What Are Low-Flow Faucets?

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Reducing your water usage can save money and help the environment. Using aerators is one of the easiest ways to create a low-flow faucet and lower your water bill.

Function

  • The aerator is basically a sieve. It breaks the stream of water into a number of tiny streams, allowing air to mix with them. This reduces the space for water, so the flow is reduced.

Benefits

  • Aerators are inexpensive to replace and can be one of the most cost-effective ways to conserve water, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Aerators can reduce home water consumption by 50%.

Checking for Existing Aerators

  • You can check your current faucets to see if an aerator is already installed. An aerated faucet will have the flow rate printed on the side. Look for aerators that have a reading of 2.75 gallons per minute or better. Check for threads on the inside tip of the faucet, which means the faucet can accept an aerator.

Installation

  • Remove the old aerator if necessary by simply unscrewing it. Apply a strip of pipe tape around the threads of the aerator and install the rubber washer in the aerator. The final step is to screw it on to the tip of the faucet and conduct a test. If there is leakage, tighten the aerator by hand or with a wrench if necessary.

Where to Buy an Aerator

  • Aerators can be purchased at most hardware stores, general plumbing stores or big box retails such as Home Depot or Lowes. Aerators are fairly inexpensive, starting at around $5.00.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images
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