Given the high price of water in Southern California finding the right faucet aerator is one of simplest things you can do to help cut down on your water usage. This being said, choosing the right one can prove to be quite challenging as there are so many different sizes and flow rates to think about. The average aerator is designed to screw into the spigot, this means whatever style you buy must be the right diameter and thread pitch. Here are four things you need to consider in your search for a new aerator.
Of all the different things you need to consider, the threads are probably the MOST important. Buying a faucet aerator with the wrong thread style (inside (female) or outside (male)) results in an aerator you can’t use. Start by determining if you need an aerator with inside or outside threads. Here in the U.S., we use two standard sizes of thread, the male size is 15/16″ with a 27 pitch, the female size is 55/64″ with a 27 pitch. Note that the two are not interchangeable. There are also dual-thread aerators that have both styles of thread.
Rate of Flow
The “low flow” aerator is designed to restrict the flow of water coming out of the faucet, thereby cutting down on the amount water you use and saving you money. In order for an aerator to be listed as low flow and certified by WaterSense and CalGreen compliant, it must have a flow rate of below 2 gallons per minute (gpm). New designs keep the flow steady even when the water pressure fluctuates. If you are interested in maximizing your savings, look for faucet aerators with a flow rate of between 0.5 and 1.5 gallons per minute.
Type of Flow
There are three basic types of flow pattern to choose from. The first, the bubble aerator, is the one most commonly found in homes. This aerator typically uses a wire mesh screen to add water into the flow of water. This creates the illusion of more water flow, despite the fact less water is actually flowing. The needle aerators are your only choice if you are interested in an ultra-low flow aerator rated at 0.5 gpm. These aerators are common in business applications as they provide a strong spray that is ideal for washing hands. Finally, the Laminar Stream offers a non-aerated stream and is often found in hospitals or any other area where a stream that is strong but non-splashing is needed.
Aerators are available in three different sizes, choose the one that fits your faucet. These sizes are:
- Tom Thumb – the diameter of the aerator is approximately the size of a penny
- Junior – the diameter of the aerator is approximately the size of a nickel
- Regular – the most commonly used, this aerator is approximately the size of a quarter
If you are ready to do your part to help reduce water consumption in your home and keep your bill under control, keep all three of these important factors in mind. Doing so will help ensure you only have to make one trip to the hardware store.