If the phrase ‘tap aerator’ makes you want to scratch your head in confusion and return to your DIY-free life where the most complex thing in your kitchen is the tap itself, you might be in need of a little help.
Whilst it’s tempting to think that a tap is a tap and there’s not much else to it, a tap aerator is a nifty little gadget that deserves some attention. They save you water by adding oxygen to the flow (and that means saving pennies) and reduce splashing around the bowl of the basin. Ears pricked? Here’s everything you need to know about tap aerators.
What is a Tap Aerator?
A tap aerator is designed to reduce the required flow of water from your taps, which will in turn reduce your water usage. They are little round gadgets with many, tiny holes around - saving the planet and your pennies. They attach to the spout of your tap and are very easy to install.
How do Tap Aerators Work?
Tap aerators have many small holes in the nozzle. This separates the water into different streams which means air can mix with the water, increasing the pressure and reducing the amount of water you need to use. The nozzle simply directs these many streams all in the same direction, meaning you actually end up with a stronger flow - for less water! That’s some clever science for you!
Tap aerators can reduce the flow of water by up to 10 litres per minute, taking the flow from 18 litres per minute to just 8. It costs around £0.03 for every minute the taps are running, with hot water even more expensive. When it comes to saving money on their water or heating bill - most people need all the help they can get.
Aerators are used regularly in kitchen and bathroom taps, but they can also be used in shower heads, hot tubs, hose pipes and pond pumps. Now that’s a versatile product!
What are the Benefits of Tap Aerators?
Tap aerators have a range of benefits designed to help both you and the planet. The first is an increased water pressure. As the air mixes with the water, the pressure increases. The water will come out in a much more powerful stream - meaning you need far less of it to get the job done!
By increasing the pressure, a tap aerator will reduce your water use. You will need to run the tap for less amount of time (as you’ll be able to thoroughly wash your hands in 1 minute as opposed to 5!). Reducing the amount of water you use will save you time as well as money, and if you are using less hot water you’ll also be saving money on your heating bills!
Eco-warriors rejoice as tap aerators can also help save the planet. There’s less fresh water to go around, and saving water before it’s been used will help lower CO2 emissions. Investing in a tap aerator is one of the best ways to ensure you do your bit without even trying!
Finally, tap aerators will reduce splashing. Water can flow erratically in tap-aerator-free taps, which can be messy and frustrating. Aerators will direct the water into one single stream downwards, meaning very little in the way of splish-splash-splosh.
Before we get down to the nitty-gritty and the how-to, let's take a peek at three of our favourite taps featuring a handy aerator.
How can I Install a Tap Aerator?
Tap aerators are very easy to install so DIY avoiders can breathe a sigh of relief. If your existing tap already has an aerator, simply turn it anticlockwise until it’s unscrewed from the tap. Then, simply screw in the new aerator until it’s secure, being careful not to screw it too tightly. Check that it’s fitted correctly by turning the taps on and increasing the pressure.
How Often Should I Change a Tap Aerator and How?
Tap aerators should be cleaned and replaced regularly to prevent the build up of limescale. Small holes in the aerator can become easily clogged which will result in blockages. Your aerator should be cleaned around once a month and, although not a hugely exciting job, will mean you rarely have to change it.
If it’s too late and your aerator already looks a little worse for wear, you’re going to have to replace it. Most aerators simply screw onto the tap, but if the limescale build up is making it difficult to unscrew with your hand, you can use pliers. While trying to unscrew the aerator, hold your tap at the same time so that you don’t damage it. If you break the aerator from being too forceful, you might need to buy a new tap (although we are big advocates of ‘any excuse for a new tap!’). Then, simply screw on your new tap aerator, following the steps in the section above.
Male vs Female Aerators
Your tap aerator does not need to be from the same manufacturer as your tap, but it does need to be the right part. Aerators come in male or female fittings, like the male or female spouts on your tap. Male aerators fit with female spouts, and vice versa.
A female spout is where the hole is underneath your tap or inside a covering. This requires a male aerator which are readily available. If the tap hole is on the outside, it requires a female aerator. There’s 3 different sizes of tap aerator, regular, junior or tom thumb. It’s important you check what fitting as well as what size you need before you go aerator shopping!
Time to Get Some Air
If all this aerator business has made you not only want to save water, but also invest in a shiny new tap, we have a huge range available at fantastic prices and in stunning designs. Many of our taps come complete with aerators to save you the hassle of finding the right fit or installing it yourself, while also saving you money long-term. Check out our range of taps on offer.
Who knew taps could be so complicated? If you’re struggling to get your head around it all, or have any questions about any of our products, our team are always on hand to answer any questions. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.