To take apart a faucet, you just need to unscrew the spout to get at the "guts." If you can't get it to unscrew with just your fingers, you can use a pliers to loosen it:
Ah Ha! Off to the hardware store!
When selecting a new aerator there are TONS and TONS of choices. DON'T BE AFRAID!
It may be intimidating, but it isn't impossible.
When doing a repair project, it is always best to take exactly what you are fixing with you. It will make selecting the right replacement part much easier (and if you are lost, you can always hold up the part to an employee and say "what is this and how can I fix it?")
Here are all the parts of my faucet spout:
It turns out when repairing a faucet aerator there are a few things you need to know:
How big is the spout and how is it threaded?
What flow rate do you want (how much water comes out)?
What type of flow do you want?
You don't know the answers? Ask for help!
Question 1: How big is the spout and how is it threaded?
Well, lookie that.. Home Depot gives you a handy dandy cheat sheet right there in the store:
In my case it turns out that I had a 15/16 inch (27 thread count) spout.
That sign actually says "90% of faucet spouts are 15/16" Well, whoda' thunk! My faucet is average.
Question 2: What flow rate do you want?
My spout (like most) had the flow rate printed on it: 2.2 GPM (gallons per minute.) Because we live where water is pretty valuable, and because the powder room is where my kids wash their hands (AKA play in the water) I decided I wanted to cut down on the flow rate. Low-flow aerators range from 1-1.5 GPM. I settled on a 1.5 GPM replacement.
Question 3: What type of flow do you want?
Well, in my case I wanted ANYTHING that wasn't "spray all over every surface." However, if you are pickier than me, you can once again count on Home Depot to show you your options:
I decided on aerated, since that is typical for a bathroom faucet. This is all personal preference.
Now that I know what I need, I find it on that giant wall of faucet parts**. Here is what I buy (Notice the three yellow circles indicate the answers to the three questions we just answered):
Total cost: $4.89 (take that extra $200 you saved and buy some shoes!)
When you get it out of the package you can clearly see difference between it and the one that wasn't working correctly. This one has a screen to keep the water aerated.
Before you put it back on your faucet want to make sure you assemble all the parts in the correct order (there is a diagram on the packaging):
Now screw it back onto the faucet and you are DONE! That is all there was to it.
Stand back admire your handy work: