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How to Fix Your Flow

Learn how to remove, clean and replace the aerator on your faucet or the filter screen on your shower head.

The aerator on your faucet and filter screen on your shower head serves a very important function. By adding air bubbles, it helps diffuse the water and give it a softer feel. This also helps reduce the amount of water you use. If you’ve noticed a decrease in water pressure coming from your faucet or shower head, or if the water comes out unevenly or at an odd angle, debris might be clogging your aerator or filter. Follow the simple process below to return your aerator and filter screen to proper working order.

Tools You’ll Need 

Channel lock pliers
Adjustable wrench
Cloth
Toothbrush
Thread seal tape (for shower head only)
White vinegar (optional)

Clean Your Faucet Aerator

1. Cleaning a faucet aerator is a simple process. You don’t even need to turn off the water supply for this job. Simply unscrew the aerator at the end of your faucet’s spout. You should be able to turn it counter-clockwise by hand. When removing the aerator, don’t exert too much pressure or you could bend it into an egg shape and need to replace it. If you have trouble, wrap a cloth around the end of the spout and use a pair of channel lock pliers to loosen the grip. 

2. If that doesn’t work, you can try wrapping a white vinegar-soaked rag around and over the aerator to help loosen it. Just give it a few hours to soak and dissolve the minerals that are keeping it from moving.

3. The aerator consists of several smaller parts. Disassemble the aerator and clean off any debris. Pay careful attention to how the pieces come apart so you can reassemble them later. Be sure to remove the gasket, which sometimes sticks to the end of the spout. 

4. For stubborn deposits, soak the pieces in white vinegar and scrub them with a toothbrush. If parts of your aerator are damaged or broken, you may need to replace the aerator. A Delta customer solutions representative can help you identify the correct part for your faucet. Contact them here or by calling 1-800-345-DELTA (3558).

5. Reinstalling your aerator is as easy as reinserting the gasket and screwing it into place. Hand-tighten the aerator to make access easier the next time it needs cleaning. 

 

Clean Your Shower Head Filter Screen

1. A shower head is assembled essentially the same way. Use a wrench to turn the shower head counterclockwise to unscrew it from the shower arm.

2. Examine the threaded portion of the shower head and remove any debris. Remove the filter screen and examine it as well.

3. If there are deposits or mineral buildup, use a toothbrush to remove them. For persistent deposits, try soaking the screen overnight in vinegar. Once everything is clear, replace the filter screen on your shower head.

4. Add thread seal tape to the shower arm threads to ensure a tight fit. 

5. Finally, screw the shower head back onto the arm. Test your shower to make sure everything is working perfectly.

If you have trouble, connect with us online or call the Delta Help Line at 1-800-345-DELTA (3358).