If your kitchen's tap water tastes gritty or dirty, you might wonder if there's something wrong with your plumbing pipes. Your funny tasting water may be due to a dirty aerator. Aerators should filter out impurities before they pass through to your cup or glass. But sometimes, bacteria and algae can invade different areas of your home's water and affect its taste and smell. You can fix your aerator's problems with the tips below.
Step 1: Remove the Aerator
Before you begin the project, be sure to check the rest of your home's taps for dirty or smelly water. If all of your sources of water smell and taste like dirt, contact a plumber for services. Your plumbing system may need a complete diagnostic check. But if the water quality problem remains only in your kitchen, you can move forward.
You'll need to physically remove the aerator from the spout. You should be able to unscrew the aerator by hand. Be careful during the removal step. The aerator uses a thin screen to catch and filter impurities, so you don't want to lose it down the drain.
Examine the aerator and screen. If the pieces appear clear or clean, check the inside of the spout for gunky buildup. You can do so by inserting your finger into the spout's opening. If it contains buildup, you may feel it. In this case, call a local plumber for help. If the aerator and screen appear clogged with debris or covered in gunk, you can clean them during step two.
Step 2: Clean the Aerator and Screen
Fill a small coffee cup with white household vinegar. Place the aerator and screen into the cup and allow them 20 minutes to soak. The vinegar's acid breaks down the gunk and cleans away the bacteria and other contaminants on the pieces. Fill another container with fresh water from your bathroom sink's tap.
Remove the pieces with tongs, then place them inside the clean water. Gently, shake the container to rinse the aerator and screen. Reinsert both pieces into sink's spout. Turn on the faucet's water and allow it to run for 5 minutes or so.
Sample the water to see how it tastes and smell. If the water doesn't have a dirty taste or smell, you successfully solved your problem. Be sure to monitor your tap water regularly to ensure that it stays healthy enough to drink.
If the water still taste and smell dirty after you complete the steps above, schedule a visit with a plumbing specialist like First Class Plumbing and Heating.