The city utilities came to my neighborhood this week to replace a few fire hydrants. They had to shut off water to my home during this work. When the work was done, one of the water fixtures in my home no longer worked at all and one had drastically less water pressure. Both that had issues were at the highest elevation in my home(i.e. all basement fixtures worked fine)

I called the city and they sent someone out to look at it. All the worker claimed that he did was use a wrench and turn each faucet aerator a quarter turn or so. This seemed to completely resolve the issue.

Why did this happen and is it expected?

Here is one of the faucets that didn't work at all after the maintenance work: Aerator Images

  • 1
    A word to the wise, if sediment/debris was disturbed run your clothes washer on empty to flush anything out. We lost a load of clothes due to a similar exercise by the fire dept.
    – treeNinja
    Aug 14, 2015 at 13:58
  • It is common for municipalities to flush their hydrants a couple of times a year. In our town, it would flush a ton of rust into our water and it would be brown for a day or so. I recently installed a whole house sediment filter, and so far I have not had any issues. Aug 14, 2015 at 21:36

1 Answer 1


The most likely scenario is that the work on the system disturbed sediment/debris that migrated to your home water piping, plugging up your faucet aerators. Rather than the "quarter turn" you describe (which would accomplish nothing) it is probable that the aerators were removed, flushed, and reinstalled to restore flow.

You should remain diligent, it is not uncommon for additional debris to continue to cause issues. Not just aerators but toilet fill valves as well.

  • Awesome that seems probable and makes sense! I've also updated my question slightly to reflect the fact that I didn't see what the worked did, just heard what he said he did! Thank you!
    – dpollitt
    Aug 14, 2015 at 11:55

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