To easily reduce water consumption, the simplest solution is to install a tap aerator. Easy to install, effective and inexpensive, this little accessory promises you great water savings. What are the different models, how to choose the one that suits your needs? Here are the essential elements for choosing the right frother.
Tap aerator: identity card
What is a tap aerator? Its discretion is such that one can forget its usefulness…
- Use name : faucet aerator. Also known by different nicknames: eco-aerator, water aerator, aerator aerator, hydro-efficient aerator, water saver, flow limiter…
- Aspect : small, discrete and all-purpose type. With its mini plastic grid (sometimes metal), it screws onto the outlet of the tap.
- Speciality : Add air to the water jet. Result: with a flow rate reduced by 10 to 20% (you can’t see the difference), you consume much less water. It’s simple, but you had to think about it!
- Efficiency : big ! Small but sturdy, it reduces water consumption by at least 50%. For a household, this still represents 150 euros in savings per year… Note that its usefulness does not stop there: less hot water also means less electricity or gas!
- his hero : Venturi, the physicist who discovered that a fluid undergoes depression when its flow space is reduced. Remember the Venturi effect: it is the name of the hydraulic phenomenon that inspires the faucet aerator.
- Son terrain d’action : any faucet, especially those that are used very often. He particularly likes the kitchen and the bathroom.
- Rates : cheap. The tap aerator does you great service for… barely 10 euros. If you’re told he likes to lather up, don’t believe it!
The 2 main types of foamers… and the others!
In the large family of faucet aerators, two types stand out: the flow-reducing aerator and the flow-reducing aerator. Not forgetting the others…
- The flow-reducing aerator installs with a single flat gasket. Its specialty: regulating water consumption according to a maximum volume per minute. The flow undergoes almost no modification. On the other hand, the bill is drastically reduced: 40 to 60% less water!
- The flow reducer-limiter aerator requires an O-ring. It works like the previous one, but with an additional specialty. Its trick is to gradually regulate the flow of water, by setting a maximum volume of water. While a conventional faucet discharges 15 liters of water per minute, with a reducer-limiter it drops to less than 6.5 liters per minute! The flow can even drop to less than two liters per minute. An even more economical system!
- The thermal frother indicates the water temperature with LEDs. These small bulbs light up when water passes through. Their light changes according to the temperature: cold water, blue light; hot water, red light. This system is very popular with parents whose young children must learn to be wary of water that is too hot… Burns are thus avoided.
- The multi-jet aerator can modulate the flow on demand. It works like multi-spray showerheads. Turn the nozzle and the jet changes: more powerful, more airy…
- The adjustable aerator has a ball joint that allows you to change the direction of the jet.
On the installation side, there are two types of tap aerators. The first, of type cartouche-recharge, are made of plastic and are installed in the tap ring, in place of the filter. The second, in stainless steel, are the aerators with ring. They are installed in place of the valve ring.
How to choose the right faucet aerator?
The tap aerator must meet your needs: in which room do you want to install it? A few parameters will then help you identify the one that will be most useful to you. But before buying a faucet aerator, make sure the faucets in your new home don’t already have one. The recent models of faucets are almost all equipped with it.
Which type of faucet for which room?
Kitchen or bathroom, aerators are compatible with almost all types of faucet. But you have to target the right model according to the use you want to make of it.
- In the bathroom, install an aerator on the shower head. Knowing that a quick shower consumes 30 liters of water, the savings are welcome. On the other hand, it is useless to put one on the faucet of the bathtub. It would just take a lot longer to fill up… For the shower, opt for a thermal aerator (with LEDs) if you have children; it is more secure. For pleasure, opt for a multi-jet aerator. As for the adjustable aerator, it is very useful when you have a fixed spray head.
- In the kitchen, the water flow is often twice as high as in the bathroom. For this reason, it is better to install an aerator-flow limiter. As for the adjustable mousseur, it can really make washing up easier.
Check the valve ring: male or female?
Yes, the tap ring can be male or female type. Take a female aerator for a male thread. On your faucet, if the thread is outside the outlet (male), you need a female aerator, with a thread inside. Conversely, a male aerator attaches by covering the tip of the faucet, female type.
Measure the diameter of the faucet
Pay attention to the size of the tap: the aerator must adapt to it. Standard tap sizes are 22, 24 or 28mm. In order not to get the wrong aerator, take the time to measure the size of the faucet ring.
Choose the flow rate of the aerator according to its color code
The packaging of a foamer has a color code that you have to know how to interpret. It tells you what type of pressure the utensil corresponds to.
- Red: for a maximum flow of 5 liters per minute,
- Yellow: maximum flow of 6 l/min,
- Green: maximum flow of 7 l/min,
- White or transparent: maximum flow of 8 l/min.
Flow restrictor aerators are suitable for higher pressure taps.
And the price ? It depends on the model
A foamer is not very expensive. The first prizes are three euros. But this can increase depending on the type of frother you want. A thermal aerator with LEDs or an adjustable one can cost around twenty euros. The price also depends on the quality.
Hard water? Opt for an anti-limescale model
If the water in your town is particularly hard, and therefore rich in limescale, your tap aerator risks scaling up quickly. To avoid this problem, opt for the anti-limestone aerator, designed to last longer. The other solution is to install a foamer with a removable filter (also called foamer refill), which you can clean easily, as soon as it gets too much scale.
Install your faucet aerator, and maintain it
Installation is quite quick. All you have to do is unscrew the faucet head, remove the seal and place the faucet aerator in the ring. Then put the seal back in place and screw the assembly back on, without over-tightening.
For the maintenance of your aerator, you will have to ensure that it does not become clogged because of limestone. With a little vinegar, baking soda or lemon juice, do not hesitate to regularly brush the grid at the outlet of the tap. When there is no way to clean it, it’s time to change the aerator.