Frequently Asked Questions
Q. "What should I look for when purchasing a faucet?"
A. Many times we're first drawn to the way a faucet looks, it's design and the finishes available - and that's not a bad thing, we all want a stylish, comfortable home. However, there are several other questions you should also 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 does it have? 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 washer-less mean?"
A. Any faucet could be 'washer-less', as they come in both the single- and two-handle type. In most washer-less 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 or stronger pressure on the handle will not help stop the water flow. There are many different designs of washer-less cartridges, and some foreign cartridges can be very expensive (imported models). Ceramic cartridges are becoming very popular, and 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. "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 appliance, 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, to avoid paying extra for the exact same faucet or avoid the hassle of dealing with a disreputable retailer.
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. "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. "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. "I really like the new "designer" finishes, but I'm wondering if they are as durable as chrome. What do you recommend?"
A. In our opinion, nothing beats triple plated chrome for a lifetime of durability. That being said, however, many manufacturers have worked hard to make their other finishes more durable and long-lasting, so it really is a matter of personal preference and use. Additionally, many manufacturers now offer special care/cleaning guides with their products to help you maintain the new designer finishes as long as possible.
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. "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. "I'm hearing a lot about lead-free these days. What does that have to do with plumbing products and how does the new lead-free legislation affect me?"
A. Basically, the laws implemented Jan. 1st, 2014 require plumbing products that come in contact with drinking water to be "essentially lead free" (less than 0.25% weighted average). For further information about how the law determines what is "lead free", rules regarding which plumbing products must be "lead free", and who these laws will affect, please click here.
Q. "Why should I choose a water efficient faucet?"
A. Well, the numbers can speak for themselves: It is estimated that by installing water efficient faucets and accessories, the average household can save more than 500 gallons per year. Most of us know that we can conserve water by turning off the tap when not in use, but many may not know you can save water while using it with the right water saving faucet. While manufacturers vary in their definition of "water efficient", the faucets labeled here as water efficient have a 2.0gpm or less water flow, with many featuring a 1.5gpm or less flow.
Q. "What are the new California Energy Commission water efficiency standards and how does this affect me?"
A. Effective January 1, 2016, certain plumbing fixtures will be required to comply with new California Energy Commission requirements for flow rate and water efficiency. Since the program began in 1976, it has continually worked to develop standards for energy- and water-using appliances and fixtures that will help Californians to conserve energy and water. To help the state deal with current and future drought conditions, only water-saving plumbing fixtures will be legally available for sale in California. Products like faucets, toilets, urinals, and shower heads are all affected by the new regulations.
Sold after January 1, 2016:
Sold after July 1, 2016:
- Public lavatory faucets & aerators must have a maximum flow rate of 0.5 gallons per minute or less (at 60psi)
- Kitchen faucets & aerators must have a maximum flow rate of 1.8 gallons per minute or less (at 60psi) - dual function faucets may have an optional temporary flow of 2.2 gallons per minute
- Toilets must use a maximum 1.28 gallons per flush or less - or a dual-flush effective flush volume of 1.28 gallons per flush or less
- Wall mounted urinals must use a maximum 0.125 gallons per flush or less
- Other urinals must use a maximum 0.5 gallons per flush or less
- Lavatory faucets & aerators must have a maximum flow rate of 1.2 gallons per minute or less (at 60psi)
- Shower heads must have a maximum flow rate of 2.0 gallons per minute or less (at 80psi)
What this means for the average consumer is that you can rest easy knowing that the product you're getting is compliant with the law - and will help you do your part to save water, our most precious natural resource. Additionally, it is important to note that current EPA WaterSense program requirements are not as stringent as the California Energy Commission requirements. Thus, not all WaterSense products may be compliant with the new laws in California. Please be sure to review the specifications of the product you're purchasing prior to placing your order as we cannot ship non-compliant products to our customers in California.
Q. "Why don't you offer any WaterSense certified kitchen faucets?"
A. Currently, the WaterSense program doesn't offer certification for kitchen faucets. However, many companies (including popular Symmons, Delta, and American Standard) who manufacture WaterSense certified lavatory faucets have also found ways to make their kitchen faucets more water efficient as well.
Q. "How do I install my new kitchen faucet? Do I have to call a plumber?"
A. Installing a kitchen faucet can be a relatively easy project for an experienced do-it-yourselfer. However, as with all plumbing projects, if you are unsure of your ability or you have a unique installation situation, it is recommended you hire a professional to do the job. Watch our video below to learn more about how to install a kitchen faucet, including useful tips and tricks to help you determine if this is a DIY or professional plumbing project for your situation.