What is an Aerator, otherwise known as a Perlator or Flow Restrictor?

Cobra explains the difference between various types of taps. An aerator tap is also known as a perlator tap or a flow restrictor. Read more...
1 October 2021 Water Saving
What is an Aerator, otherwise known as a Perlator or Flow Restrictor?

What is an Aerator, otherwise known as a Perlator or Flow Restrictor?

From unique lingo, industry jargon, and interesting catchphrases, Cobra explains the difference between various types of taps. Cobra offers insight into the different types of taps, accessories and lingo and catchphrases you will hear when speaking to your plumber.

Research and inventions in water saving techniques in bathroom and kitchen taps continue to bring about new and exciting technology advances to the plumbing market.

When the Western Cape experienced below average rainfall between 2015 and 2017, leading to the worst drought in more than a century for the province – corporates, retailers and personal homeowners had to take drastic measures to reduce water consumption.

Low flush toilets and aerator taps became increasingly popular to assist with a reduction in water consumption in malls, companies and even homes. They have now become a familiar occurrence in many public spaces across the country.

An aerator tap is also known as a perlator tap or a flow restrictor. Basically a tap aerator is located at the spout, or tip of the tap, and can be screwed onto the end of a tap to create a non-splash stream of water mixed with air. This creates what is often referred to as the ‘champagne effect’ where the water essentially sprays in an aerated form from the tap mouth instead of running into the basin.

By mixing the stream of water with air, the tap aerator reduces the amount of water passing through the taps whilst still providing an effective spray of water for washing of hands, dishes or any other use in the kitchen or bathroom.

We know you’re thinking spray = splashing… but this isn’t the case. These aerators are developed to minimise splashing in sinks and basins.

Let’s go through some frequently asked questions

Do you have to brand match an aerator for your tap?

If you’re thinking of adding tap aerators to your home or business but you’re unsure if you need to purchase the same brand aerator as your tap… this is not necessarily the case. You can purchase an aerator from a different manufacturer as your tap – but you do need to ensure that you get the correct fitting for your tap. 

In the same way that your HDMI cable to your TV or any other appliance has a male and a female fitting – it is the same for taps and tap aerators. You need to ensure that if you have a female spout, that you select a male fitting, and visa versa if you have a male spout. A technician can always advise you if you are unsure.

Do tap aerators splash?

Because tap aerators have a mesh screen to divide the flow of water with small streams of air, this minimises splashing in sinks and basins. The stream of water is basically being diluted with air which helps to rinse off hands, or dishes or whatever is being washed, without the wastage of water pouring down the sink.

Do tap aerators increase water pressure?

Tap aerators can create a ‘sense’ of increased water pressure because the water is being forcedthrough the aerator with a mixture of air. There is actually a build up of pressure in the tap right behind the aerator – so they may be helpful in homes or buildings with low water pressure.

Do tap aerators make water taste different?

There is some research that points to aerated water having a more pleasant taste due to the fact that water with high oxygen levels simply tastes better. This is why you can sometimes find that water in a kettle that is repeat boiled too often can begin to form an unpleasant taste as boiling water reduces the amount of oxygen in the water.

Can aerators be used on mixer taps?

Aerators can be used on 95% of taps and that includes kitchen mixer taps and bathroom mixer taps. If you are unsure whether your taps can be fitted with a tap aerator, you can consult a technician or retailer for confirmation.

How much water do tap aerators save?

A tap aerator on a kitchen or bathroom tap can save up to 9 litres of water per minute on normal kitchen mixer taps, and up to 6 litres of water per minute on already water efficient taps. 

Where can you find tap aerators?

Aerators are both kitchen tap accessories and bathroom tap accessories and can be found in the same place as the rest of the tap accessories in a physical or online store.

In closing - tap aerators, perlators or flow restrictors are the perfect, easy to ‘install’ water saving solution for malls, shopping centres, homes and companies.