Frequently Asked Questions
Q. "Seems like a faucet is a faucet... aren't most faucets about equal.. shouldn't I just buy the lowest priced ones?"
A. It is true that you don't always get your money's worth by paying more. On the other hand, just like cars, there are "cheap" cars and quality cars. We like to recommend that you buy quality faucets from a reputable dealer and that you shop (compare) prices on the same brand models.
Q. "What should I look for when purchasing a faucet?"
A. You should be asking: Is it easy to get parts? Easy to repair and replace parts? Is it a true "washer less" (doesn't mean it won't leak, it will eventually anyway but is usually easier to operate and easier to repair) or not? Where is it made? What type of warranty? How long has this model been made? Does the manufacturer stand behind their products and how long has that company been in business? Is the company that you are buying the faucet from reputable and been in business long enough so that you know you can trust them?
Q. "What does washerless mean?"
A. All faucets could be 'washer less' as they come in both the single- and two-handle type. In most washerless faucets, the control of the water flow is done by a cartridge or arrangement of seals that allow water to flow when the holes or ports are lined up. The design is such that the water flow is basically sheared off. Unlike 'washer' types, extra strength of pressure on the handle will not help stop the water flow. There are many different designs of washerless cartridges. Some foreign cartridges can be very expensive. Ceramic cartridges are becoming very popular. Ceramic cartridges have been around for over 20 years. Ceramics tend to last longer than other types of cartridges but can cost a lot more when replacing. Remember, all faucets will eventually leak. There tends to be less friction and wear and tear with a "washer less" faucet compared to the older washer-type faucet.
Q. "I have a hole in my kitchen sink for an air gap. I'd like to use it for a faucet. Can I just by pass that air gap?"
A. You could but we absolutely do not recommend that. Air gaps have an important (health safety) function and should be kept on the deck of the sink or kitchen counter.
Q. "Are all finishes durable?"
A. Many manufacturers claim to have durable finishes, but overall chrome is usually the most durable.
Q. "Can a hose spray model be installed in a 3-hole kitchen sink?"
A. Sure, many faucet manufacturers offer faucets designed for one or two holes. Most common sink configurations have either 3, 4 or 5 mounting holes on the sink top. Look under the sink to determine the number of holes in your sink because the holes may be covered by an existing faucet. Also, note that once you have purchased a faucet without a sprayer that you generally can't just add a sprayer. You need to decide before you purchase a kitchen faucet whether you want a sprayer or not.
Q. "Why do some faucets cost so much more than others?"
A. Some faucets are simply made better than others with higher quality material such as solid brass, which generally provides a superior look, performance, and durability. While you may pay more for a quality faucet, you're likely to receive more value for your money as a result of longer, more reliable, trouble-free service. Paying more doesn't always mean you'll get a better value, but generally, a more expensive faucet (just like a more expensive automobile, etc) does give better and longer service. We recommend that you DO shop around once you know the exact brand and model that you want, as you can avoid paying extra for the exact same faucets if you spend time to shop.
Q. "Can I replace a two handled kitchen faucet with a single handled model?"
A. Absolutely. Standard-size openings and faucet dimensions are used throughout the U.S. plumbing industry.
Q. "Any helpful hints?"
A. ALL faucets WILL leak and need servicing eventually. A good idea is to once or twice yearly, open and close all shut off valves under all faucets (if any). This will help keep them free of sediment and will allow them to be closed when needed.
Q. "What type of faucets can I use in the bathroom?"
A. The two most commonly used bathroom sink (lavatory) faucets are the 4-inch centerset and the widespread.
Q. "What is a widespread set?"
A. A widespread set includes three separate parts, (hot, cold, and spout) that are usually adjustable and can measure from 8 to 16 inches apart from center to center.
Q. "What is a mini-widespread faucet?"
A. It has the appearance of a widespread but mounts 4 inch center-to-center instead of 8 or 16 inches.
Q. "What is a centerset faucet?"
A. A centerset faucet is a lavatory faucet with handles and a spout combined into a single part with a fixed distance (non adjustable) measured from the center of the cold handle to the center of the hot handle. Can also be a single handle faucet measured between the centers of the two mounting posts.