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Faucet aerators

Today I learned that faucet aerators don’t just serve the purpose of making the water softer/more airy. They also help restrict the water flow to a desired level. Also, they help filter out small particles that make it through the pipes.

I was long wondering why the flow of water in my kitchen faucet was so slow compared to the one in the bathroom. It is especially annoying to wait fill up a big pot of water, like when I’m making pasta. So today I started investigating. I started by checking the valves under the sink, and learned they were fully opened. I was then thinking that maybe there is a master valve that sits between the main pipe an the pipe going to my kitchen, but wasn’t able to find one in my apartment.

Next, I removed the aerator thinking that maybe there is some dirt inside of it preventing the normal flow of water. But again, it was mostly clean. When I opened the water to clean the aerator, I noticed two things: 1) that the stream was not flowing in one straight jet, but in all directions making a big mess on max flow; and 2) that the water flow was actually looking faster, albeit hard to tell. So I took a big water bottle and started to measure how much time it would take to fill it up, I counted 5 seconds in my head. Then I went to measure how long it would take to fill it up in the bathroom, and bam! – it came to around 6 seconds. Next, I put the aerator back on and counted 13 seconds to fill up the container. I then investigated the aerator and noticed that the holes where the water was passing through were really tiny, and few. I also noticed for the first time that it actually had written on the side: 1.5GPM/5.7LPM, which I quickly realized it meant 1.5 gallons per minute/5.7 litres per minute. A quick run to the local hardware store and bought a less restrictive aerator that now helps me save some time 🙂


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