Published on May 6th, 2014 | by Peter Young


Installing a High Efficiency Faucet Aerator


Installing a a low flow faucet aerator is an easy way to save on both your water and energy bills every month. It’s one of the fastest payback periods available in your home, in fact, and made our list of top ten water conservation tips over on PlanetSave. Most modern faucets come with an aerator rated around 2.5 Gallons Per Minute (GPM), and their older counterparts can be as high as 5GPM. Installing a more efficient aerator, rated from .5GPM-1.5GPM can add up to significant savings. Just follow these easy steps to start saving without changing any of your daily routines.

Things you’ll need for the job:

  • Channel lock groove pliers
  • Some sort of grippy cloth or rubber jar opener sort of material

Instructions: how to change the faucet aerator

1. Remove the old aerator from the faucet. This may require the use of a crescent wrench to get started, but once it’s loose you should be able to remove it by hand. Simply turn the nozzle clockwise to get it started.

2. Be sure the threads and innards of the faucet are clean and free of debris. This will help ensure that the new aerator will fit properly into the faucet without leaking.

3. Place the new, more efficient aerator into the faucet.  Your new aerator should come with a new washer (sort of like a rubber o-ring), but if not you can always re-use the old one. In some cases, the washer isn’t even necessary. Sometimes you won’t know until the device is installed and you turn on the faucet. If it’s leaking around the seal of the aerator, odds are, it needs the washer inserted. 

4. Tighten to the appropriate level. Simply screw the nozzle back into the faucet by turning counter-clockwise until it’s finger tight. In the next step, you’ll test it for leaks…if it leaks, it’s possible it’s not tight enough, but start off erring on the side of too loose, rather than too tight. If you over-tighten, you may damage the aerator or faucet.

5. Turn on the faucet to ensure a proper fit. By now your new aerator should be installed and working efficiently. If you notice any leaks coming out of the end of the faucet, wrap it with the rubber grip pad and try giving it a slight turn with the crescent wrench to snug it up. Using the rubber grip will keep the crescent wrench from scratching the surface of the aerator.

If you’re looking for more ways to save water around your home, try installing a toilet tank bag or Tap-N-Flush. Both of these devices will reduce the amount of water you use every time you flush your toilet.

Be sure to check out some of our other green home improvement projects. Green Living Ideas, after all, is a top 20 home improvement website!

Photo courtesy of Deer Valley Plumbing.

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About the Author

graduated from Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) with a degree in journalism and has made sustainability and eco-conscious living mainstays of both his professional and personal life. It was during his time at PLU that he began his journey with sustainability and it's what has led him to writing for Green Living Ideas. He currently resides in Honolulu and works for Pono Home, an energy efficiency company focused on reducing carbon emissions and promoting a healthier, greener lifestyle.

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