Poor functional flow of water at sink faucets is very common—-and very common with faucets that have aerators. Aerators are restrictors/filters at the end of the faucet that reduce the flow of water and add air to the flow to provide a less splattering flow of water as well as reduce water consumption to some extent.
As you can see at this faucet, with the hot water fully turned on, the flow is not very good—-slow enough that no air is being introduced into the stream.
Taking the aerator/filter off one can often find lots of debris in the screens. This picture shows all kinds of debris caught in the screen of a New Construction home—-mostly construction debris because the lines were not adequately flushed prior to installation of the fixtures.
Improving functional flow can be as simple as merely cleaning out the aerator. Deteriorating old galvanized pipes also clog up aerators. Some areas of the country that have really hard water, the screens can get plugged with minerals. These screens can be cleaned by soaking them in a small amount of vinegar. If you keep the aerator clean—-the water should flow more freely.
As this one did when I cleaned all the gunk out of the aerator pictured above.
By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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