How to Select a Kitchen Faucet Part 5

Maintenance: It may seem odd to worry about maintenance on a new faucet but it is best 191-6639to worry about it before you buy than when something goes wrong and your cannot get the parts.

The maintenance of a faucet is directly related to the number of working parts on the faucet. A simple on and off faucet has few moving parts and therefore less to go wrong.  Faucets that switch from spray to flow have more parts and more to go wrong. Some faucets have electronic parts to turn the water on and off. These parts require electric service to the faucet or batteries. Batteries need to be changed so consider the expense and  inconvenience. The solenoid that is used can also go bad and need to be replaced. Balance your tolerance for maintenance with the convenience of the touch feature. Also make sure you understand exactly how the touch feature works. Many need to be turned on before the touch feature works so approaching the faucet with dirty hands as shown in some commercials is likely not as easy as presented in the advertising.  

All faucets have a cartridge which is the part that turns the water on and off and in single handle faucets mixes the hot and cold.  Cartridges can be made of several different materials. All else being equal ceramic cartridges are best. Cartridge are subject to wear but also to may fail due to build up in minerals or even plugged due to debris in the water line. When the faucet is first installed the water lines should be thoroughly flushed to remove any debris in the lines. The good news is the cartridge in most cases can be easily replaced.

When searching for a faucet ask about the availability and cost of parts.

Make sure you save the installation instructions which should have a parts list for future reference.

When cleaning a faucet particularly those with an applied finish wash with soap and water and wipe dry. For more stubborn grime do not use any acid based cleaners or they will damage the finish.  

About Tom Robinson

Tom Robinson is Director of Business Development for ANO, Inc. an Independent distributor of plumbing accessories - sinks and faucets - primarily to countertop fabrication and installation industry. The are the exclusive distributor of Eclipse Stainless products in the Midwest. Tom is a former home builder. Past President of the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago, winner of eight key awards for design and construction and he created over $200 million in new real estate.
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