Faucet Aerator

Faucet Aerator - Change out your shower faucet and lavatory faucet to save water

Faucet Aerators - Low Flow Shower Heads

Learn how to change you lavatory faucet and show faucet with new low flow aerators and low flow shower heads and save a lot of water and hot water in the process.

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This can be one of the simplest items that any homeowner can install in their home.

Low-flow Aerators for faucets and Low-flow Shower Heads can be the single-most effective water conservation method you can implement within your home. Faucets, showers, baths and toilets typically consume more than 60% of a home's total potable water use.

Installation of high efficiency faucets and shower heads is a very easy strategy to reduce this indoor water use by consuming less than half of the more conventional fixtures.

Since 1992 federal regulations mandate that shower heads sold in the U.S. have been required to flow at no more than 2.5 gallons per minute when the water is at 80 pounds per square inch of pressure.

In other words, for maximum efficiency you should choose a shower head with a flow rate of less than 2.5 and you will save money and energy.

A shower head with a flow rate between 1.75 GPM - 1.50 GPM will save you approximately 30% to 40% in water and energy.

Determine the Need:

If you have an Faucet Aerator installed on the faucets in your home, the flow rate will be imprinted on the side of the aerator.

To qualify as a low-flow faucet aerator, it should read 2.75 gpm (gallons per minute) or less. If you have an aerator, and it has a higher flow than this, you should replace it with a aerator with a lower flow rating.

If you have no aerator at all, check to see if you have threads in the head of your faucet to accept one. Most modern faucets will accept an aerator. If yours does not, consider replacement of the faucets as this will quickly pay for itself over the course of several years.

Determine Your Shower Head Flow:

If you can hold a 2 gallon bucket in the full shower stream, measure how many seconds it takes to fill this bucket.

If it takes 20 seconds, divide the number of seconds into 60 seconds and multiple the result x 2 gallons.

Example: You can fill a 2 gallon bucket in 16 seconds. Divide 16 into 60. The result is 3.75. Multiply 3.75 x 2 gallons and that equals 7.5 gallons per minute flow. This shower head could greatly benefit from a low flow shower head.

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How Low Should You Go?

How low should I go? Using the standards setup by the USGBC LEED for Homes credits for Water Savings, LEED WE, the minimum threshold to meet with faucets is less than or equal to 2.0 gpm flow.

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Shower heads is less than or equal to 2.0 gph flow as well. To meet the requirements of Very High Efficiency Fixtures LEED for Homes requires less than 1.5 gpm flow for faucets and less than 1.75 gph flow for shower heads.

Low Flow Shower Faucets & Lavatory Faucets - The Facts:
    To the consumer the high-efficiency fixtures look exactly the same as conventional fixtures.
    Low-flow faucets achieve water savings by the use of aerators , which combine air with water to give the user the feeling that they are getting an equivalent water pressure buy with less water.
    Low-flow shower heads should be installed with proven thermostatic mixing valves that have been designed, tested and verified to function safely at the reduced flow rate.
Shower Head Types:

Aerating Shower Heads: The Aerator type of shower head mixes air into the water stream. This maintains steady pressure so the flow has an even, full shower spray. Because air is mixed in with the water, the water temperature can cool down a bit towards the floor of the shower. Aerating shower heads are the most popular type of low-flow shower head.

Non-aerating: With the Non-Aerator type of shower head air is not mixed into the water stream. This maintains temperature well and delivers a strong spray. The water flow pulses with non-aerating shower heads, giving more of a massaging-shower head effect.

Lavatory Faucet Aerator Installation:
    If there is an existing aerator installed, unscrew it with a channel-lock type pliers or a vice-grip pliers.
    If you are not concerned about marring up the finish of your existing aerator, feel free to use the wrench unprotected on the aerator.
    If you want to save the finish of your aerator, wrap a rubber pad around the aerator first (use the type that are used to open lids in the kitchen).
    Next wrap a single layer of white plumbers thread-sealing tape around the threads of the new aerator.
    Lastly, hand-screw and finger tighten the new aerator on the faucet end, being careful not to cross-screw the threads. Apply the rubber protection around the aerator and snug-up the aerator with your wrench.
    Run a water test and check for leaks.
Low Flow Shower Head Installation:

Most shower heads need to be entirely replaced to attain the greatest amount of savings.

    Shower heads most often are simply attached to the end of a threaded pipe that sticks beyond the wall of your shower.
    It is quite easy to loosen this joint with a channel-lock pliers or a crescent wrench.
    Once the shower head is off, wrap white plumbers tape around the threads of the pipe sticking out of the wall.
Where to Buy Aerators and Low Flow Shower Heads:

We offer a variety of options for both faucet aerators and low flow shower heads in our on-line STORE.