Troubleshooting Low Water Pressure at Only One Location: 3 Steps to Determine Whether Aerator Needs to Be Replaced

15 September 2016
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

If you turn on a faucet and only get a trickle of water, but this problem is only limited to a specific faucet, then there's a good chance that the low water pressure you are experiencing is caused by a malfunctioning aerator. The aerator is attached to the bottom of the faucet and is used to prevent splashing and to shape the water stream. Here are 3 steps you can implement to determine whether the aerator is the root of the problem and needs to be replaced.

Determine If Water Flow Is Restored Without Aerator

First and foremost, you need to determine whether the aerator is even involved at all. While a faulty aerator is usually the cause of low water pressure at only one faucet, there are other reasons that may be the root of the problem as well. Remove the aerator from the faucet and turn the faucet on. If the water flow is restored, then you can be sure that the aerator is the cause of the problem. If not, the low water pressure may be caused by something else in the plumbing.

Check the Aerator for Dirt and Dust

If you have determined that the aerator is the cause of the problem, inspect it to see whether you notice any dirt or debris that may be obstructing the water flow. If you see minor debris or dust on the surface of the aerator, you can manually remove it yourself either with a toothbrush or with a toothpick. It's not unusual for larger sand particles and dirt to infiltrate the plumbing and get lodged within the aerator's mesh.

Thoroughly Clean the Aerator with a Cleaning Agent

At times, the surface of the aerator may appear normal. The obstruction is actually located deep within the device. While there are many different types of professional cleaning agents that you can use, you can also get away with dismantling the aerator and simply soaking it overnight in vinegar before rinsing it in water. The vinegar should break down whatever is obstructing the flow of water.


If nothing works, then you'll need to replace the aerator. You can either contact a plumber to order the part needed from the manufacturer or you can purchase a cheaper, generic model. It doesn't really matter which option you go with. Once the aerator has been replaced, the water pressure of the water coming out of the faucet will be corrected. For more information, contact a business such as A and C Plumbing.