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How to remove broken faucet aerator?

I live in a 60+ year-old apartment. My bathroom faucet sometimes gets clogged with little chunks, probably bits of rust or minerals from inside the supply pipes. So every now & then I have to remove the aerator from the faucet and knock the chunks out of it to allow the water to flow freely.

But the other day, I must have gripped the aerator too hard with the pliers I was using, and it broke. The bottom 1/2" or so broke off, leaving the threaded part stuck in the faucet. D'oh! Now the water just kind of "blobs" out of the faucet and seems to splash a lot more. It kind of makes a mess.

So, how the heck do I get the threaded part out so I can install a new aerator? I've called a couple of plumbing supply places, who seemed to have no helpful suggestions. Surely someone out there has done something similar, right? Is there a tool I can either buy or rig up? If anyone's got any suggestions or has managed to overcome this same problem, I'd love to hear about it. Thanks!

(I'd prefer not to have to ask my landlord to replace the faucet, but if I can't fix it, I might have to do that.)

A. Spruce
Re: How to remove broken faucet aerator?

Well, that's a pretty scary looking faucet to begin with, the way it's siliconed to the sink. You won't likely find any sort of device to simply stick in there and get the sheared off threads out. If there's nothing left to grab with pliers, you're pretty much done. Unless ... you're willing to remove the faucet from the sink and then try to use a chisel and hammer to work the remnants out. If there's enough sticking proud of the faucet spout, you may be able to use the chisel and hammer to collapse the threaded ring into the center. Odds are, you're pretty much done and will need to replace the faucet, which again, from the looks of the silicone job, wouldn't be a bad thing.

Good luck, and please report back with your resolution. Thanks. :)

Re: How to remove broken faucet aerator?

Wow, thanks for such a quick reply--even if the prognosis is no better than what I'd gotten so far.

And if you think the faucet itself is gnarly looking, just imagine how nasty it looks underneath, where the flanges and nuts are caked with rust and mineral buildup. :eek: Looks like I may have to bust out the wire brush, vinegar and/or penetrating oil to loosen those suckers up.

Or maybe it is time to call my landlord.:confused:

A. Spruce
Re: How to remove broken faucet aerator?

No problem, I happened to be online when you posted.

It sounds as though a call to the landlord is in order. You really won't be able to chisel and hammer the remnants of the aerator out unless you can clearly see what you're doing and have room to work, neither of which are possible, upside down in the area within a vanity sink. If the underside of the faucet is as bad as you say, then the likelihood of getting it off in one piece to repair it and reinstall it is very very slim. Rusted nuts tend to twist off the bolts, or strip them within the faucet, once that happens, it's time to head out to the plumbing store, because you aren't reusing the old faucet.

You could replace it with a new, similarly styled faucet, but I am reluctant to recommend such a thing without permission from the landlord. Even removing the existing faucet - regardless of salvageablility - could cause some problems with your lease agreement.

Re: How to remove broken faucet aerator?

Something you may want to try....
Get a pair of needle nose pliers, close the pliers and insert the nose of the pliers barely inside the spout, and by opening them maybe you can get enough pressure on the threaded part to unscrew it. Don't know if there will be enough 'grab' between the outside of the nose of the pliers and the inside of the threaded part or if it will just slip.

Re: How to remove broken faucet aerator?

The threaded part of the aerator is usually fairly soft material, you might see if you can catch the edge to it with a small screwdriver and tap it towards the center of the opening. A few taps and the ring may collapse enough that you can get a hold on it with needle nose pliers and twist it out. Best of luck.

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