Many Moen aerators are "male," which means the threads are located on the aerator, not on the faucet. Because of this design, Moen aerators sit inside the end of the faucet itself and are impossible to access without a special tool to aid in their removal. Knowing how to remove an aerator from a Moen faucet can help you clean or replace a clogged aerator, which is far less expensive than purchasing a brand-new faucet.
How to Remove a Moen Aerator
If you happened to install your Moen faucet yourself, you may still have the removal tool, called an aerator key. This "key" is plastic and has a round end with teeth. The teeth line up with the teeth on the aerator, allowing you to grip and unscrew it.
If you do not have the key lying around, you can order Moen faucet parts, including a Moen aerator kit. This kit provides a new aerator and key, both of which are designed for use in your specific Moen faucet.
Read more: How Does a Faucet Aerator Work?
Simply place the round end of the key up into the end of the faucet, then slowly turn it until you feel the key's teeth slide in and lock against the aerator's teeth. Turn the key counterclockwise to unscrew the aerator.
Different Types of Aerators
Aerators are designed to add air to the outflow of water by creating dozens of tiny streams of water instead of just one giant stream. Ultimately, this saves you money on your water bill because less water comes out of the faucet. However, you won't even notice the difference, because the water pressure stays the same. In addition to the cost-saving benefit, aerators also reduce the amount of splashing that occurs as the water hits the sink.
Depending on a sink's main purpose, you can increase your cost savings even further by selecting a low-volume aerator. A standard aerator allows 2.2 gallons per minute to flow through it, whereas a low-volume aerator can let through 0.5 to 1 gallons per minute. If you're trying to fill a kettle or soup pot, you'll be at the kitchen sink for a long time, waiting for it to fill at a rate of 0.5 gallons per minute. But if you're just washing your hands or rinsing dishes, a low-volume Moen aerator can save you water and money.
Read more: How to Fix a Leaking Moen Kitchen Faucet
You can also choose to purchase laminar flow or spray aerators. Laminar flow aerators restrict the volume of water that exits the faucet without adding air to the water stream. On the other hand, spray aerators distribute the water into separate jets of water without adding air, which still produces high water pressure over a large surface area, ideal for washing applications.
Signs Your Aerator Needs Replacing
Not sure if you really need to remove your Moen aerator? Aerators can and do get clogged. When faucets go through a period of disuse, the droplets of water left in the end of the faucet evaporate and leave behind a small amount of mineral deposits. If you notice that the water pressure has suddenly changed in your faucet, the aerator could be the culprit. The water may also come through on one side of the aerator instead of evenly across.
Remove the aerator as described above in order to either scrub the aerator clean or replace it altogether. To install a new aerator, place it by hand into position within the faucet and use the key to screw it clockwise until it is secured. If you have a Moen warranty, parts like a new aerator may be covered.