator?
When choosing a new aerator, you will have to check whether the tap would house a male or female fixture.
You also have to select the correct size. Simply check back in this article for more information on the size of aerator you will need.
Finally, you will have to decide the style and material it will be made from. Certain materials will last longer but may be more expensive.
Can you fit an aerator to any tap?
You will be able to fit an aerator on the vast majority of taps with a wide range of sizes and styles available.
Most modern taps will come with an aerator already fitted, or you will be able to install one separately if it doesn’t.
Only around 5% of taps would not support an aerator, so most kitchen or bathroom sinks will be able to accommodate them.
What flow streams are available with an aerator?
There are three main flow streams that you will be able to select for your faucet aerator.
- Spray stream – A spray stream will produce a number of small, non-aerated streams like a miniature shower pattern. This gives broader coverage and is often found in public restrooms as it limits the water being used while still offering a good performance.
- Laminar stream – Another non-aerated water stream is generated in this case. This offers a clear stream that doesn’t splash and is often used in health care facilities.
- Aerated stream – An aerated or bubble stream is often used in residential faucets. It produces a soft, white water stream that has been mixed with air and reduces splash.