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Fire Your Plumber: Repair a Clogged Faucet Yourself

Updated on August 9, 2010

A Commonly Neglected Task

Do you have a faucet in your bathroom or kitchen sink that sprays outwards onto the counter or is not making a perfect stream downwards? If so, then it's time to clean out your faucet. It's not difficult and you only need two tools to repair the faucet's jammed screen. If your faucet is more than a few years old and/or you know that you have hard water then you should probably clean out that little screen (called the aerator) at the end of your faucet to keep a direct flow of water. You should clean the faucet's aerator every 6-12 months, and I will teach you how!

What is hard water? Hard water is already-filtered water that still has relatively high amounts of calcium in it (you can blame your water heater for that). When enough water has come out of your faucet over the years, it will leave behind pieces of gravel along the rim of your faucet's aerator. This gravel causes jamming and leads to the malfunction of a faucet if not cleaned out regularly.

Cleaning out your faucet's aerator is like replacing a car engine's air filter or your home's ventilation filters--it needs to be done at least occasionally and will reduce efficiency if neglected.

Your Faucet Explained

Photo courtesy of Reader's Digest.
Photo courtesy of Reader's Digest.

Tools Required

You will need two tools in order to get this job done:

  • A monkey wrench (optimally with a rubber or silicone casing on the teeth in order to prevent scratching of the faucet screen casing).  If you don't have one with rubber or silicone casing, simply wrap your existing one with electrical tape.
  • A box cutter

Six Easy Steps

Here are the steps to complete this easy task. The cleaning of your faucet's aerator takes 7-10 minutes to complete.

  • Step 1: Close the drainage and turn off the faucet in order to keep the small part(s) from going down the sink.
  • Step 2: Use the monkey wrench to firmly grip the faucet aerator's casing and turn clockwise until the casing becomes loose.
  • Step 3: Take the casing off the faucet and inspect the rim of the aerator inside. There may be two pieces depending on your faucet--Don't worry, it is easily reassembled.
  • Step 4: Use the box cutter to remove the pieces of gravel (it's actually just calcium build-up, but it looks like gravel!) stuck on the sides and inside of the screen.
  • Step 5: Put the the pieces back together and use the monkey wrench to securely fasten the aerator & casing back onto the faucet head.
  • Step 6: Your done! Now run the water and see the results! A nice steady stream and clean water for you and your family.

I hope this do-it-yourself session was helpful. Drop me a line if you need help or have any comments on this particular matter!


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    • Direxmd profile image

      Direxmd 7 years ago

      Brian & Plumber,

      i'm glad you've found this information useful! Hope it saves you valuable $$$ and time :)


    • profile image

      Plumber 7 years ago

      Really very useful!!!

    • profile image

      Brian Plumberson 8 years ago

      Hey great info! Too many people call in the pros like me when they could easily fix the problem themselves.

      As much as I don't mind the work :) sometimes these jobs are the biggest "time consumer" with relatively low pay - personally I would rather be on a bigger, higher paying job.

    • Direxmd profile image

      Direxmd 9 years ago

      Thank you Dink96, I appreciate the encouragement :)


    • Dink96 profile image

      Dink96 9 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

      Teresa's prize is no plumber's butt crack, plus you save about $90/hr! Great hub! Keep stuff like this coming!

    • Proud Mom profile image

      Proud Mom 9 years ago from USA

      Egg warsh?? You crack me up!!

    • Direxmd profile image

      Direxmd 9 years ago


      Wonderful! I'm so glad that you found it to be useful!



    • Lgali profile image

      Lgali 9 years ago

      very useful hub i will follow this for my home project

    • Teresa McGurk profile image

      Sheila 9 years ago from The Other Bangor

      Cool. I've just finished following the instructions. Works great. Is there a prize?