Richard Epstein is a licensed grasp plumber v over 40 years experience in residential and commercial plumbing.

You are watching: How to remove faucet aerator that is stuck


When the water press at a solitary faucet is an extremely low, the solution is regularly remarkably simple: an worry with the aerator.

An aerator is a screw-on display screen fitting in ~ the end of a faucet spout. The purpose of the aerator is to break up the heavy stream the water and add air come the water flow—a role that have the right to reduce water intake by as much as 30 percent.

When faucet aerators get clogged with grit or mineral buildup, they need to be cleaned to restore suitable water flow. This is a common problem in regions where over there is a heavy mineral content in the water supply.

Many world do not even know this installation is there and also often contact a plumber to do a repair the is exceptionally easy. In most cases, a an easy cleaningof the aeratorwill do the trick, though occasionally youmay should replace the aerator fitting.Usually, the aerator is screwed ~ above tight and can merely be unscrewed and also removed quite easily. In other cases, though,the buildup the mineral deposits may freeze up the aerator and also make it hard to remove. In this case, using heat and/or penetrating oil have the right to help.

attempt to remove by Hand

Start by trying to unscrew the aerator native the spout by hand. Many faucet aerators have actually been threaded on by hand, and also often you can unscrew it the same way. Make sure to dry off both the faucet and also your hands very first in stimulate to gain a good grip. 

use Pliers

If removing by hand does no work, the following step is to try pliers. If the aerator is in good condition and also you desire to reuse it, pave a rag or masking tape around the aerator to defend the metal surface versus scratches prior to gripping it v the pliers. A tiny pair that channel-type pliers works finest for this. 

Grip the aerator between the jaws of the pliers, taking care to keep the jaws only on the aerator, no the faucet spout. Revolve the aerator counter-clockwise (as regarded upward from below the spout) come unscrew it from the spout. If this does no work, shot moving the pliers a quarter-turn around the aerator, and shot unscrewing the aerator indigenous the new position. (Moving to different positions can slowly loosen a stubborn aerator.) Take care not to grip the aerator too tightly, due to the fact that the steel is soft and will bend easily, making her job also harder.

Aerators are occasionally thought to it is in "reverse-threaded," yet in reality, it's just your perspective. As soon as viewed from underneath the faucet, whereby the aerator is screwed in, the threading is typical (i.e., "righty-tighty, lefty-loosey." It's only as soon as viewed from above that the threading appears to it is in reversed.

warmth the Aerator

When also the pliers don't conveniently remove the aerator, you can try applying gentle warm using a hairdryer, which might slightly broaden the metal and also make it possible to loosen it v pliers. Even a lit complement held close to the aerator may loosen the metal. Use heat in moderation, though, together it is straightforward to melt any type of plastic parts or rubber washers if the aerator is overheated.

Cheaper faucets might actually usage a plastic screw-on aerator—never use warmth on plastic parts.

apply Penetrating Oil

If heat also fails, shot spraying penetrating oil (such together WD-40 or a similar product) ~ above the threads and let it sit for a couple of minutes before trying again v pliers. Wipe off oil from the surface ar of the aerator prior to trying to unscrew it due to the fact that oil makes the metal slippery.

Clean the Aerator

Once the aerator is removed, separate the parts and note their arrangement. There can be a surprising variety of small components within the aerator, and also they should go back together in the same fashion in order to function correctly.

Use a tiny stiff brush to clean away any grit or mineral deposits native the screen and other parts of the aerator assembly. If over there is a comprehensive amount of mineral buildup, soak the components overnight in a lime-dissolving solution, such together Lime-Away.

replace the Aerator if vital

If the metal display screen or various other parts room rusted or otherwise damaged, it is generally easiest simply to to buy a instead of aerator assembly. A range of aerator heads room available, including swivel-head types that enhance the use of the faucet.

Reassemble the Faucet

Reassemble the aerator, orienting the parts in the same way you discovered them when you removed it, and then screw the onto the faucet spout. Hand-tightening is commonly sufficient, however if you notification leaking about the aerator threads once you test the faucet, tighten the aerator contempt more, utilizing channel-type pliers.

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