Saving water is one of our prime concerns today. A record amount of water is wasted by faucets every day. Most faucets either use much more water than optimal or are much less efficient than their potential efficiency. An uncomplicated way to avoid this water wastage is by using low flow faucets or faucet aerators. But low flow faucets are very expensive and are not available everywhere. The problem with aerators is that they are not available for every faucet. To combat these difficulties, I have designed a DIY aerator that can fit in every faucet.
The DIY aerator is a simple, easy-to-make, cheap aerator that can fit on any faucet. It can easily save a lot of water as well as straighten the flow. The aerator can be made by anyone and takes very less time to make, rendering it an optimal DIY product. In this document, I explain how anyone can make their own aerator with a few recycled items.
Step 1: Materials You Need
Most of the Materials used are cheap and easy to obtain.
This is what you will need-
A Plastic Bottle cap- The cap forms the base of the aerator. Choose a cap based on the size of your faucet, it should fit neatly without any open ridges. The height of the cap should not be too less. If anything, it should be more than the base of the faucet. A simple soft drink bottle cap should fulfil most criteria. Here, I am using a Pepsi bottle cap.
Mesh (Plastic or Metal)-
This is what we will use as a filter for the aerator. The mesh is usually enough without inserting any extra material inside. We are going to be using 4-5 layers of netting so I recommend buying a sheet of around A4 size or 1 square foot. I will be using plastic mesh.
Rubber bands- You need one for every aerator that you make. The side of the rubber band depends on the size of the faucet. Look at the base image to see how the band will fit around the faucet.
A Flat-Head Screwdriver- This will be used to make a hole in the bottle cap, from where the water will flow out. You can also use a flat headed tip of a detachable screwdriver, which I will be using.
A Hammer- This will be used for hammering the screwdriver inside the cap. The cap will be cut in this way, to make the hole.
A sharp, pointed object- This will be used to make tiny holes in the side of the bottle cap through which the rubber band will be inserted. You can use a needle, or a pointed nail. I will be using a pointed electric tester.
Scissors- Used for cutting the rubber band and the mesh.
A permanent marker- This will be used for marking the mesh and the cap. A permanent marker is preferred, because it is difficult to write on mesh otherwise.
Step 2: Marking the Bottle Cap
Unscrew the bottle cap and place it face up on the ground. Use a marker to trace a circle around the top of the cap. The cap I’m using already has a circle traced around it, so I needn’t draw one. Use my cap as a base and trace the circle with a marker, leaving a margin of 2 mm or so.
Step 3: Cutting a Hole in the Cap
Take the screwdriver or the tip and place it straight on (perpendicular to) the surface of the cap, as shown in the picture. Take the hammer and start hammering directly on top of the tip, till it digs into the cap.
Step 4: Cutting a Circle Around the Cap
Keep shifting positions of the screw until you cut out a clear circle around the one which you have marked. Just press the cap and the inside of the cap will come out. The final product should be like shown in the picture.
Step 5: Removing the Covering Inside
If you look inside the back of the cap, you will notice a thin covering inside. This can sometimes block the flow of water through the cap. Pull out the covering before continuing.
Step 6: Smoothening Out the Edges
Smooth out the edges of the cap with the screwdriver before continuing. This will ensure that the flow of water is even.
Step 7: Making Holes in the Side
Take the needle or pointed nail and pierce it into the side of the cap, toward the outer edge, as shown in the picture. This will be the hole through which the rubber band can pass. Don’t make it too small, or the rubber band won’t pass through. Don’t make it very big either, or the side of the cap will break. Repeat it on the opposite side too.
Step 8: Tracing the Cap
Place the cap on the mesh and trace out the edge with a marker. As I said before, it’s better to use a permanent marker or the markings won’t be visible and will rub out easily.
Step 9: Cut the Mesh
Cut the mesh around the markings.
Step 10: Putting the Mesh Inside
Turn the cap upside down and place the piece of mesh on top of it. Gently press it inside with your thumb. Make sure that there’s no piece left around the edge.
Step 11: Repeating Steps 8-10
Repeat the same 3-4 times. Put the mesh in a criss-cross pattern to get maximum decrease in water. Keep placing the layers on top of each other.
Step 12: Sticking the Mesh
Stick the mesh firmly in place with adhesive. You don’t want it falling out during use. Make sure that the mesh does not cover the holes on the side. This will prevent you from putting a rubber band inside, rendering your aerator unusable. Let the glue dry.
Step 13: Cutting the Rubber Band
Now, take the rubber band. Snip it open using a pair of scissors.
Step 14: Inserting the Band
Put one end of the rubber band inside the hole. Tie it up.
Step 15: Repeat
Repeat it on the other side.
Step 16: You're Done!
And you’re done! Just stick it on your faucet. It will decrease the rate by about 2 litres/minute, with a maximum of 6 litres/minute.