What sex is my kitchen tap?
February 20, 2009 3:05 PM   Subscribe

What sex is my kitchen tap?

I want to buy an aerator for my kitchen tap to improve the flow of water and make it soft like all those lovely taps in Zurich, Switzerland (it also reduces water consumption by up to 60%), but I don't know which kind to buy: male or female. This website says:

"For taps with a thread on the outside you need a Female Aerator. For taps with the thread on the inside you need a Male aerator."

Here is a picture of my kitchen tap. Does this mean my tap is female? I wouldn't call that a thread and I don't think I could unscrew it.
posted by domeheid to Home & Garden (9 answers total)
If you can unscrew this (use a paper towel over your hand for grip), you need a male aerator. It's a female faucet, like most bathroom faucets are.

If it's all one piece, and you want to aerate, it's time for a new faucet, which is not that huge a deal.
posted by Danf at 3:07 PM on February 20, 2009

Response by poster: I'm not able to unscrew it, so I guess that means I need a new tap/faucet. Thanks for your help!
posted by domeheid at 3:32 PM on February 20, 2009

I think it will unscrew from what I see, try an adjustable wrench on it. Those flat spots on the sides are made for wrenching it off.
posted by lee at 3:46 PM on February 20, 2009

Definitely unscrewable, unless it's totally clogged. Even if new this wouldn't be possible by hand. Wrench, as lee says. Be sure to keep the arm of the faucet steady when putting force on the assembly.
It looks to me like the screw is on the inside, but you will soon know for sure.
posted by Namlit at 4:02 PM on February 20, 2009

Looks to be female. Grab a small bottle of CLR for around $5 from the hardware store and give it a good soakin' first. Then give an adjustable wrench a try, as suggested above.
posted by piedmont at 4:44 PM on February 20, 2009

I can't tell if that golden brown stuff is rust or brazing -- either way you're gonna have a heck of a time trying to unscrew it (if it even comes off at all)
posted by randomstriker at 5:27 PM on February 20, 2009

The faucet is female.

The golden brown stuff is probably calcium and mineral buildup. Fill a plastic bag with vinegar or a commercial demineralizer like CLR and tie it around the neck so that the black part of the faucet stays submerged overnight, then use an adjustable wrench on the flat sides of the nut and apply even pressure pulling toward you while pushing the faucet head away with your free hand. Should come right out.
posted by Orb2069 at 8:27 PM on February 20, 2009

Best answer: Unscrewable, your faucet has a hole, thus is female, and will require a male adapter. It'll unscrew. For sure.

The gender thing is easy once you get it---if something sticks in it, it's female. If it sticks in something, it's male.

And I promise it'll unscrew. You don't have to be gentle with the piece there, as you're going to chuck it when you use the new aerator. Remember that it's going to unscrew counter-intuitively, imagine you're looking up at it from the drain, so lefty loosey might seem wonky. Or it won't. Wonkiness is subjective I guess.

Oh, and you've already got an aerator. Every faucet in a long long time has an aerator. Pull the screen and guts out of that black bit there when you unscrew it and watch your water flow. Doesn't mean it won't get better with a new one though.

And...lastly, if your water is as hard as that faucet looks like it is, I can't imagine an aerator softening it much, but anything is possible.
posted by TomMelee at 8:30 PM on February 20, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for all your replies! I used a wrench and unscrewed it easily. I've ordered this new male aerator for my female tap. Thanks for the explanation of what makes it male or female. I won't forget that now! Good mnemonic. Just like righty tighty, lefty loosey.
posted by domeheid at 10:30 AM on February 21, 2009

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