What is an Aerator?
Aerators are small devices that mix air with a flow of water and are used to oxygenate water, smooth the flow, reduce splashing, and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, reduce total water flow while maintaining pressure.
How do I know if I need one?
For your faucet:
If an aerator is already installed on your faucet, it will have its rated flow imprinted on the side. This should read 2.75 gpm (gallons per minute) or lower. On Huddler, there are aerators that reduce flow all the way to .5 GPM.
Replace the current aerator if it's over 2.75gpm. If no aerator is installed, check to see if there are threads just inside the tip of the faucet. Most modern faucets are threaded to accept aerators.
For your shower:
Set a 2qt. saucepan on the floor of the shower and position it in the middle of the shower stream. With shower on full, count how many seconds it takes to fill the pan. If it takes fewer than 12 seconds, you could use a low-flow shower head. If you have a low-flow shower head installed, it should read 2.5 gpm or less.
1. Unscrew the old aerator if one is installed. This can often be done by hand. If you need more force, use a channel-lock pliers, vise-grips or small pipe wrench. Unscrew smoothly and steadily - don't jerk hard or you might damage the threads.
2. Apply a single wrap of white pipe tape around the threads of the new aerator.
3. Put the rubber washer inside the end and screw the new aerator by hand onto the faucet.
4. Run water to test. If it leaks out the side, try tightening more by hand. Test again. If there is still a small leak, use a pliers to tighten. Put a damp cloth around the aerator first to protect the finish from the pliers. Don't use a pipe wrench because it might bite through the cloth and mar the finish. Take care not to over-tighten.