Everyone has plumbing faucets, everyone needs them, but what do most people know about plumbing faucets? Just that when they turn the knobs for hot/cold, they expect water to come pouring out for their every need. What if the faucet leaks or breaks, though? When should you fix a leaky faucet? Does it matter what type of material was used in making the faucet? What do you need to know about sinks?
Most people couldn’t plumb their way out of a paper bag, and with this in mind, here are a few facts about plumbing faucets that the everyday person should know.
1. Leaky faucets are HORRIBLE and should be repaired or replaced immediately. Yes, it does cost to repair/replace the faucet, however leaving a leaky faucet is far worse for your water bill than any upkeep cost: even 1 drip per second equals roughly 5 gallons per day, so the worse it leaks, the more it'll cost in the end. A word to the wise, a penny saved is a penny not paid to the DWP or other water providing gouger.
2. Solid brass faucets are by far the hardiest faucet around, lasting longer and requiring less care than their pvc or iron counterparts. In addition, brass faucets corrode far less from hard water than other softer materials. If given a choice, choose brass.
3. If you are a) too cheap to pay for solid brass faucets, or b) unable to purchase said brass faucets, a viable alternative is die cast zinc alloy faucets. Though not quite as good as their brass equivalent, they still deliver excellent quality and come with durability, though will need replacing more often due to corrosion.
4. Much like cars and their sizes, sinks have different shapes and sizes and as such require different sized faucets. In order to be properly connected, double check how many holes your sink has (generally one, two, or three holes that span anywhere from 4 to 12 inches) and match it up to the proper faucet for best results. Poor planning can lead to a plumber's time being paid for at his hourly rate, while you run to the store to purchase the correct sized pipes. To paraphrase another immortal cliche, measure twice, pay once.
5. For those eco-friendly individuals, certain faucets nowadays are manufactured with a WaterSense® label; these can save you around 500 gallons a year over traditional faucets, so if you wish to save both your bank accounts and the environment, consider checking these out the next time you remodel.
6. Though you can go out and purchase your own faucets without any sort of 3rd party opinions, plumbers often know suppliers that can provide unique faucets at lowered costs. Unless you yourself are friends with a plumber, or you yourself are a plumber, going to Home Depot or Lowe’s might not be the best choice. Shop around, see who you can talk to, and double check everything to ensure you aren't getting jipped out of your hard earned cash.
Next time you think about remodeling the kitchen sink or redoing one of your bathrooms, do a little bit of research on plumbing and supplies. The last thing you want is to go through a job, complete it, and turn on the water to find it doesn’t work; that little bit of time invested could save you hundreds of dollars and hours of aggravation in the long run.