How To Reassemble Your Faucet’s Aerator

Took your faucet’s aerator apart to clean it? Trying to figure out how to put it back together again? Internet absolutely no help because it tells you that you should have noted how it came out in the first place? Yeah, I’m with you, pal, and you’ve come to the right place. This is how. Click on the photos for larger versions.

First, I numbered everything so I could refer to them (this is also the order they go back into #1):


The part I got hung up on was where you put part #3 into part #2 first, because it seems like it’d block all the water. It goes in like this:


Then stick that in part #1:


Top it all off with part #4:


Put part #5 on top, screw it all back into the faucet, and you’re done.

108 thoughts on “How To Reassemble Your Faucet’s Aerator”

  1. Oddly enough, I’ve had the same problem as you… only instead of providing useful instructions in a blog post, I just threw away the part that ended up extra during my process and just lived with the botched up way that I put it back together. I think your way is better. πŸ™‚

  2. Shannon, my faucet at home is probably messed up identically to yours because I, too, tossed the extra part. The faucet in question was my mother’s, and her aerator was so messed up anyhow that I ended up getting a new one ($3 at Menards) and dissecting it. πŸ™‚

  3. For my sinks, part #3 usually ends up in the trash can. I can control my rate of flow by those handy little knobs on the top just fine without it.

    Just don’t tell the low-flow aerator manufacturers and supporters I admit to doing this.

  4. THANK YOU!! For future reference, your readers may want to know that part #3 is actually made of two parts (or it was for my faucet)- a ring and the insert. If the insert is set backward into that ring, the assembly will not fit into the faucet. However, just having that numbered photo set me on the right track. I appreciate your help!

  5. Thank you so much for taking a picture of the parts. I was just about to give up on the web for instructions when I came across your site. I had one of the “thingys” backwards, now my faucet is fine. Thank you!

  6. Thank YOU!!!! Fixed the mess my wife started and forgot! I didn’t want anything to do with it, but your instructions were PERFECT! Thank you AGAIN!

  7. Just wanted to let you know that your website keeps helping people. I couldn’t find anything on the internet with better instructions than your website. The pictures helped me SO! much.

    It would have been great if you had something talking about the other part of the process. I didn’t know you needed to put something (normally electrical tape) around the pliers before them from scratching the aerator.

    Oh well, who cares now. I have the water running again and that is what it counts!

    Thank you!

  8. Perfect instructions = perfect result! One less stress. Thank you so much.

    For people who have trouble unscrewing or screwing in part #1, use the top of a dish glove for grip.

  9. Thanks for this post with pictures! Mine just fell apart into 8 pieces when I took it off. I tried every combination to put it back together and failed until I ran across this site. Very helpful!

  10. You have just made my LIFE! my faucet head has been off for months because I couldn’t figure out how to get the aerator back together… I got fed up with it sitting on top of my fridge, took it down, and found your page on Bing! Now I can have a normal sink faucet once again. you rock!

  11. It’s funny how useful this blog has been! Even though you will never come back to read this tutorial…. I want to thank you for this simple easy to find forum.

  12. I am not that bad of handy man, but trying to re-assemble my faucet drove me nuts. Couldn’t have done it without your help.
    Thank you.

  13. Thank you! Thank you!!! You are awesome!!
    When I took off my faucet last week to fill up water balloons for my kids, I went to put back on the aerator, and sure enough…couldn’t!
    I’m usually very handy, and my husband is even handier…he couldn’t do it either!
    I gave up after a few days of off and on trying, and just surrendered to the fact that every time I did the dishes, cooked or washed my hands I would be splattered with water from a aerator-less faucet. BUT, today I decided to google my problem, your site popped up, and voila!
    Thanks so much!!

  14. a eek ago I took my faucet apart for spring cleaning and lost the screen. Well tonight my daughter found it in her desk. So I passed the job of puting it back together (thitd time) to the man of the house. And after him washing the flat piece in #3 down the drain, I sugested me looking it up on the internet he took the screen out and put it together w/just #1,#2, and half of #3 by the way when I started the rubber rings were gone. Than I looked up your site and after my trip to the hardware store tomorrow. I will show the man of the house how helpful the internet can be THANKS…

    a year ago I had the same problem I’m having this year HOW DOES THE &*(^ GO BACK TOGETHER.
    Tried for over 2 hours and could not get to back together.
    Less than 2 minutes following your instructions I had water running!!!!!
    Can not THANK YOU enough.

  16. Bob, You rock! I’ve been struggling with a squirty faucet for almost a year now, after having taken it apart to clean it! Thank you so much – these were excellent directions! My faucet works fabulously well now.

  17. Your comments at the top of this page are so right on. Thanks for numbering! You saved me from major frustration.

  18. Thank you Mr.Bob you saved me $60= Plummer me and my husband almost call 1 what a shame I know we can do it. Of course with the help of technology now day’s I told him let me look on Google, and voila! ,Thanks again for posting this helpful how to Reassemble Your Faucet’s Aerator.

  19. LOOKS SO SIMPLE BUT NOT! I too wanted to throw out the “spare part but was too stuborn to.
    I took this aerator apart a few times and each time to flies into pieces as I try so hard to “get it right this time” I also have one that the part 3 is in two pieces and that is were all the trouble starts as it falls apart when taking it off. This guide was wonderfully helpful as it shortened my re-assembly time down to a minute. Thanks a bunch!

  20. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! Your first few sentences were exactly how I felt when I finally found this page. (thank goodness) I am not handy at all and was at my wits end trying to get this thing back together and not leak all over in the process.. your post helped save just a little bit of my sanity this morning. I really can’t thank you enough!!

    I continue to be amazed at how helpful the internet can be. I spent much time because someone moved my parts out of order Now it works!!!!!

  22. Great HELP!!! It was a few hours of puzzle work to get anywhere and my way left a very uneven flow. Finding this helped… The only suggestion I would make is that most aerotars come apart in several more pieces. Making #2 and #3 fit is the most crucial piece. Mine were in 4-5 pieces just for #2-#3. Key is making sure that #3 fits flush and snug into #2. It should not be resting on anything that could allow the disc part of #3 to slide around.

    Anyways…this got me to the finish line and thats all I can ask for…phew…scored some pts with the wife as well…thanks again!

  23. Thank you so much for providing pictures with which to work! Those of us who are mechanically-challenged, if you will, need to be SHOWN how to do it, not just told. I was about to give up on internet instructions until I came to your site. I was thrilled to see that your numbered parts looked just like mine! πŸ™‚ Thank you for being so helpful and for understanding that not everyone sees things the same way. You’re AWESOME!!

  24. Thanks Bob- Tried changing aerator and dropped this one on floor-it fell apart -after several attemps-i went to plumbing manuf. websites to no avail until i stumbled upon yours-Great clearcut knowledge-Works great now-Thanks again.

  25. Just one more grateful person, here πŸ™‚
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge! How many times I have cursed myself for taking something about without paying attention to how it goes together!

  26. Thanks, I have had my faucet messed up for a few years, and decided to google today. Mine was slightly different, but with your instructions I had it back to normal in a few minutes. THANKS!

  27. Wow, this was awesome. After spending a good 10 minutes trying to figure this out, I googled “faucet aerator assembly” and got a bunch or parts sites. Thank GOD I googled “faucet aerator how to put back together.”

    I literally looked at your photos and in 5 seconds had it back together and now it works great. Thanks for such an awesome site.

  28. Thank you so much! Pictures were amazingly helpful. My daughter and I struggled for an hour trying to figure out how to put this back together until we found your site!!

  29. Thank you so much for the pictures with detailed instructions. I tried and tried to put the aerator back together. Thought I was going to have to buy another one. You are absolutely wonderful to put this on the web for others.

  30. Thank you so much for taking a picture of the parts. I had one of the β€œthingys” backwards, and ended up with too much water pressured out. now my faucet is fine. Thank you!

  31. Thanks for the pictures. Mine fell apart into more pieces than you show. But anyway, thanks to your pictures I got it back together, and it works fine.
    My major problem was finding your page!

  32. Excellent – first I spent half an hour trying many combinations and cursing at the thing – then I looked on the internet! Your instructions were super and I had it together in two minutes! Thanks…

  33. I never write on this things ever but it was taking me 10 minutes to wash a dish. I knew something was wrong did not know what anywho i came across your instruction easy to follow and viola what my landlord could not do I did with your help in 5 seconds. Thanks Bob

  34. Awesome! Thanks… I tried for about 10 minutes and then remembered the internet! Yours was the first website I came across… lucky me… apparently there is nothing better out there! You rock!

  35. Finally! My husband took it off to see and about putting one with a swivel on it. Boy was that a big mistake! It took him more time to fix it than it did to install the whole faucet!

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  37. This is hilarious. I’m a unix admin, and I took my aerator apart (clogged) and couldn’t get it back together again– the way that “looked right” gave me insane high-pressure water jets of death spurting out at 45 degree angles. I googled “take apart a sink aerator” and hit this, and the fact that it’s written by a sysadmin is cracking me up. My wife is rolling her eyes and muttering about nerds all being alike.

    • Hehe, well, yeah, we have to look out for each other in the face of the muttering, eye-rolling masses. πŸ™‚ Glad you found this, I think it’s my second most popular post.

  38. After 20 minutes of standing at the sink wishing that I had taken a computer apart instead I ran to the iPad for help and found you. Thank you for helping me get things back in order! Now back to the dishes. Can you do that for me too? Thanks again!

    One note, my model had an extra plastic screen that went between the top two washers.

  39. That was awesome I clean houses for a living and I’m always fixing stuff. You’re right and gosh I hate plumbing! ThAnks again

  40. You made my night. This small post is a lovely service to the internet, and you have enabled me to NOT ONLY fix my plumbing (sink with no water pressure) so that I look awesome in front of my husband, BUT ALSO to reassemble the sink so he didn’t know that I dropped everything and my neat little this-is-how-it-goes-back-together pile got scattered.

    I like to pretend I’m handy, but I just RTFM. πŸ˜€ So thanks for making me look smart! I LOVE YOU MAN!

  41. HELP!!! I read the directions, but have a problem. I don’t have part 4 or 5; what I do have is a white washer-type ring. Another problem I have is that the parts won’t fit back onto the faucet with this ring, & w/out it there is a small gap where the water spurts out. I took the end off because I attached a Brita water filter (put the pieces in my cupboard for safe keeping). I need to have it back in place when I move out (renting). Thanks in advance to whoever helps!

  42. Thank you – i came home with the aerator, started to screw it in, dropped it into the sink in all the pieces as you describe – luckily i found you and put it back together – job done – thanks again:)

  43. Good gosh – how hard would it be for the manufacturer to include a diagram on the packaging. Thank you so much for putting this up for people.

  44. I do alot of projects around the house, although I am no “This Old House” guru. This was the BEST explanation of this pain in the %@#* fix! No other fixit sites even had a diagram, and thats all you really need! Good stuff! Thanks.

  45. Thank you, thank you! I bought a replacement aerator and it separated into it’s component parts as soon as I opened the packet. Of course there were no pictures of how to put it back together. Plenty of videos on the internet showing how to take out and replace the whole unit, but nothing showing how it all fits together. Your instructions with pictures was exactly what I need. Thank you again!

  46. That’s the last time ill take off a sink faucet screen for smoking weed. it was worth it though. thanks bob. guys like you make the internet a great convenience for nearly anything

  47. THANK YOU! I would have been up half the night — and it’s nearly Christmas, so I have other things I have to do. Merry Christmas!

  48. Yes, I know an aerator is only $5 at Home Depot, but dang if I will pay for a new piece just because I am too incompetent to put it back together again. I could have sworn I had tried every combination of putting the pieces together, but evidently not the way you showed it. Thank you. I also had a fantastic time reading about the shared misery of my fellow toileteers.

  49. thanks so much!! 6 tries later still didn’t have it down to looked at your pics! waht a relief that someone was smart enough to put this up for all the rest of us!!

  50. Thank You!!! After 30 minutes of guessing I finally decided to check the web and found this…final fix took 1 minute!

  51. O M Goodness! Thank you SOOO Much ! I thought I was a pretty smart girl. But this had me saying things I would never say in front of my mother ! LOL Something so little and so simple had me ready to ask for help. Thanks to you, I still look as smart as my husband thinks I am.

  52. THANK YOU! I’ve just lost 30 mins of my life trying to put the Β£$%& thing back together. THANK YOU for your post!!

  53. Thanks. Especially for the pictures. My faucet works great now. I called the company and the faucet was too old and they did not want to dig in their archives to look for the aerator. The faucet, although it was ten years old, I bought it for a previous house and never used it. It is a beautiful middle priced faucet and I am glad I have it. The company is mailing me a new aerator I should get in a week. Because of you I can use it now.

  54. Oh dear Lord!!! I didn’t think I would ever get our bathroom sink aerator reassembled!!!! I tried website after website after website, going completely bonkers!!! (Especially since it’s 98 degrees today and we have no air conditioning. I wanted to get DONE fixing the bathroom sink!) I couldn’t have been happier finding your website!!!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!!!!! I think I shall bookmark it for the next time I decide to disassemble the blasted thing for a super-cleaning!!

  55. Thank you so much! Why do the other sites try to “explain” this without showing the pieces? I’m glad I wasn’t the only stupid person in the world!!

  56. Hi, I had to replace the aerator on my sink faucet. Well the replacement item has numbers 2 and 3 together as one piece and it came with a washer (#4). I followed your instructions, the same as the package, and it does not work. The aerator fits part #1 but falls out. I put the aerotor part (the combined no.2 and 3) into #1, then followed by #4. The aerator simply falls out. It seems like the perfect fit but does not stay in part #1.

    Hope this makes sense because I am not sure what to do now. The folks at the plumbing shop suggested, a) buy a new faucet, or b) use it without the aerator.

    Appreciate any assistance. Thanks.

    • If the hardware store isn’t willing to sell you a replacement aerator, you need to change your hardware store and start patronizing the competition.

  57. After 5 years in Facility Management I was still ready to fix my home sink with dynamite till I found your diagram. Logic was not working, but the helpful pictures told me what I needed to know.


  58. Wow. Sometimes the Internet is so perfectly useful it’s scary, thank you! I never would’ve gotten that back together on my own.

  59. Shezzzzz, that this tiny little part can drive especially a mechanic of 46 year nuts amazes me! The plastic dip tube in our water heater fell apart about 3 years ago and we still get tiny pieces of plastic caught in the aerator from time to time. Today I took it off to clean it and just that quick forgot how it went back together. After multiple attempts I gave up, searched and found your site/instructions. In two minutes it was back together and flowing again. Thanks greatly for the pic’s! VERY helpful!!!!!!!!!!1

  60. I wanted to thank you for your open source approach. I keep my own notes for procedures on my server and have always wanted to create a Procedures Manual for things related to the mundane tasks life asks of us. Four years later, this procedure helped me suss out my messed up aerator. You’re pro.

  61. Thank you! I messed with this for an hour before seeing this diagram! Fixed in 5 minutes! Thanks for takin the time to do this!!!hg

  62. I took mine apart carefully trying to keep everything the way it was and..well… that was a joke. Thank you for the pictures. I should have looked at this 30 minutes ago.

  63. Yay! It seems like a simple thing now that I’ve mastered it, but obviously there are many out there just like me.
    An overnight soak in white vinegar got rid of the calcium buildup, and this article helped me get everything back in working order. I had the white aerator part in there upside down, argh πŸ™‚
    Thanks for sharing this!

  64. All I can say is THANKS to you, I have fixed the “spray” issue that I have had for 4 yrs.! (I could say more….but everyone would think I was “male” bashing… πŸ™‚


  66. Thank God! Thank YOU! It’s 38 minutes after midnight on the night before Thanksgiving and my kids are coming home from out of town. I have taken this piece off of my faucet before and reassembled it just fine – but not tonight. I’ve been in there for TWO HOURS trying to get it back together and had water spraying all over the place. Believe me, I have other things I need to get back to doing before the crowd arrives in a few hours. Thank you for saving my sanity and my kitchen sink. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Tonight I’m thankful for your blog site and have it bookmarked. God bless from South Carolina.

  67. I took mine off to clean it and got distracted and did not lay the pieces out as I took them out..spent almost 45 minutes and still didn’t get it right. Just left it off. Decided to check on line and Waa-Lah! It seems so simple Now! Thanks a Bunch!

  68. wow not only did the guide have the exact same parts i had, but i fixed it in 2 mins, instead of the 2 days and 50 variations of assembly i tried, thnx alot and on xmas eve prior to all the family coming over, thnx again and hohoho!!!

  69. We found our diffuser in the bottom of the kettle this morning, after noticing it missing yesterday. It varies slightly from your example in that we seem to have 3 of the wire mesh bits that are part of part #2. Part 2 also fits in nicely from the outside with part #1 still on the tap and I’m hoping the rubber O-rings are also still on the tap. This is going to be fun to reassemble. Your instructions are certainly going to help, as I had no idea about part #3 either. Thank you.

  70. Thank you! I was losing my mind…and I didn’t want to have to call the maintenance guy in our building on a Sunday!

  71. HI!
    I have a problem-the pictures would be very helpful but I have a part #6! It looks like my #3 are in seperate pieces…& i can not for the life of me figure out how to put em back together & we have a house inspection today for selling our house! I just wanted to make sure the calcium build up was off of it & now its clean but in pieces!! Ideas?? Thanks!!

  72. Thanks for the great advice BUT how the heck is everybody managing to screw the aerator back on the faucet with that last big rubber ring? Everything else fits….how hard do I have to reef that thing onto the faucet? Is the faucet supposed to cut into the rubber for the seal? Sorry, not very good at the D.I.Y. thing

  73. Just like the majority of your fans, I had #3 upside down. Maybe they should stamp “this side up” on that part. Thanks!

  74. After an hour trying to reasemble this aerator I defaulted to the internet. Thanks for the only site that provided helpful information. Hugh

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