Q&A / 

Pot Filler Faucet

DEAR TIM: A pot filler faucet has been suggested by my kitchen designer. I have never had one before, and wonder if it is really necessary. Is a pot filler in a kitchen a good idea? Will the contractor have any problems installing a pot filler faucet? What are the most important things to consider should I decide to include one of these interesting faucets in my new kitchen? Penny R., Manteca, CA

DEAR PENNY: I am willing to wager that within one month of taking possession of your newly-completed kitchen you are going to call the kitchen designer and tell her how smart she is. If she has thought out the need for a pot filler faucet, there is not a doubt in my mind she has also included all sorts of other labor-saving features.

Check out this cool pot filler faucet right at the cooktop. You now only have to carry heavy pots of water one way. This model is from the ShowHouse collection by Moen. PHOTO CREDIT: Tim Carter

Check out this cool pot filler faucet right at the cooktop. You now only have to carry heavy pots of water one way. This model is from the ShowHouse collection by Moen. PHOTO CREDIT: Tim Carter

Over the past few years, many of the things commonly find in commercial and institutional kitchens have found their way into residential kitchens. Look at the monster cooktops, ranges, ovens and refrigerators that now seem to be commonplace in a modern home kitchen. Even my own kitchen has a six-burner cooktop. Pot filler faucets can be added to the list of things that are starting to become mainstream in kitchen design.

I feel a pot filler faucet is an excellent idea for your kitchen. These gorgeous articulating faucets save your back. A pot filler eliminates 50 percent of the work when it comes to transporting water to and from a cooktop. Once a pot filler faucet is installed above your cooktop, you never have to carry a pot full of water to the cooktop. This saves wear and tear on your hands, wrists, arms and back.

Click here to watch Tim's video on Pot Filler Faucet.

Click here to watch Tim's video on Pot Filler Faucet.

Click here to watch Tim's video on Pot Filler Faucet.

Water is actually fairly heavy, as just one gallon weighs a little over eight and one-third pounds. If you measure the amount of water you might boil to make a large pot of pasta, you might be surprised to discover you carry nearly 20 pounds from the sink to the cooktop.  When you are doing lots of cooking during large holiday celebrations, the last thing you should be doing is wasting energy carrying water around your kitchen.

I doubt any contractor or plumber worth his salt will have any problems installing a pot filler faucet. Most pot fillers require a single one-half inch cold water supply line. The plumber can usually install this extra pipe in 30 minutes or less in most kitchens. It may require a small amount of extra labor when remodeling an existing kitchen.

There are several very important things to consider before the plumber arrives at the jobsite. The location of the pipe projecting out from the wall that feeds the pot filler faucet is very critical. If this pipe is not in the correct location, the pot filler faucet might end up too low and/or it might not fold back completely to nest against the wall.

I urge you to purchase the pot filler faucet before the plumber arrives, and read the written installation instructions carefully. If you don't want to get the faucet that early in the job, most manufacturers have all of the technical notes, dimensions and instructions available for free at their websites. Download these documents, and get ready to do some math.

You will also need several other important dimensions, such as the height of the cooktop burners above the finished height of the countertop, and the height of your tallest pot. When added together, these dimensions tell you the absolute minimum height above the finish countertop the tip of the pot filler faucet must be. I would always add another inch to be safe. Be sure you or the plumber takes into account the height of the finish flooring as you do all of this math.

Here is the sweet pot filler in action. The valves do not restrict the flow of water, and large pots fill quickly. PHOTO CREDIT: Tim Carter

Here is the sweet pot filler in action. The valves do not restrict the flow of water, and large pots fill quickly. PHOTO CREDIT: Tim Carter

Since a pot filler faucet swings out of the way when not in use, you need to make sure it will not hit against wall cabinets that might flank either side of the cooktop. My wife and I wanted our pot filler to fold towards the wall cabinets so it would not block a decorative tile backsplash in our kitchen. It took some planning to make this happen, but it was well worth it.

When looking at pot filler faucets, consider ones that have two separate on and off valves. You may think this is poor design until such time as you walk away from your pot filler and it has a slow drip. The second valve acts as a safety to minimize damage that might be caused by a dripping faucet. Keep in mind that a pot filler faucet in a standard kitchen does not have a sink underneath it to catch pesky drips of water.

It is also a fantastic idea to have the plumber install a separate ball valve on the supply line that feeds the pot filler faucet. If you ever have to work on the pot filler faucet or it does develop a leak, the ball valve allows you to shut off the water to the pot filler without interrupting the water supply to any other faucet or fixture in your home.

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